PSAT Strategies

PSAT Strategies for Each Section

What is a strategy? The strategy is a plan of work that is prepared to achieve a particular goal. To get success in PSAT, you have to make both long-term and short-term PSAT strategies. Long-term plan for PSAT involves building a strong academic foundation for several years and inculcating the habit of reading a wide range of topics. However, short-term plan aims at specific preparation for the major test sections (Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing Skills) of the PSAT for a short time period. Some of the important short-term PSAT strategies that should be followed are as follows:

  • Consult the Official Student Guide that is created by the PSAT College Board.

    It consists of:

    • several practice questions with complete explanations of their answers
    • tips to approach different types of questions from the major test sections of PSAT

  • Solve questions from past PSAT question papers.
  • Read instructions carefully before you begin to answer questions.
  • Try to solve easy questions first, and then move to medium level questions and finally, approach tough questions.
  • Learn to make intelligent guesses to eliminate the wrong choices and finally, reach the right answer.
  • Work only on those questions about which you are confident to answer. Giving wrong answer to a question will deduct 1/4th of a point.

If you want to get more information, you can consult the webpage

PSAT Strategies for Each Test Section

PSAT comprises three major test sections. They are:

  • Critical Reading Section
  • Mathematics Section
  • Writing Skills Section

The details of the above-mentioned test sections along with the PSAT strategies to approach different types of questions from these test sections are given below:

Critical Reading Section

This section comprises:

Sentence Completion Questions

An incomplete sentence consists of one or two blanks. You have to choose an option from among the given options to complete the sentence.

Passage-Based Reading

You have to read a given passage carefully and answer questions that follow the passage.

Mentioned below are the PSAT Strategies to Work on the Critical Reading Section:

  • Read the entire sentence carefully.
  • Read the entire sentence along with your chosen option before you mark your answer.
  • Select the right answer based on the passage and not because it is a true statement.
  • Try to understand author’s assumptions, attitudes and tone while reading a passage.

Mathematics Section

This test section comprises:

Multiple-Choice Questions

You have to solve a question and choose the correct answer.

Student-Produced Responses

Unlike multiple-choice questions answer options are not given. You have to calculate answer to a question and fill the answer in a grid provided on the answer sheet.

Mentioned below are the PSAT Strategies to work on the Mathematics Section:

o If you do not find your answer among the given options, try to get your answer in a different form i.e. if your answer comes out in a decimal form but the right answer is given in a fraction form, you have to convert its form accordingly.

  • For grid-in questions, it is better to use a calculator.
  • You can approach every question from grid-in types, as they do not contain any negative marking.
  • Be careful while filling answers in grids provided on the answer sheet. Fill answers first in the boxes provided above grids and then fill the grid corresponding to a box of answer.

Writing Skills Section

This test section comprises:

Identifying Sentence Errors

A sentence contains errors in some of its portions. You have to identify the error portion of the sentence.

Improving Sentences

A sentence is underlined either completely or partially. You have to choose an option to improve the sentence.

Improving Paragraphs

The sentences of a paragraph are numbered. The paragraph is followed by questions with regard to improving some portions of the sentences constituting the paragraph.

Mentioned below are the PSAT Strategies to work on the Writing Skills Section:

  • Read the sentences and the passage carefully.
  • Approach ‘Identifying Sentence Errors’ questions first as they take lesser time than ‘Improving Sentences’ and ‘Improving Paragraph’ questions.
  • Concentrate on the options that seem correct in context of the passage.

You can avail more information about PSAT strategies for each test section from the link

The above discussion is very important for PSAT aspirants, as you cannot aspire to score high in this exam without learning the PSAT strategies. Only then, you will be able to approach questions appropriately in each of the major test sections of the PSAT. The above-mentioned PSAT strategies will definitely act as guide path to success for PSAT aspirants.

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