Short for “preliminary SAT,” this test is an abridged version of the SAT. Each October, high school sophomores and juniors from across the country sign up for the PSAT. Despite not being a requirement for high school graduation or college acceptance, many high school students spend hour after hour preparing for it. The standardized testing landscape is already fraught with anxiety, so why would students subject themselves to another test?
While many will notice some disconnect between the PSAT and the SAT, signing up for the PSAT can put students at a huge advantage for academic success. So before you decide to skip this October’s test, check out these three reasons why you cannot afford to miss the PSAT.
Many students foolishly believe there isn’t a connection between the PSAT and the SAT. Due to this misconception, students and parents begin to panic because they think PSAT and SAT are polar opposites. Essentially, if you prepare for the SAT, you will be overly prepared for the PSAT.
Believe it or not, the PSAT is a similar, but easier, exam than the SAT. The PSAT contains five sections (lasting 2 hours and 10 minutes total), whereas the SAT is much longer with ten sections (lasting 3 hours and 45 minutes total). Furthermore, the PSAT doesn’t have an essay or cover algebra II in the math sections, which can lift some anxiety off students who feel they’re writing and math skills need improvement.
If students feel worried about preparing for both the PSAT and SAT, they can rest easy knowing that studying for the PSAT can allow them to kill two birds with one stone. Don’t believe us? Then pull out your calendar. Students can take the SAT on the first Saturday of November. Depending on the school district, students can also take the PSAT during the 3rd week of October. If you prepare for the SAT between now and early October, you will be ready for both tests! By taking the SAT and PSAT within a two-week span in October, students can supercharge their scores by preparing for both tests!
Paying for college isn’t an ordinary feat, especially with tuition rising to astronomical levels. But did you know that the PSAT is also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test? That’s right! Not only can qualifying students receive generous scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for a strong performance on the PSAT, but many universities offer scholarships. If you’re worried about paying for college, then scoring well on the PSAT can lessen your financial burden. But the first step to earning a scholarship is to sign up for the PSAT, so don’t miss your chance!
Like other standardized tests, the PSAT can be intimidating. But students can increase their chances of earning the top scores through best-in-class PSAT test prep. Since qualified PSAT tutors already know the ins and outs of the exam, they can pass on invaluable knowledge to help students succeed such as test-taking strategies, time and stress management skills, and review content areas where students need improvement.