Most students take the PSAT with little to no preparation. And they quickly forget about the test as soon as they walk out of the test room. That is, until their score arrives. Most students are taken by surprise by their results and it is the start of many conversations with their counselors and parents.
Yes, PSAT results can be discouraging if you didn't get the score you thought you would. I too, was very disheartened when I received my PSAT score. I was disappointed when I realized that my dream school, The University of Notre Dame, would be out of reach.
After multiple spurts of hyperventilating and disbelief, my PSAT score became a lot more than just a number - it became the (not-so-) gentle push I needed to realize that the college process was around the corner, and that this was my chance to change the trajectory in which my journey to college acceptance was heading. So, I began preparing for the SAT with private tutoring, group sessions, far too many flash cards and a lot of practice tests. And eventually, I got a great SAT score, which made my application to Notre Dame even stronger.
Moral of the story:
DON'T be overly discouraged by your PSAT score. It really isn't the end of the world and your chance of getting in to your dream school isn't slipping out of your hands as you read this.
DO use your score as a positive reminder and encouragement to kick-start the college process and begin working on rocking your SAT score.
Post PSAT score emergency checklist:
1. Start thinking of/researching the schools you want to apply to. Spend time on their undergraduate admissions websites to see what types of students (and range of test scores) they have typically accepted in the past.
2. Analyze your PSAT score report to see where you need to improve (keep in mind that unlike the SAT, the PSAT does not have an essay section - so you should plan to focus on the essay as well)
3. Start preparing for the SAT early - this is something you can complete and be done with before all the other college application stresses start stirring.
4. Be okay with the fact that you might take the SAT more than once. Many schools allow you to submit the best combined score of all your SAT attempts.
5. Don't panic! Stay focused. With practice, I was able to increase my SAT score by 330 points. If I can do it, so can you!
We’ll be rooting for you!
Your PSAT score report is filled with good data on your strengths and weaknesses. Study your report in great detail to tailor your study schedule to focus on your weaknesses. TestRocker’s online SAT test prep course allows you to do so easily. Simply fill out TestRocker’s checklist using your PSAT results and we’ll create a customized study plan for you. Haven’t take the PSAT as yet? No problem, take our diagnostic test to access your customized study plan.