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5 Things to Know About Your PSAT SCORE

Over 3.5 million high school sophomores and juniors take the PSAT (preliminary SAT) each year. In addition to qualifying junior year students for National Merit Scholarships, the test is indicator for SAT and ACT preparedness.

The test is administered each year in mid-October and score reports are typically distributed in early December. The PSAT is meant to be comparable to the SAT and both are created and administered by the same company (the College Board).

1. How does my score predict how I’ll perform on the SAT?

Questions on the PSAT are purposely written to be similar to the ones on the SAT. This makes them an accurate predictor of future SAT performance.

2. How does my performance compare to others?

Along with scores, you’ll be provided with performance percentiles. These indicate how you scored compared to others in your grade level who took the exam at the same time as you.

3. Will colleges see my PSAT?

The PSAT is a preliminary test, which means that colleges won’t see your score. You can use your PSAT scores to improve your future SAT scores.

4. What if my score isn’t what I wanted it to be?

The PSAT is broken into 3 sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW), and Math. EBRW includes the Reading Test and the Writing and Language Test, whereas Math is made up of two subsections: one allows the use of a calculator, and the other one does not. You can figure out where your weaknesses are by analyzing your answer key in each section (be sure to order it when you sign up). Focus on your areas of weakness while preparing for the SAT.

5. Why is the PSAT so important?

The main thing, as we’ve already emphasized, is that the PSAT is essentially a practice SAT. Any sort of experience you can get before taking the real-deal SAT, is good experience. Taking the PSAT will give you a sense of what test-day might look like. The PSAT is available to 10th and 11th graders. While colleges do not see your results, this is the qualifying exam for National Merit Scholarship for 11th grade test takers. The highest 11th grade scorers in every state may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, a prestigious award which includes scholarship opportunities to finalists.

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