...from GuidedPath Edge Guru

Juniors: What can you learn from your PSAT scores?

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Many changes were made to the PSAT in Oct.  A test for sophomores (the PSAT 10) will be offered by some schools between the end of February and early March.  Now your PSAT/NMSQ  scores are made available online.

To make the most of the PSAT, here are your next steps:

  1. Click here to set up your free, online student account to access your PSAT/NMSQT test scores.
  2. Click here to set up account with Kahn Academy. Use this account to view recommendations for studying for the SAT.
  3. Click here to learn more about the National Merit Scholarship that is a part of the PSAT.  The test is  the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.)
  4. Click here to read College Board article on score calculations,score ranges, percentiles and college readiness benchmarks.

Viewing Scores

The new PSAT score reports are different from the ones in the past. The College Board has finally aligned the PSAT scores with the SAT scores. You can use your PSAT test scores to learn more about how you might do on the upcoming SAT tests.  Because now there are a LOT of scores on the test, how do you know which scores to pay attention to?

Here are some tips for you. When viewing your score report, focus on:

  1. Raw scores.  Look at your Reading/Writing score, your math score, and total score.
  2. Ignore percentiles.  This is a new test- the percentiles are research based only. Don’t worry about the percentiles.
  3. Check your NMSC Selection Index. Is there an asterisk (*) next to it?

College and Career Readiness Benchmarks

Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about where you are on the benchmarks.  Make a count of how many you have in the following benchmark areas:

  • Green (meets or exceeds benchmark)  ____
  • Yellow (approaching benchmark)  ____
  • Red (need to strengthen skills)   ___

Get Advice from the Experts on Benchmarks

Talk to your counselor or advisor about recommendations to move your red and yellow benchmarks into green.

Using Sub Scores

Find the section of your score report, Your Scores: Next Steps. This is a great resource for you, showing what you are already able to do. It also includes suggestions for improving your skills. These suggestions become the beginning of the Kahn Academy personalized preparation plan.  The scores are broken into:

  1. Reading Test
  2. Writing and Language Test
  3. Math Test

Study Smarter, not Harder

If you use your PSAT scores for preparation for the SAT, you will be studying smarter, not harder. It will save you hours of study to know from your PSAT scores what you already know, and what you need to focus in preparation for the SAT.  Go over your PSAT scores with parents, counselors and teachers. Use this to create a personalized, study plan for the SAT.