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The PSAT, short for Preliminary SAT, is a standardized test administered by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation and taken by millions of American high school sophomores to gauge their level of academic aptitude and prepare themselves for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the most widely used standardize test for college admissions in the United States. Similar to online discussions during finals week, the PSAT became a viral topic in October 2014 as students began sharing inside jokes about memorable questions from the test on Twitter and elsewhere in the social media.
Students in the United States took the 2014 PSATs on October 15th, 2014. The same day Redditor NO_USERNAMES_FREE added a thread to the r/teenagers subreddit titled "Hey guys let's illegally discuss the PSAT." Many students added their impression of the test to the thread, asked question about what answers other students got and creating inside jokes around the questions.
Many high school students used Twitter to discuss and poke fun of the SATs. Within 24 hours of the test being administered the hashtag #PSAT was tweeted out over 330,000 times. One joke made fun of a question which compared children to dolphins.
Another popular joke involved the extreme stress students are under to both remain seated while taking the test and to perform well.
Also on October 15th, USA Today published a post which included tweets about the PSATs. The same day the Twitter account PSAT2014 was created. Describing itself as "Recapping the 2014 PSAT. Original Parody Account" the account sent out over 3,000 tweets and gained over 60,000 followers in less than 48 hours.
On October 14th, 2015, the first of the year's PSAT tests were administered in the United States. On the exam, one question contained a passage about a girl named Herminia whose parents held different opinions about her poetry being published. That day, many Twitter users began posting tweets about the test along with the hashtag #PSAT, many of which referenced the Herminia test question (shown below).
Meanwhile, Tumblr users posted jokes about the PSAT and the Herminia question as well, including references to The Signs, Pepe the Frog and "Why the Fuck You Lyin" (shown below). Also on October 14th, the Meme Documentation Tumblr announced that the PSAT posts would not be covered since the meme originated in 2014. In the coming days, the news sites The Daily Dot and Fusion published articles about the online reactions to the PSAT test.
On October 11th, 2017, students in the United States began posting jokes online about that year's PSAT test. That morning Twitter user Max Vinagre tweeted a Mocking SpongeBob picture joking about the College Board asking students "not to post about the #PSAT on the internet" (shown below).
That day, other Twitter users posted jokes about a test question about selling tomatoes (shown below).
Additionally, many test takers posted jokes about a part of the test describing the symbiotic relationship between seagrass and clams (shown below). That day, BuzzFeed published an article highlighting various notable memes for the PSAT test.
On October 9th, 2018, students in the United States, once again, shared reaction images, videos and GIFs expressing their anxiety during the test. That day, Twitter user @Sikara_sokel tweeted several images of an angry, claymation penguin with the caption "preview of me taking the psat tomorrow." The tweet received more than 525 retweets and 3,100 likes in 24 hours.
Over the next 24 hours, more students shared various pieces of media, many of which focused on either their confidence or fear regarding the test. Some mock some of the hypothetical examples used in the questions (shown below, center).
Twitter user @VersaceMedina tweeted a video of men dancing with the caption "my last 3 brain cells trying to calculate the percent of mozzarella cheese made in wisconsin vs the total amount made #PSAT." The tweet received more than 5,500 retweets and 12,000 likes in 24 hours.
On October 10th, Twitter published a Moments page regarding the memes.
my last 3 brain cells trying to calculate the percent of mozzarella cheese made in wisconsin vs the total amount made #PSAT pic.twitter.com/PvhUOp0YC4— * ✯ 𝕱𝖊𝖓𝖉𝖎𝖃𝖆𝖓𝖙𝖆𝖓𝖆 ✯ * (@VersaceMedina) October 10, 2018
In October 2019, College Board continued to attempt cracking down on those that provide PSAT content through internet memes. On October 15th, Twitter user @sheskindakaila reminded test takers to "block College Board before liking and retweeting #psat memes!" (shown below, left). The tweet garnered over 900 likes and 100 retweets in three days. That same day, Twitter user @estar_jin posted a trying a kombucha for the first time image about getting "sued by college board over Twitter memes" (shown below, center). The tweet gained over 3,500 likes and 400 retweets in three days. The next day, Twitter user @elimcbeth_ posted about their test being voided over Twitter posts which accumulated over 2,800 likes and 200 retweets in two days (shown below, right).
On October 16th, @CollegeBoard posted a couple memes warning test takers that they cannot share PSAT content online which each accumulated over 1,100 likes in two days (shown below).
Despite warnings, students continued posting test content related memes. For example, Twitter user @SupernovaKV posted a meme about "ambiverts" while @elimcbeth_ posted a meme about Ephedra(shown below). The tweets garnered over 30,700 likes and 25,800 likes respectively.
 CS Monitor – PSAT test time: Time for teens to tweet and parents to tune in
 Reddit – Hey guys let's illegally discuss the PSAT
 USA Tosay – The Quad Report: $1,200 pizza, 'Sex and the City' and 3 PSAT tweets
 Tumblr – wellflower#=
 The Daily Dot – Teens took the PSAT and immediately turned its secret content into memes
 Fusion – Teens take a PSAT passage and turn it into the latest hot internet thing
 Tumblr – Meme Documentation
 Twitter – @NikeFreakShow
 BuzzFeed – Students Took The PSATs Today And The Memes Are Abundant
 Twitter – @Sikara_Sokel's Tweet
 Twitter – PSAT day is filled with a range of human emotions 📝
 Twitter – sheskindakaila
 Twitter – elimcbeth_
 Twitter – CollegeBoard
 Twitter – CollegeBoard
 Twitter – elimcbeth_
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Paulie DeMafia Mk2
Oct 16, 2014 at 05:25PM EDT
Oct 21, 2014 at 12:58AM EDT
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