Northwest Horizons

How you can use the PSAT to prepare for your SAT

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How you can use the PSAT to prepare for your SAT

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            The closer your junior year approaches, the more your anxiety for SAT scores grow.   Anticipation emails from College Board, colleges begging for your application fees, and warnings to sign up for the test all start flooding your inbox.  But you’re just looking for one thing: your PSAT score.

            The PSAT is a test given free to sophomores and juniors, but can be purchased by freshmen and middle schoolers. The practice introduces concepts that will be found on the actual test and could help you in understanding what you need to study.

            “I feel as though the more times I practice for the SAT, the better I will become at managing my time wisely and knowing what type of questions to expect,” sophomore Caroline Howard said.

            The test results came back and were subdivided into different categories. This allowed test-takers to see what specific areas they need to improve on for the future.

            “It (the subcategories) enables me to easily see the types of questions which I need to focus on,” Howard said. “I can easily see my strengths and weaknesses on the PSAT.”

The PSAT was a really useful SAT preparation tool that allowed me to have a preview of what may be on my actual SAT.”

— Kyndall Cherry

            Some of the subcategories include “Heart of Algebra,” “Expression of Ideas” and “Words in Context.” These subcategories are shown in a range from one to fifteen.

            “The organization can help me see what areas I need to improve in and what areas I am strong in,” sophomore Kyle Reiber said. “These results will help me study my weaker areas.”

            Moving forward, students are preparing for the SAT with the scores they received. Along with the results, College Board also links free and personalized practice with Khan Academy.

            “It was also helpful to be able to see my PSAT score so that I could have an idea of what I may score on the actual SAT.”  Junior Kyndall Cherry said.

            These tests help students prepare for applying to colleges and who they may be interested in applying to.  With colleges emailing you, if you choose to share your score, it could help inform students of all their college options and how best to gage their preparedness.  

            If used well, these pre-tests help students create personalized study plans and give them more knowledge on their growth as a student.  Through lessons on Khan Academy and SAT prep courses, no student should walk into the test feeling unprepared or overwhelmed. Just pace yourself and use the resources provided to you and you should be ready in no time.

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How you can use the PSAT to prepare for your SAT