If you’re doing well in your first few years of high school, then you will likely take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). More than three million high school sophomores and juniors take the standardized test every year. The PSAT is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), as the scores are used to determine the first round of eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program. The program gives away millions of dollars annually in merit-based scholarships to students planning to attend college full-time immediately following high school. The mostly multiple-choice test includes Math, Reading, and Writing sections, and is administered similarly to the SAT. As such, even if you don’t make the list of National Merit Scholarship qualifiers, taking the PSAT will give you important standardized test experience.
Varsity Tutors’ free Learn by Concept Learning Tool offers comprehensive PSAT study help to aid your preparation. The interactive tool includes sections for Math, Critical Reading, and Writing. Clicking on one of these sections brings you to a syllabus of main categories and more specific topics. Each topic presents you with a set of multiple-choice example problems, such as a math problem or writing comprehension passage. After working through the problem, you select what you think is the correct answer, then check the answer key to see if you were right.
However, Learn by Concept doesn’t stop being helpful by providing questions and answers. A detailed description of how to arrive at the correct answer is included with each problem. If you’re working on a math problem, you can see each step of the problem-solving process. After choosing the correct words to use in a sentence, you can read about what these words mean and why they’re the correct choice. This review makes it easy to see if you understand the larger concepts involved, where your reasoning went off track if you got the answer wrong, and what you need to do in order to stay on track in the future.
You can use the Learn by Concept tool as a PSAT study guide as you get ready for the exam. Each of the three sections contains thousands of PSAT sample problems, showing nearly every possible subject that you might need to know. You can work through broad categories in each section, such as Algebra in the Math section, or Improving Paragraphs in the Writing section. You can also go straight into the specific topics and focus on the areas you need the most help in.
The Learn by Concept learning tool is most helpful when supplemented by the other free Learning Tools available. Beginning with one of the many free Full-Length Practice Tests will let you experience the test format for each section while identifying focus areas for your studies. The hundreds of short Practice Tests let you work on specific topics, or do sets of practice problems that test the general progress you’ve made. When you’ve finished going through the Learn by Concept example problems, you can utilize the Flashcards for the same topics. You can even customize the Flashcards based on your needs. Along the way, getting a random daily question by using the Question of the Day tools for each section will test your overall readiness. Use the comprehensive study material from Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools to stay organized as prepare for the PSAT.