The Most Common Tools for PSAT Prep

Any practice for a competitive exam is good. But what do you do if it is a practice exam you need to prepare for? Well, prepare more, and prepare even better if the exam is PSAT/NMSQT. The PSAT is a chance for many 11th grade students to try for winning a National Merit scholarship and therefore prep PSAT should be 100 percent! There are many ways that students can prepare for the PSAT depending on which grade they are in. Often, academics would advice that students should be regular with taking tests and quizzes in class and should be in the habit of reading books, other than course books. Inculcating these habits in students is quite helpful for exam prep. PSAT is a practice exam, and holds more value for 11th graders than to students in their 8th, 9th or 10th grade, but nevertheless, it offers good practice if taken every year.

Students use a number of tools to prepare for PSAT; online courses, prep PSAT books, private tutoring and many other tools. Online courses are popular with students because they do not involve a strict time frame and can be used at the convenience of the student. The College Board website provides practice tests and different methods of preparing for the PSAT. Generally, the PSAT tests the same skills tested in the SAT, namely, critical reading, writing and math problem-solving skills, so prep PSAT is almost as good as SAT prep. Following is a list of the different ways to prepare for the PSAT and applicants can use these in combinations or as individual methods for their prep PSAT.

Online Courses

The popularity of online PSAT prep courses is unrivalled. Citing convenience, economical prices and flexibility as reasons why students opt for these is to state the obvious. Kaplan, Princeton Review and Barron’s are a few of the test prep companies offering applicants with online courses which comprise of full-length tests, 10-20 hours of practice sessions online and targeted test practice on individual components of the PSAT. These courses range from anywhere between $149-$200.

Online courses/prep materials are sometimes offered free of cost as well. Prep companies like Schmoop and Brightstorm are dedicated to test prep with free or minimal costs to applicants. Schmoop is solely dedicated to online prep PSAT and offers a host of services to applicants at just $19. Free PSAT preparatory materials can be accessed at Brightstorm, that not only has information about the PSAT but also tons of quizzes, practice tests and study materials for students – and all free of cost!

Quizzes and Prep Books

Although online courses often include prep guides and books as a part of the entire course, students might not want the whole package and many of them may actually score well just by practicing tests and learning tips and strategies from a prep book. Princeton Review’s Cracking the PSAT/NMQST is one such book that students can read and benefit from.

Vocabulary quizzes, flashcards, math puzzles are also other tools for prep PSAT. Teachers in schools can include such activities as part of the curriculum to help students get into the practice of answering questions which test their vocabulary or math problem-solving skills. There are many websites too that have such quizzes and puzzles for students to learn from.

Private Tutoring

Often an expensive option, many students do still like to have private tutoring because they or their parents feel the need for a regimented/disciplined study time that involves intense and targeted exam prep. Both Kaplan and Princeton Review offer students private coaching, and these include everything from practice tests, feedback and review from the tutor, prep material and customised study plans.

Preparation for the PSAT has nothing but advantages tied up with it. It renders the students ready for taking the SAT, gives them practice to take competitive exams and if they do really well in the PSAT they might just win themselves a scholarship! So, students should put in their best while preparing for the PSAT/NMSQT.

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