Updated Oct 18, 2019 at 03:43PM EDT by Sophie.

Added Oct 16, 2014 at 04:35PM EDT by Molly Horan.

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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[1] on October 15th, 2014. The same day Redditor NO_USERNAMES_FREE added a thread to the r/teenagers[2] 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.

Notable Developments

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[3] was tweeted out over 330,000 times. One joke made fun of a question which compared children to dolphins.

helary gladstone@WhatTheHelary 16h when your parents train you with positive reinforcement #psat Reply Retweet * Favorite when ya parents try to put you on a leash #psat

Another popular joke involved the extreme stress students are under to both remain seated while taking the test and to perform well.

@breathecaylen 24h when the psat tells you to stop getting frustrated when movies cut out parts of the book <<<:// rinted Name specinic test question with anyone by any form of communieation, Inctuding, but not imited Doing so can result in score cancellation and other possible sanctions MARKS MUST BE COMPLETE mpletely fills the cirele and is you erase, do so completely. COMPLETE MARK EXAMPLES OF 3O d as Intended responses. INCOMPLETE MARKS 좋@ A⑩ 10 11@.ⓒⓞⓒ 17 O 11@⑥)ⓒⓞⓒ 18 . 15 39 4a@ ⓔ 36 DO NOT WRITE IN THIS AREA Mauricio A. Merino @ale_alejandro 0 Oct 15 Remembering that one time I took the # PSAT and was drakin' the night before . Jimmy Levy @itsjimmylevy Oct 15 PSAT TODAY. #PSAT #DeathOfMe Jimmy Levy @itsjimmylevy 15

Also on October 15th, USA Today[4] published a post which included tweets about the PSATs. The same day the Twitter account PSAT2014[5] 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.

2015 Test

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).

4GIFScom0 aylaTM @Weyhey_itsjayla Follow When Herminia's dad was reading the newspaper and saw his daughters name at the bottom #PSAT pic 2:05 PM 14 Oct 2015 다 8,388 ★ 10,597 Sofia Olivera @sofiaoliveraaa Follow Proctor: you may begin Me: ok cool take your time Proctor: you have 5 minutes left Me: WHAT TF HERMINIA WYD #PSAT 4:32 PM 14 Oct 2015 わ 다423 ★858 THE TALK TALK FolloW @storybooklt Herminia confessing to her parents that she's the one who wrote the poems #PSAT2015 #PSAT 5:44 PM 14 Oct 2015 わ 다 3,253 ★4,067

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[10] 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[8] and Fusion[9] published articles about the online reactions to the PSAT test.

legitastrology tumblr Follow The Signs as PSAT 2k15 @ TheSignsAS II IG Aries Nasutoceratops, the Texas Longhorn of Dinosaurs Taurus Thad's lunch meeting Gemini - wolf puppies Cancer - dog puppies Leo . Spanish moss Virgo the fourth of july...or lack thereof Libra the farmer's market Scorpio - Herminia's poetry Sagittarius play an instrument OR ELSE Capricorn NO CHANGE Aquarius - Aquaculture Pisces trout and tilapia #psat #psat fandom #psats #psat meme #school #astrology #gothstrology #dark-astrology #pastelastrology #coo!astrology 3,817 notes sstvnn tumbl Follow When u and dad have a secret that mom doesn't know #psat #herminia #psatgames15 #psatfandom #secret 120 notes wellflower tumblr Follow When Herminia told her dad she wasn't gonna publish any more poems #psat #psat exam #psat 2015 #psat2k 15 #psa2015 #my posts 223 notes

2017 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).[11]

Max Vinagre @NikeFreakShow CollegeBoard: Do not post about the #PSAT on the internet Twitter: Do NoT pOsT aBoUt ThE PsAt On ThE iNtErNet

That day, other Twitter users posted jokes about a test question about selling tomatoes (shown below).

GIF anthony @xForcades Follow When you have to choose between a long life and being tasty #PSAT 12:34 PM Oct 11, 2017 028ロ7,729 22.614 spooky skate @lxvelyy Follow if he comes thru w the modern tomatoes it'll be quiet but if he comes thru with the oLd tOmAtOes homeboy is gonna like get it#PSAT 11:04 AM - Oct 11, 2017 920ロ6,355 16,306

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[12] published an article highlighting various notable memes for the PSAT test.

pumpkn spice paige @awkwardhotdog i am a fish squid clam looking for my: plant tree O seagrass #PSAT #PSAT20 17 bvthepowerofscience walks up to a couple So who's the seagrass and who's the clam in this relationship? #psat #psat memes #psat 2017

2018 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[13] 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.

preview of me taking the psat tomorrow

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).

psat today #PSAT question: what is x when the dolphins give the server a tip of one miserable star and create a 280 foot long tapestry? me: THANK YOU taking the psat Rat Clenches Fist of Rage 26K views 1白 2K 13 Share Add to

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[14] published a Moments page regarding the memes.

2019 Test

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[15] 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[16] 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_[17] posted about their test being voided over Twitter posts which accumulated over 2,800 likes and 200 retweets in two days (shown below, right).

kaila @sheskindakaila Oct 15 Remember kids: block College Board before liking and retweeting #psat memes! Blocked The College Board @CollegeBoard 1,176 Following 167.3K Followers esther !? @estar_jin taking the psat to qualify for get sued by college board over twitter national merit scholars memes 7:14 PM Oct 15, 2019 Twitter for Android eli mcbeth @elimcbeth_ me when the college board makes a second account and voids my test #psatmemes #PSAT say sike right now 11:35 AM Oct 16, 2019 Twitter for iPhone

On October 16th, @CollegeBoard[18][19] 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).

The College Board @CollegeBoard Should you share #PSAT/NMSQT content online? Yes No Try Again Good Job 8:00 AM Oct 16, 2019 Sprinklr -2 _ The College Board @CollegeBoard The shell has spoken. #PSAT/NMSQT SHOULD ISHARE PSAT NMSQT CONTENT ONLINE? OH MAGIC CONCH SHELL THE SHELL NO HAS SPOKEN 12:15 PM Oct 16, 2019 Sprinklr

Despite warnings, students continued posting test content related memes. For example, Twitter user @SupernovaKV[20] posted a meme about "ambiverts" while @elimcbeth_[21] posted a meme about Ephedra(shown below). The tweets garnered over 30,700 likes and 25,800 likes respectively.

eli mcbeth @elimcbeth_ when the july full moon finally hits #PSAT #psatmemes Ephedra shimmer and sparkle IGHT IMMAG 11:16 AM Oct 16, 2019 Twitter for iPhone

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