SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

What's a Good PSAT Score for a Freshman?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 5, 2020 10:26:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you're gearing up for a high PSAT score your junior year, then you might 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 can know what would make a good PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 8/9 score as a freshman.

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

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Apr 5, 2020 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." The PSAT 8/9 is a precursor to the PSAT 10, the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT.

But when is the PSAT 8/9 offered? And should you even bother taking it? In this article I'll give you all the details!

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Should You Take the PSAT 10 or PSAT NMSQT?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Apr 5, 2020 8:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The two tests are very similar, but not identical. So which one should you take?

Back in my day (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), there was just one version of the PSAT, a.k.a. the Practice SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. But now, the College Board has multiple versions of the PSAT, including the PSAT NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) and the PSAT 10.

So what are the differences between the two tests? And which one should you take? Read on for an exclusive guide.

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Can You Get PSAT Scores Early? How?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Apr 4, 2020 1:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Oftentimes the most stressful part about the PSAT isn’t actually taking it but rather waiting for your scores to come out. How nice it would be if you didn’t have to wait six to eight weeks for your PSAT scores! But is it possible to get early PSAT scores, well before the official release date?

We'll answer this question here and tell you when PSAT scores typically come out. We will also give you some tips for what you can do in the meantime as you wait for your scores.

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How to Register for the PSAT: 3 Simple Steps

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Feb 28, 2020 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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PSAT Practice Tests: Free Questions and Full-Length Tests

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 2, 2020 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 10 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 22, 2019 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 2019 PSAT Percentiles and Selection Index

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 22, 2019 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 2019?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Sep 13, 2019 2:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Taking the 2019 PSAT? Then you’ll want to have a decent grasp of what a good PSAT score for 2019 is. There are three main ways you can define good 2019 PSAT scores: (1) using percentiles, (2) using National Merit score cutoffs, and (3) based on the SAT scores you’ll need for colleges.

In this guide, we start by going over how PSAT scoring works and the most important information you'll see on your PSAT score report, from scores and subscores to percentiles. Then, we dive into our three definitions of what good 2019 PSAT scores are.

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How to Win a National Merit Scholarship

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 8, 2019 6:52:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies, College Admissions

Being named a Scholar is the highest academic recognition you can achieve from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It is a national distinction that puts you at the pinnacle of academic achievement.

To become a Scholar, you need to first become a Finalist. But not all Finalists win scholarships: only about 8,000 of 15,000 students win this award. In this article, we’ll talk about what scholarships are available through the NMSC and what you need to do to get one.

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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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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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About the PSAT/NMSQT: Expert Guide

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jun 7, 2018 2:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you think the PSAT is just a practice test, then you're missing a key part of the story. The Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, more commonly known as the PSAT/NMSQT or just the PSAT, is also essential in the competition for National Merit distinction and scholarships. Plus, it can help you figure out exactly how to study for the SAT.

This guide's dedicated to the PSAT/NMSQT, from its overall structure to how it’s scored to what kind of questions show up in each section. Before putting the test under the microscope, let’s go over the purpose of this test. What is the PSAT NMSQT for, anyway?

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Should I Take the PSAT as a Freshman?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jun 1, 2018 10:30:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

It's never too early to start planning!

When should you start preparing to apply to college? When you sign up for the SAT? The day you choose your freshman year classes? From the time you learn to read your first picture book?

This might be a matter of debate between you and your parents, but we can all agree that planning starts long before you actually start filling out applications. So to put yourself on the track for college success, should you start freshman year off by taking the PSAT?

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What Is the PSAT/NMSQT? Why Should You Care?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 22, 2018 8:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Have you heard about the PSAT or the National Merit program and are wondering what they are? Are you looking for ways to prepare for the SAT?

Read this guide to learn what the PSAT/NMSQT is, what it tests, and how it can get you ready for the SAT and earn you money for college.

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