PSAT is coming

By Shivani Padhi, 2018 (Posted 10-18-16)

Overview of the PSAT

Cheshire High School will be administering the official College Board PSAT on October 19, 2016. PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test which prepares student for the SAT. In addition to preparing students, PSAT also chooses high scores for the National Merit Scholarships. In order to be a finalist for the National Merit Scholarships, juniors must score high on the test, Approximately fifty thousand juniors get selected each year to qualify to receive the merit scholarships. Another benefit associated with the PSAT is receiving college recognition. Students PSAT scores are recorded in College Board which many colleges use to find appropriate students fit for their college or university. Often students will receive a load pamphlets, catalogs, and brochures from colleges.

PSAT Structure

The PSAT is a 2 hour and 45 minutes long and consists of four sections: reading, writing & language, calculator math and a non-calculator math section. The reading section consist of 47 questions and students are given 60 minutes. The writing & language section has 44 questions and 35 minutes are allotted to the students. The non-calculator math section consists of 17 questions with 25 minutes given. Finally the calculator section has 31 question and total of 45 minutes is given.

PSAT scoring

The PSAT scoring can be quite complex and bewildering to some. Students will receive a score from 160-760 on each section. Reading and writing & language are considered one section and the math is considered another section. The maximum score a student can receive is a 1520 and the minimum score of a 320. In addition to scores, PSAT will provide students with percentile ranking which will allow students to compare themselves with other test takers.

Tips and Advice

  1. Start preparing for the PSATs as soon as possible. There are plenty of resources to accommodate the students and help them prepare for the big test day. 
  2. Never leave a question blank on the PSAT. PSAT has a no answer penalty meaning if students have no clue about a certain question, they have a 25 percent chance of getting it correct if they randomly selected an answer. 
  3. Ask older siblings or friends who have experienced the PSAT before. Ask them for study tips. Take courses such as Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Khan Academy to boost your confidence level. 
  4. Have a good dinner and breakfast along with a good night's sleep. Stay calm and do not panic. You will do great on test day!

Study materials