PSAT season is upon us once again. In just a few weeks, most students around the world who are interested in attending university in the United States will attempt the PSAT. Some of these students prepared intensely for the test, while others have opted to take the test without studying. Experts and college guidance counselors differ on whether students should study for the PSAT. Here at TestRocker, we encourage our students to prepare for the test. Here are our reasons for making these suggestions:
1. Any prep for the PSAT gets you ready for the SAT as well
Trying to study effectively for the SAT while also trying to manage a full academic schedule, leading extra-curriculars, and spending time with friends and family is hard to do. The PSAT is offered in October, which is normally a month or two after school has begun. While school is never easy, this is the time of year when things might be slower than usual in the classroom. Since the PSAT is mandatory for most students whether you are a sophomore or junior it might make sense to prepare.
The PSAT mimics the SAT in format, content, and question style. For this reason, consider preparing for the PSAT as this will put you ahead in your SAT prep. Students who study for the PSAT are then able to focus on learning and reviewing the content they are not as familiar with when studying for the SAT.
2. Determines eligibility for scholarships
The CollegeBoard and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation cosponsor the PSAT. For this reason the PSAT scores of US high school juniors are used to determine their eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship and other scholarship programs. The price of US colleges and universities continues to increase exponentially. No matter where your family falls on the socio-economic scale any additional money you can secure to go towards your schooling will no doubt be a huge help.
3. Get a realistic sense of your strengths and weaknesses
Taking the PSAT after making a significant effort to prepare will give you a realistic sense of your strengths and weaknesses. As we’ve mentioned before the content and questions on the PSAT are similar to what you would encounter on the SAT. Once you have received your PSAT score report use it to guide how you study for the SAT. Do not use your PSAT score report as an excuse to freak out.
For each of the PSATs three sections: critical reading, math, and writing, you will receive a score out of 80 as well as a predicted SAT score. You also receive your percentile which will tell you how many students you scored higher than. Finally your score report will include a skills breakdown section, which breaks down your skills to a subject/topic level. Review this section carefully to guide your studying.
Have more questions about preparing for the PSAT? Planning to take the PLAN instead? Contact our test-prep experts to develop a plan that you can feel confident about.
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