What Should I Expect on the PSAT?

 

What should you be prepared for on the PSAT? 

  1. Guessing allowed.  Remember, no deductions are made for incorrect answers on the PSAT.  So – guess away! 
  2. Prepare to read for content. PSAT uses long reading passages, with questions based on content not vocabulary. Be ready to read and understand the passages. 
  3. The PSAT scoring is the same as the SAT- almost. The PSAT scale ranges from 160-760 for each section: 320-1520 total for 2 sections. The SAT score range is 200-800 per section. 
  4. Prepare for a long test!  The test is 2 hours 45 minutes.  
  5. Remember your formulas and history. Don’t be surprised to find questions about science or the founding fathers. PSAT test questions are evidence based. 
  6. Scores, scores and more scores.  The PSAT has multiple ways to look at what you were tested on and how you fared on the test.  Go over test scores with your school counselor. 

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How To Decipher Your PSAT Score Report

 

Taking PSAT is one step in preparing for the SAT.  It's also the test used to determine if you qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.  A test for sophomores (the PSAT 10) will be offered by some schools between the end of February and early March. PSAT/NMSQT scores are made available online. 

Follow these steps to make the most of the PSAT: 

  1. Set up your free online student account to access your PSAT/NMSQT test scores.
  2. Set up an account with Kahn Academy.  Kahn Academy provides study guides and personalized practice tools fo r the SAT.   
  3. Learn more about the National Merit Scholarship that is a part of the PSAT. (NMSQT = National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)
  4. Read the College Board article on understanding your scores - score calculations, score ranges, percentiles and college...
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MID YEAR CHECKLIST

 

January equals the mid-point of your school year. NOW is the time to review your MID YEAR CHECKLIST. This is an exciting but busy time for you.
 
1. Meet with your high school counselor 

  • Review PSAT scores with counselor and parents (if you took it in the fall) 
  • Ask for recommendations for summer programs 
  • Schedule next year's courses 
  • Schedule your standardized tests for spring 
  • Discuss any school-based standardized testing (AP, IB, other) 

2. Gear up for next year

  • Explore summer programs 
  • Prepare for spring standardized tests using PSAT test scores as a guide 
  • Ask teachers about their recommendation policies (for summer programs, scholarships, or college applications) 
  • Job shadow or intern to learn more about potential careers
  • Plan college visits

Take Action  

  • Take or review the...
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