How To Study For The Psat?


How To Study For The Psat
Discover your strengths and weaknesses. – The easiest way to do this is through Official SAT Practice at Khan Academy. If you took one of the PSAT-related assessments, you can link your College Board and Khan Academy accounts. Khan Academy will analyze your strengths and weaknesses based on your score report.
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How long should I study for PSAT?

When and How Long to Study for the PSAT –

Since the PSATs pull from the schooling curriculum, one should prepare for the PSAT during the school year. Students can focus on studying the topics they are currently learning instead of devoting a different set of notes to the PSAT. The College Board recommends that students study between 15 and 30 minutes per day a few times a week for a couple of months. Since Eighth-Graders, Freshmen, and Sophomores take the test in October, studying should begin at the start of the school year. Juniors taking the exam should start studying after the winter break.Research also done by the College Board suggests that between six to eight hours of official PSAT practice can gain a student up to 90 more points, and 20 hours of studying can result in a 115 points increase.

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Is it hard to pass the PSAT?

How Difficult is the PSAT? The PSAT focuses on math, reading, writing and language concepts that high school sophomores and juniors typically have already studied in their academic courses, so the test should not be difficult for well-prepared high school students.
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Is a 800 PSAT score good?

A good PSAT score is a composite score of 1070 or higher, which puts you in the top 25% of all PSAT test takers.
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Is there a study guide for the PSAT?

Barron’s PSAT/NMSQT Study Guide Premium 2023 includes everything you need to be prepared for exam day with comprehensive review and practice from experienced educators.
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Is the PSAT harder than the SAT?

2. The SAT Is More Difficult Than the PSAT – The PSAT is slightly less challenging than the SAT because it is designed to be a practice test. As a precursor exam, the PSAT will introduce students to the subject matter and test structure of the SAT. The PSAT is a shorter test as well, with fewer questions. The SAT is 15 minutes longer.

Comparing the PSAT vs. SAT Structure

Section PSAT SAT
Reading 60 minutes, 47 questions 65 minutes, 52 questions
Writing and Language 35 minutes, 44 questions 35 minutes, 44 questions
Math — No Calculator 25 minutes, 17 questions 25 minutes, 20 questions
Math — Calculator 45 minutes, 31 questions 55 minutes, 38 questions
Total 2 hours 45 minutes, 139 questions 3 hours, 154 questions

Source: College Board, PSAT and SAT The SAT will have more advanced content, anticipating that students will have learned more by the time they take the test. Students take the PSAT earlier in their high school career and are likely to advance academically in the years following.
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What level math is on PSAT?

The PSAT math sections cover up to high school geometry. No PSAT math section will include any math questions from Algebra II; however, Algebra II is covered in the SAT.
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Is 1240 a good PSAT score for a freshman?

5. Is 1200 a good PSAT score as a freshman? – Anything above the 75th percentile is ranked as good.1200 is a good PSAT score as a freshman. A composite score above 1170 is considered excellent.
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Can you do good on the PSAT without studying?

The PSAT is Just That – Practice – The takeaway here is that PSAT is a practice SAT test. The PSAT 10 offers a baseline SAT score and a jumping-off point for future studying & thus you want to do your best but it doesn’t require too much studying. The PSAT/NMSQT®, however, could qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship program and serve as a great indicator of how well prepared you are for a possible winter SAT and/or ACT.

You may need to take it seriously depending on your goals. The PSAT 10 doesn’t require studying. The PSAT/NMSQT®, however, could qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship program and serve as a great indicator of how well prepared you are for a possible winter SAT and/or ACT. You may need to take it seriously depending on your goals.

Wherever you are in the journey, the PSAT is not something to fret about but rather a tool to offer some insight into how you’ll do on the SAT. Studying for the SAT? Get all the practice questions and study materials you’ll need to own the test in our online SAT study course.
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What grade is best for PSAT?

Timing the test – Students should be sure to take the PSAT/NMSQT in 11th grade if they are interested in qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship or any other scholarships offered through the test. While students can take the PSAT 10 or PSAT/NMSQT at any time in high school, Plunkett recommends against taking either test before 10th grade to avoid burnout.

“From our opinion, is too soon,” she says. “We don’t want kids taking these tests five or six times. That creates diminishing returns.” There are many different PSAT pathways students can choose from depending on how much they would like to prepare. Here are three SAT action plans students could take. Option 1: Start by taking the PSAT in 8th, 9th, or 10th grade Early starters can begin by taking the PSAT 8/9 in the fall or spring of eighth grade, progress to the PSAT 10 in 10th grade, and study throughout the year using Khan Academy.

To monitor progress, they could even take the test again in the spring of 10th grade prior to taking the PSAT/NMSQT the fall of junior year. They can then take the SAT in the spring of junior year and take the test again the next fall if they want to try to boost their scores.

  • Pros : Students will know exactly what to expect when they take the SAT.
  • Following a highly-focused study plan dedicated to improving on weaknesses is proven to increase SAT scores,
  • Cons : This could lead to testing burnout and unnecessary stress.
  • Focusing on the SAT can lead students to neglect the ACT, which might be more aligned with their skills.

Option 2: Take the PSAT in 11th grade Many students are first exposed to the SAT through the PSAT/NMSQT in 11th grade. Students who take the PSAT in 11th grade will still have lots of time to study strategically for the SAT based on their strengths and weaknesses.

If students decide the SAT is the right test to take, they can link their PSAT scores to a Khan Academy account to create a personalized study plan, take Khan Academy practice tests to monitor their progress, and take the SAT in the spring of junior year with the option of taking it again the next fall.

Pros : This plan makes sure students will have time to study for the SAT, but limits test prep to a shorter timeframe so they’re less likely to burn out. Cons : Some students might want to start preparing earlier, especially if they want to boost their PSAT scores in 10th grade to increase their odds of qualifying for National Merit and other scholarships as a junior.

  • Option 3: Skip the PSAT Students who want to limit the tests they take can skip the PSAT altogether and take the SAT in the spring of junior year.
  • They can take it again in the fall of senior year if they want to try to improve their scores,
  • These students can still study for the SAT with a personalized plan through Khan Academy or other test prep programs — they’ll just need to take an online practice test to determine strengths and areas of improvement.

Pros : It limits the number of tests students take. It’s a less stressful approach and limits burnout. Cons : Students miss out on potential scholarships by not taking the PSAT/NMSQT as a junior. Students won’t get to experience a formal SAT testing environment before taking the test.
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What is a good PSAT score?

The average PSAT/NMSQT score is about 920. A score between 1210 and 1520 puts you in the top 10% of test takers. The PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT are very similar tests, so your score on the PSAT/NMSQT can give you an idea of how you’ll do when you take the SAT.
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Is 1000 a bad PSAT score?

What Do These Score Mean – Each section of the PSAT has a score range from 160 to 760 and a combined score from 320 to 1520, For comparison, the redesigned SAT has a section score range from 200 to 800 and a combined score from 400 to 1600, While people may commonly refer to the combined score, converting this combined score to a relative percentile is a much more useful number to use.

  1. The relative percentile allows students to understand how their scores compare to other student scores.
  2. A combined score of 1000 is approximately the national average, which represents the 50th percentile (students who score 1000 score right in the middle, with 50 % of the people scoring higher and 50 % of the students scoring lower).

A combined score of 900 is the 31st percentile, (students scored higher than 31% of the people but unfortunately, 69 % of the students scored higher). On the other end of the spectrum, a score of 1220 is the 85th percentile (students scored higher than 85% of the people and only 15% of the students scored higher).
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Is 92 on PSAT good?

What’s a Good PSAT Score for a Junior? – We can define a “good” PSAT score as one that’s higher than the 75th percentile. This means you scored equal to or higher than 75% of all other test takers. For juniors, 75th percentile scores are around 560 to 590 in each section, or about 1150 in total.

  • An “OK” PSAT score is one higher than the 50th percentile, which means you scored the same as or higher than half of all other test takers.
  • An excellent score is a score in the 90th percentile or higher (although a 90th percentile score still isn’t high enough to qualify for National Merit, as we discuss more below).

The following chart shows the minimum section and composite scores you’d need to reach the 50th, 75th, 90th, and 99th percentiles on the PSAT.

PSAT Percentile (11th Grade) EBRW Score Math Score Composite Score
99th (Top) 730-760 750-760 1460-1520
90th (Excellent) 650-660 640 1280
75th (Good) 590 560-570 1150
50th (OK) 510-520 490 1000-1010

Source: PSAT/NMSQT Score Information According to this chart, a good PSAT score for a junior is a composite score higher than 1150, an OK score is one higher than 1000 or 1010, and an excellent score is anything higher than 1280.
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Which PSAT is the hardest?

Differences Between the Tests – There are two differences between PSAT 10 and PSAT NMSQT: The first is difficulty. The PSAT 10 is designed for sophomores, and PSAT NMSQT is designed for juniors, so the PSAT NMSQT is slightly harder. Unfortunately, while College Board has released some specifications as to what the new SAT and PSAT questions will be like, they haven’t gone into detail about how the difficulty level varies between tests.

In general, you can expect the PSAT NMSQT to have harder math including geometry and trigonometry, reading passages designed for 11 th graders as opposed to 10 th graders, and trickier grammar rules. For a more detailed breakdown of what you can expect on the PSAT 10, see our post, The second difference between the tests is the National Merit Competition.

Only taking the PSAT NMSQT during your junior year can qualify you for the National Merit competition. Taking the PSAT 10 will never qualify you for National Merit, even if you take it as a junior. And taking the PSAT NMSQT in any year other than your junior year will also not qualify you, even if you get a high enough score.
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What PSAT score is required for Harvard?

What’s a good PSAT score for students aiming at the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, and other top-tier universities? – The majority of students (over 75% of students) at the most elite colleges have SAT scores above 1450. If you’re aiming at an Ivy-League or highly-competitive school, we know that you’ll need SAT scores that are at least 1450 in order to have a shot, and at least 1550 to be a strong applicant. How To Study For The Psat Princeton University
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How bad is a 1050 PSAT score?

Getting a “good” PSAT score: the importance of PSAT percentiles – As with many standardized tests, the score matters only as much as it indicates your child’s percentile—in other words, scoring is relative to the larger population of high schoolers in the country.

  • A good score means performing better than many or most high schoolers who took the test that day.
  • If your child scored in the 50th percentile, it means they scored higher than 50 percent of students who took the test over the past three years.
  • The higher the percentile, the better your student has done relative to their peers.

A score in the 50th percentile is about “average”; the 75th percentile is “solid”; the 90th percentile is “great”; and a score in the 99th percentile is “outstanding.” Using 2021 statistics from the CollegeBoard, we’ve listed total score ranges/cutoffs for the top percentiles.

99th percentile and above (“outstanding”): 1370–1520 90th percentile (“great”): 1170 75th percentile (“solid”): 1050 50th percentile (“average”): 920

For 11th grade students:

99th percentile and above (“outstanding”): 1450–1520 90th percentile (“great”): 1200 75th percentile (“solid”): 1080 50th percentile (“average”): 960

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Is a 1200 on the PSAT OK?

Excellent PSAT Scores: 1170-1350 – 10th-grade students who scored between 1170 and 1350 on the PSAT test fall within the top 10% of all test takers.

Total Score: 1170-1350 Math Section Score: 590-690 Verbal Section Score: 600-680

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How do I practice PSAT scores?

Step 3: Calculate Your Reading and Writing Scores – You’ll now want to calculate your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score. Start by taking your raw scores for Reading and Writing and converting them into test scores (out of 38) using your practice test’s PSAT scoring chart.

Next, add together these two test scores — you should get a number out of 76. Finally, multiply this sum by 10 to get your EBRW section score out of 760. Example: Gina earned a raw Reading score of 20, which translates to a test score of 23, and a raw Writing score of 19, which translates to a test score of 21.

She adds together these raw scores and gets a 44. She then multiplies this sum by 10, which gives her a final EBRW section score of 440.
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Does Khan Academy help with PSAT?

Overview. Link your College Board and Khan Academy accounts to get automatic personalized recommendations based on your PSAT performance, or take diagnostics if you didn’t take the PSAT. We’ll recommend practice to you based on your results.
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Is PSAT 10 easy?

What Does the PSAT 10 Test? – The content and format of the PSAT 10 is identical to that of the PSAT/NMSQT and very similar to that of the SAT. The only major difference is that the PSAT 10 is shorter than the SAT is, and its questions do not get as difficult since they’re designed for students at the sophomore level.
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Is the math easier on the PSAT?

Differences Between the PSAT and SAT – Direct comparisons between scores on the PSAT and SAT can be misleading because the PSAT and SAT are calculated on different scales. The material covered on the PSAT is slightly easier than that on the SAT, and the PSAT is shorter than the SAT.

  1. The PSAT is scored on a total scale of 320-1520, with math and verbal scores of 160-760 each.
  2. The SAT is scored on a total scale of 400-1600, with math and verbal scores of 200-800 each.
  3. Because the test is meant to cover an additional school year of material, the SAT is a bit harder than the PSAT, particularly in the math section.

The math section on the SAT includes more material that students would encounter in trigonometry or precalculus. Additionally, the SAT is 15 minutes longer than the PSAT (or 65 minutes longer if students take the optional essay), which can lead to students being more fatigued towards the end of the test and therefore performing slightly worse.
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How many times can you take the PSAT?

What is the PSAT/NMQST? The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) or National Merit Qualifying Scholarship Test (NMSQT) is a test that helps you practice for the SAT. The test also enables you to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs.

  1. It is 2 hours and 45 minutes and includes the following sections: Critical Reading, Writing and Language, and Math.
  2. The PSAT and the SAT cover the same topics and even feature the same problem types.
  3. The only difference is that the PSAT has fewer questions.
  4. When is the PSAT given? The PSAT is given once a year in October.

Students can choose a Saturday date or alternate date. How do I register? You must register for your PSAT through your high school. PSATs are administered at high schools, not at test centers. Make sure you know ahead of time the date, time and location of the test.

Online registration for the PSAT/NMSQT is not available. How much does it cost? To take the PSAT there is a $18 charge; however, sometimes schools charge an additional fee to cover administrative costs, the costs may vary by school. How long does it take to get my scores back? Score reports available online 4-6 weeks after the test administration.

Can I cancel my PSAT Scores? If you leave the PSAT before the exam is over, your score is canceled. However, students should finish the exam because PSAT scores are not sent to colleges. What if I miss the PSAT Exam? If you are a junior and are concerned about taking the PSAT to prepare for the SAT, then you have other options to prepare for the SAT.

You can visit your counselor for information on other preparation options. If you are concerned about receiving information about colleges, you can complete the Student Descriptive Questionnaire when you register for the SAT. If you are concerned about National Merit Scholarship, then you can still enter programs conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation if you meet other requirements to enter their competitions.

For more information on the National Merit Corporation and their programs, please visit, How many times can I take the PSAT? You can take the PSAT only once a year. The test is given in October every year. Students usually take the PSAT in both 10th and 11th grades.

Only your junior year scores will count towards the National Merit Scholarship Program. What is a good score? A good score for the PSAT Exam is the one that enables you to become a National Merit Scholar. The cutoff score varies from year to year and from state to state. To become a National Merit Semifinalist (NMSF), you must score in the top 0.5% in your state on the PSAT.

In California, the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 cutoffs were 221, 222, 223, and 222 respectively. As a general rule, if you score a 221 or better on the PSAT, you should be a strong contender for becoming a National Merit Semifinalist. What is a Commended Scholar? A Commended Scholar means the student did not qualify to become a National Merit Scholar but was top %5 depending on the state.

What score is needed to become a Commended Scholar? The cutoff score for Commended Scholar varies from year to year and state to state. To become a Commended Scholar in the state of California, the student should generally score 215 or higher. Do you receive a scholarship for becoming a Commended Scholar? No, the Commended Scholar award is given for the prestige involved.

It is an achievement to become a Commended Scholar and universities recognize this. Each university may offer a scholarship if the student is a Commended Scholar but they do not receive a scholarship from the National Merit Scholar organization. Why is Excel Test prep the best choice for PSAT preparation?

Excel Test prep SAT/PSAT Courses offer an intensive program with 11 classes of 3 hours each over 4 – 5 weeks. Excel Test prep Courses offer unique and extremely effective strategies not taught anywhere else, by highly experienced, dynamic instructors. All exams administered in class are official College Board SAT Practice exams, which are reflective of PSAT Content. The answers are run through our computer systems to analyze your strengths and weaknesses on the SAT/PSAT. Course materials include our Excel Test prep SAT Manual with tricks and tips to do well on the SAT and the complete Excel Test prep produced solutions to each SAT exam from The Official SAT Study Guide: For the New SAT, and a copy of The Official SAT Study Guide: For the New SAT. Tutoring help (in-person or online) is available for students during and after their Excel Test prep course at a very competitive fee. We offer a $1000 college scholarship to any student who completes our course and receives a perfect score of 1520 on the PSAT.

How much high school math do I need before I can start preparing for the PSAT? The PSAT math sections cover up to high school geometry. Math section will not include any math questions from Algebra II; however, it is covered in the SAT Exam. When should I start preparing for the PSAT? If you have the goal of becoming a National Merit Semi-finalist, it is best to start by June before 10th grade.

  1. Studentts studying only for the SAT should start by the summer before the 11th grade.
  2. Do colleges care about my PSAT? Although colleges do not consider your PSAT scores for college admissions, they are interested in seeing whether or not you were recognized as a National Merit Scholar or Commended Scholar.

Both of these are very prestigious honors. How do I find out about scholarships? You can visit for information on scholarships associated with the PSAT. For other scholarships, visit,
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Is 3 months enough to study for SAT?

Three months is a great amount of time to prep for the SAT. You can spread out your studying and you’ll have ample time to master the concepts tested on the SAT. It can be difficult to know where to start your SAT prep. The key is finding the right resources, staying organized, and sticking to your plan.

Do you study best on your own? Will working with an expert teacher or tutor help you stay motivated and on track?

Before you start studying for the SAT, you’ll want to sit down and plan out a study calendar. By taking the time to do this at the beginning of your SAT prep, you’ll ensure that you have enough time to cover all of the material tested on the SAT, and that you incorporate enough practice with the test to become literate in its format.

The SAT is a standardized test, meaning it is always the same. The same types of questions are asked with new numbers or words. The more familiar you become with the structure of the SAT and its various question types, the more prepared you’ll be for Test Day. At a minimum, you should plan to spend an hour a week on your SAT prep, though it’s recommended that you carve out 2-3 hours per week.

The weeks in which you’ll be taking an SAT practice test (there are 4 in this 3 Month Study Plan) will require more time—plan to spend about 6 hours on SAT prep during these weeks. Err on the side of caution in the early stages—block out extra time for your prep.

  • If you find that you are progressing towards your SAT score goal sooner than anticipated, you can decrease the amount of studying you have planned later on in your calendar.
  • As you make your study calendar, be sure to take into account all of your commitments and plan ahead.
  • Eep your classes, homework, extracurricular activities, and work obligations in mind.

Be sure, too, to make note of any family vacations or trips you may have planned during the three months. Plan to prep at least once a week for the entirety of the three months, or 2-3 times a week if you want to spread out the work.
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What year is best to take PSAT?

Understanding the PSAT – Most students take the PSAT at their high school in the fall of their sophomore or junior year. Ask a teacher or school counselor when the test will be offered at your school and how to sign up. Check upcoming, Many students do not prepare for the PSAT.
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Can you study for the SAT in 2 weeks?

Practice, Practice, Practice – How To Study For The Psat Two weeks isn’t a lot of time to prepare, but it will give you ample time to at least practice your ability to take tests. For this reason, it’s a good idea to do plenty of sample tests. Time yourself and go through the motions of the SATs. This will not only help you get a sense of how to manage your time, but will introduce you to the test-taking skills that are most essential, such as how to revisit questions, budget your attention, and work through the reading section to maximize retention.
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