SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Predicted National Merit Scholarship Cutoffs for 2017 and 2018 (Updated)

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 13, 2017 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.

Read More


What's a Good PSAT Score for 2017? Expert Analysis

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Sep 7, 2017 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you plan on taking the PSAT in October 2017, then you won’t have to wait too long for the results. You’ll get your scores back mid-December, just before winter break.

Your PSAT score report gives you a few different score types, including your total scores, section scores, and Selection Index. With all this data, how can you sort through the numbers to figure out what's a good PSAT score?

This guide goes over the full scoring system of the PSAT so you'll know exactly what makes a good score. We'll start with a quick glossary explaining the various types of PSAT scores you’ll find on your score report in December.

Read More


How to Prepare for the PSAT: 5-Step Guide to PSAT Prep

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Sep 1, 2017 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Many juniors and even sophomores take the PSAT every fall to prepare for the SAT. But the PSAT isn’t a college admission test, so do you actually need to prep for it? The reality is, PSAT prep can strongly benefit you, especially if you're hoping to nab a National Merit scholarship or get a high score on the SAT. 

In this article, we explain why PSAT prep is important and go over how to prepare for the PSAT using five simple steps. In addition, we discuss what kinds of resources are ultimately unnecessary for quality PSAT preparation as well as how PSAT prep differs from SAT prep.

Read More


National Merit Finalist - How to Win the Scholarship

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 20, 2017 8:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Many students take the PSAT in the fall of their junior year. What a lot of students may not notice is the full name of the test is PSAT/NMSQT, or Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Thus, the PSAT is not just good practice for your SATs. It’s also the first step in becoming a National Merit Finalist and hopefully, earning a $2,500 scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

In this article, we’ll discuss what steps you need to take to become a National Merit Finalist and compete for a scholarship. We'll also give you advice on how to write a strong application and maximize your chances of becoming a National Merit Scholar.

Read More


How to Get Your PSAT Score Report

Posted by Halle Edwards | Jul 10, 2017 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

How do you get your PSAT score report? Can you view it online? The PSAT score report works a bit differently than your typical SAT or ACT report.

We will walk through how to get your report and what to do once you have it.

Read More


PSAT Scoring: How Does It Work?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Jun 19, 2017 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you're preparing to take the PSAT, it's important you understand everything there is to know about PSAT scoring. How is the PSAT scored? And how will this information help you get the score you want on test day? On the SAT?

In this article, we go over the PSAT scoring scale and show you how to calculate your PSAT scores using official scoring tables. We also cover Selection Index scores and offer our top four tips on how to utilize PSAT scoring to inform both PSAT and SAT prep!

Read More


How to Register for the PSAT: 3 Simple Steps

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Jun 12, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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 off with a brief overview of how registration works and then go over the three key steps you'll need to take in order to register for the PSAT. We'll then explain how to register for the test if you’re homeschooled or living outside the U.S. before finishing off with our top tips for ensuring a smooth PSAT registration process.

Read More


What Is PSAT 8/9? Should You Take It?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 28, 2017 8:30:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The College Board now offers the PSAT 8/9 to eighth graders and high school freshmen as the first hurdle in the group of tests they call the “SAT Suite of Assessments”. This test is a precursor to the PSAT 10, the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT.

But when is it offered? And should you even bother taking it? In this article I’ll give you all the details!

Read More


How to Calculate PSAT Score: 3-Step Score Calculator

Posted by Hannah Muniz | May 15, 2017 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you’re struggling to calculate your PSAT score, then it sounds like you’re in need of a handy PSAT score calculator! In this guide, we offer you step-by-step instructions on how to calculate PSAT scores. To begin, we'll look at how the PSAT is scored and what “equating” means. We'll then go over how to calculate various PSAT scores before finishing with an explanation on how a PSAT score calculator can help you get the PSAT score you want.

Read More


What Is the PSAT Test? Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Hannah Muniz | May 8, 2017 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? First, we'll explain the meaning of PSAT and why students typically elect to take the PSAT and then go over the logistics of the test and how scoring works. After, we'll culminate our analysis with a brief discussion about how important PSAT scores actually are for students.

Read More


4 Expert PSAT Calculator Tips + Approved Calculators

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Apr 24, 2017 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

PSAT math can be intimidating so it would be nice to have to have some computerized help. But can you use a calculator on the PSAT? Yes you can, though only the second of the two Math sections on the PSAT. But what kind of calculator can you use, and when does it make sense to use a calculator on the PSAT?

Read on for the complete list of approved calculators for PSAT test day and our top tips for using your calculator effectively.

Read More


The New PSAT, Redesigned in 2015: Complete Guide

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 3, 2017 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.

Read More


What's a Good PSAT Score for a Junior?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Mar 31, 2017 11:00:00 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. 

Read More


How to Become a National Merit Semifinalist

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Mar 21, 2017 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.

Read More


PSAT Test Dates 2017

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 2, 2016 6:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Attention, 2017 juniors! Do you know when you’ll be taking the PSAT? Do you know the best way to prepare for the test?

This guide is for anyone planning to take the PSAT in the fall of 2017. We have the predicted PSAT test dates, along with some key study tips. To start, let’s discuss what you need to know about how your school will administer the PSAT.

Read More


You should definitely follow us on social media. You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:

Twitter and Google+

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!