Achieving Good Scores in The PSAT
5 Tips to Achieve High PSAT Test Scores
The PSAT is a preliminary test for the SAT and is conducted in October. It is also known as the PSAT/NMSQT because the scores are used to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. Scholarships can help you to pay for your college education, in some cases without availing loans. This is the reason why scholarships are coveted by many students. However, you need to make sure that you achieve high scores in order to qualify for scholarships. The competition is tough and you need to prepare well.
Achieving high scores is no mean feat. It requires a lot of dedication and consistent effort. Here are a few steps that will help you to achieve good test scores.
- Diagnose Yourself
This is the first step towards preparing for the test. Take a mock test under test conditions to diagnose how well you have performed. Taking such a test enables you to identify your weak and strong points so that you can work on them accordingly.
- Build a Strong Foundation
Building a strong foundation is not an overnight process. The concepts are those that have been built during your high school years. You need to build upon all that you have learned in order to strengthen your learning. Concepts are the building blocks to achieving high scores.They help you use your knowledge to solve problems/questions in the test. A good way to check whether you are on track is to read up on the academic skills that will be tested in the respective sections and work according to the guidelines. Look up the Official Educator Guide for PSAT/NMSQT or the Student Guide for PSAT/NMSQT, available on the College Board website to get complete information about the test sections and topics to cover.
- PSAT Prep Material
Good preparatory materials are essential to guide you in your preparation. You can choose from a variety of study materials available in the market. You can use books that are published by renowned prep companies, such as Princeton Review and Kaplan. You can even prepare online using courses offered by GleimPSAT, Kaplan, PrepMe, Princeton Review, and so on. Based on your scores in the diagnostic test, you can even opt for private tutorials.
- Focus---Set a Timetable, Pace Yourself
The PSAT, or any standardized test, requires undivided commitment from you. You need to focus on your weak areas and consistently work on them. For example, after taking the diagnostic test, if you find that you are weak in Quadratic expressions, you need to append more time in understanding the concepts and practicing questions under the topic.
This is the most important aspect of your preparation. Practice allows you to increase your speed in solving questions and getting your mind to think quickly on the spot. You also learn how to use strategies in a short span of time. Regular practice instills confidence in yourself, which is important in gearing you for the test. The more confident you are, the more motivated you will feel to appear for the test.
Practice also enables you to identify the types of questions and makes you familiar with the format. The total testing time is 2 hours and 10 minutes. It is essential that you take mock tests within the specified time limit.
You must complete more than 80% of the test so that you can complete at least 80% of the paper during the actual test. A large number of students manage to complete approximately 75% of the test and very few students make it to about 80% of the test. It is difficult to complete the entire test although you must attempt to complete the test.