SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

What Is the PSAT Test? Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Mar 3, 2019 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Most students know what the SAT is, but what is the PSAT? Sure, it's got "SAT" in its name, but is the PSAT actually connected to the SAT? More importantly, how does the PSAT test work and what is its purpose?

In this article, we’ll answer your most pressing question: what is the PSAT test? We'll start by explaining the meaning of PSAT and why students typically elect to take it. We'll then go over the logistics of the test and how PSAT scoring works. Finally, we'll finish with a brief discussion about how important PSAT scores actually are for students.

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How to Register for the PSAT: 3 Simple Steps

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Mar 3, 2019 11:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Every autumn, sophomores and juniors have the opportunity to take the PSAT. But how exactly does the PSAT registration process work? Does everyone have the same PSAT sign up date? What does it cost to take the PSAT?

Here, we'll teach you everything you need to know about PSAT registration. We'll start with a brief overview of how registration works and then go over the three key steps you need to take in order to register for the PSAT. We'll also touch on how to register if you’re homeschooled or living outside the US before finishing with our top tips for ensuring a smooth PSAT registration process.

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When Do PSAT Scores Come Out? The PSAT Results Release Schedule

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 1, 2019 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The wait for PSAT results can be nerve-wracking. It's likely your first time taking an SAT-like test, and the PSAT can give you a sense of what range your final SAT score is likely to be. Plus, if you score high enough, there's a lot of potential scholarship money available. 

So when is the wait over? When are PSAT scores released? In this guide, we explain when you'll get your PSAT results, walk you through the complete PSAT timeline, and offer some suggestions on what to do once you have your scores.

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PSAT Practice Tests: Free Questions and Full-Length Tests

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 27, 2019 8:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Why buy a bunch of PSAT practice tests when you can find them online for free? To make your search as easy as possible, I've compiled all the best PSAT practice tests and sample questions available online.

Read on for 10 downloadable official PSAT practice test PDFs, along with eight bonus SAT practice tests. Since the College Board has only released two official practice tests for the current version of the PSAT, I'll also explain how you can modify older practice tests to effectively prepare for the test.

Let's get right to it with the first official PSAT practice test PDF for you to download. 

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Sophomore?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 23, 2018 4:30:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, PSAT Info and Strategies

 

You wouldn't go for your driver's license test before ever getting behind the wheel, right? In reality, you'd practice your three-point turns and parallel parking first so you're ready and know what to expect when the real test comes.

Just as you suspected, this scenario's an analogy for the PSAT. Rather than sitting for it junior year without a practice run, you can improve your performance if you've already taken it in 10th grade. Taking the PSAT as a sophomore is a great, low-pressure way to familiarize yourself with the test, gauge your level, and figure out where you need to improve.

With this in mind, we'll look at what PSAT scores are good for sophomores and how to improve them even more for junior year. But first, let's consider how the PSAT is scored.

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New 2018 PSAT Percentiles and Selection Index

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 23, 2018 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Your PSAT score report will show you a myriad of scores, including your total score, section scores, subscores, percentiles, and Selection Index (SI). This guide will focus on the last two pieces of data: your PSAT score percentiles and Selection Index.

Because it’s important to understand how the other scores in your report relate to your PSAT percentiles and Selection Index, we’ll start with a quick review of terms. If you’re one of many students or parents looking for directions out of the complex maze that is the PSAT score report, read on to have the path illuminated!

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Junior?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 23, 2018 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The PSAT is an important test on the road to college. Your scores predict how you'll do on the SAT. Plus, top scorers can earn distinctions and scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

So how do you know whether your PSAT scores are good? While what counts as a good score varies depending on your personal goals, we can give a more objective answer to this question by considering PSAT score percentiles. But first, let's review how the PSAT is scored. 

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PSAT Score Range: Where Do You Rank?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Dec 23, 2018 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Although the PSAT and SAT share many similarities, their score ranges are actually pretty different. Unlike the SAT score range, which has a maximum score of 1600, the PSAT score range only goes up to 1520. But why? What are the score ranges for each PSAT section? Also, can you use the PSAT scoring scale to predict your SAT score?

In this article, we’ll go over the current PSAT scores range and PSAT score distribution. We'll then compare PSAT score ranges with SAT score ranges before concluding with a list of estimated PSAT score cutoffs for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Freshman?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 23, 2018 10:26:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you're gearing up for a high PSAT score in junior year, then you may choose to take the PSAT as a freshman for practice. Taking the PSAT in 9th grade will help you identify your current scoring level and figure out how you can improve for the future.

As a freshman, you can choose between two tests: the PSAT/NMSQT that 11th graders take or the PSAT 8/9, a version of the test specifically geared toward 8th and 9th graders.

These two tests have comparable, but slightly different, score ranges. This article will go over the scoring and percentiles of both so you know what would make a good PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 8/9 score as a freshman.

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When Is the PSAT? 2019 PSAT Test Dates

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Dec 9, 2018 1:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you’re coming up on your sophomore or junior year, you’re probably wondering when you’ll be taking the PSAT and how you should prepare. In this article, I’ll tell you when the PSAT is offered this year, how to get ready, and how this relates to your future plans for the SAT.

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The New PSAT, Redesigned in 2015: Complete Guide

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 3, 2018 10:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies, New SAT

If you're a high school student planning on taking the PSAT, you'll be taking the new and redesigned PSAT. This new version of the test started in October 2015 was administered to all students across the country.

We’ll let you know all about the PSAT format, scoring, and content and what you need to know to be prepared. Not only is the 2015 PSAT an important step in prepping for the SATs, but it also qualifies you for National Merit distinctions and scholarships.

Let’s dive into the changes in format, scoring, and content being made to the redesigned PSAT and what these changes mean for your test prep.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for 2018?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Sep 24, 2018 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The 2018 PSAT is coming up in mid-to-late October, and scores should come out by mid-December.

When you get your score report, you'll see a bunch of different kinds of scores, including your total score (out of 1520), your section scores (out of 760), and your Selection Index (out of 228).

Sorting through all of this data to figure out what's a good PSAT score can be tricky, so we've written this guide to understanding your PSAT score report. We'll begin with a quick run-through of the different types of PSAT scores, then get into how you can figure out how your score compares to that of other students.

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Predicted National Merit Scholarship Cutoffs for 2018 and 2019 (Updated)

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 13, 2018 8:30:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

What score do you need on the PSAT to qualify for National Merit distinction? The answer to this question depends on where you live. To achieve National Merit recognition, you need to match or exceed the cutoff score in your home state.

We’ve compiled the National Merit Semifinalist state cutoffs based on the most recent data from the fall of 2017. Before checking out the qualifying scores, let’s discuss how the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) determines who is named Commended Student or Semifinalist.

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How to Become a National Merit Semifinalist

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 12, 2018 10:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies, College Admissions

Every October, about 1.6 million juniors across the country take the PSAT. Those who score in the top 1% achieve the distinction of National Merit Semifinalist. Most of these students move on to become National Merit Finalists, with some winning scholarship money for college.

Being named a National Merit Semifinalist is a huge achievement along the path to college. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to become a National Merit Semifinalist.

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Should You Prep for the PSAT? 3 Reasons Why

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Sep 10, 2018 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Even if prepping for the SAT or ACT isn't the most enjoyable of activities, it's easy to see why it's important to do well on these tests. Depending on your point of view, SAT and ACT scores are either tools that colleges use to help figure out if you're a good match for them and if you'll succeed at their schools...or are admissions gatekeepers that you have to conquer if you want to attend most American colleges*.

By contrast, PSAT scores are never seen by colleges. Even if you get a perfect score on the PSAT, it's really only useful for helping you qualify for a National Merit Scholarship—something that only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible for.

So why prep for the PSAT, and what do you need to know about PSAT prep if you're interested in trying it out? Keep reading to find out more about the pros and cons of focused PSAT prep (rather than joint PSAT/SAT prep) and what our PSAT prep recommendations are.

 

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