The Ultimate Guide to the PSAT

on April 29, 2016

Most students will take the PSAT at some point, and it’s an important part of the college prep process. But that doesn’t mean everyone understands what it is and what it’s for.

What is It?


The PSAT is a standardized test that covers reading, math, and writing and language. You’ll use your skills in these areas to answer questions about science, history, problems rooted in real-world contexts.

How Can I Prepare?


You can view sample PSAT questions to get a feel for what to expect.

Does it Go on My Record?


The test is designed to get you ready for the ACT or SAT. It won’t count for anything on your school records – colleges won’t ask for this score and it won’t have any impact on your GPA. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously.

Why Do I Need to Do My Best?


Doing your best is critical. Taking the PSAT tells you where you need to improve to do well on the SAT or ACT later on. When you know where you need to study or what subjects trip you up, you’ll be able to prepare better and boost your test scores when they actually matter.

As if that wasn’t reason enough to do well, a great PSAT score can earn you college money. The National Merit Scholarship program is always on the lookout for students who have high PSAT scores – making the cut help you secure scholarships or grants to lower the cost of college.

Most importantly, a strong PSAT score gives you a serious confidence boost. Feeling good about your ability to ace an important test will go a long way when it’s time to take the SAT or ACT.

Talk to your guidance counselor or a teacher to figure out when you’ll take the PSAT. And even though studying isn’t a must, we still recommend it! Check out our top standardized study tips and good luck!

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