Should I Take the PSAT?

When determining whether or not taking the PSAT is right for you, the answer should be clear: yes! There are numerous benefits related to completing the PSAT. Your score on the test will not harm your academic record or college application process in any way; the PSAT is simply a resource for discovering and perfecting the nature of the SAT. Sitting for the PSAT is hardly ever a regrettable decision. Here is some great information on what to know about that PSAT that you may find useful.   

The single most evident motive for completing the PSAT is that it allows students to understand their position relative to the SAT. Your score on the PSAT should indicate to you which areas of the SAT you must improve upon as well as the areas in which you are already strong. Your results on the PSAT will also provide you with a sense of where your result falls in reference to the average mark necessary to gain acceptance to your “dream school.” While your score on the PSAT will not appear on your college applications, you should take the exam seriously so that you can accurately self-assess your performance.

In terms of both time and cost, the PSAT is a wise investment. In fact, certain schools and public libraries make it possible for high school students to take the PSAT free of charge. Research this option to determine if it applies to you. If you are able to complete the test for free, do not forego such a valuable opportunity! Other institutions do require that students pay for the PSAT, but the amount they charge is typically quite reasonable (around $20). Comparatively speaking, sitting for the PSAT can be a relatively affordable technique for preparing for the SAT. 

Pacing oneself, in regard to the SAT, is extremely important. A number of students find themselves running out of time on one or more sections of the test. Therefore, it is in your best interest to become accustomed to the manner in which the SAT is structured. Since the PSAT utilizes the same timing system as the SAT, the PSAT provides students with an opportunity to practice the assessment under genuine testing conditions. On the SAT, timing may not be all-important, but it certainly can have a significant impact on your performance. Here are some tips on how to manage your time on the PSAT.

The PSAT is intended as an abridged version of the SAT. Completing the PSAT encourages individuals to work under the same circumstances they will face when sitting for the SAT: the format of the exam, the allotted time, the presence of a proctor, the type of learning environment, and so on. Finishing PSAT practice tests on one’s own is a wonderful method for preparing for the SAT, but it is difficult to simulate every condition that students will encounter on test day. At home, it is easy to become distracted. Only the environment in which the PSAT is administered can emulate the true testing atmosphere and eliminate many of the distractions you’d have at home.

Another compelling reason to take the PSAT is that doing so will familiarize you with the types of questions that frequently appear on the SAT. For example, on the mathematics sections, students will employ the same equations over and over again. No two questions should look exactly alike, though two questions may be asking about the same idea. Problems of a single type usually differ in how they are worded and in which numbers you must enter into the equation. The PSAT is the perfect opportunity to expose yourself to the specific kinds of questions you’ll see on the SAT.