First things first, familiarize yourself with the format and syllabus of the examination. Get to know the pattern, type of questions, and time limit. While you can easily find detailed information about the exam on the College Board Site, here is some brief information:
The PSAT test has four sections:
Reading: You have to answer 47 multiple-choice questions in 60 minutes. Typically, the test consists of reading comprehension questions and completing a series of sentences.
Writing and Language: You will get 44 multiple-choice questions, and the duration is 45 min. This test involves finding grammar and word errors and working with a passage to improve its style.
Math No-Calculator: This is a 25 mins exam consisting of 17 multiple-choice questions and grid-in (calculation) questions.
Math Calculator: You must answer 31 multiple-choice, grid questions in 45 mins.
The general syllabus for math tests includes:
Algebra (inequalities, linear equations, functions, etc.)
Data analysis (graphs, ratios, rates, percentages, etc.)
Set your goal
Setting a PSAT goal score is vital to achieving desired results in the SAT examination. Depending on your ambitions, clarity of mind is imperative to put in additional effort. For instance, if you aim to get admission to particular colleges, try to score higher than the past admission cutoff scores of these colleges.
Similarly, if National Merit Scholarship is your goal, you must score higher than the state’s cutoff score. Typically, a score of 1400- 1480 on the PSAT is considered good to get the national merit. Therefore, if you score well on the PSAT, you face little trouble hitting the SAT or national merit scholarship target.
Never ignore the importance of practice tests.
Stimulating the exam conditions plays a significant role in building confidence. We have some expert tips to help you with your preparations:
A practice test is the best way to brush your skills. Several websites offer sample tests with detailed answers that can be of great use.
While taking the test, ensure to undertake it in real testing conditions, for instance, time the test. Also, make sure you know the format and the instructions well in advance.
Sample tests are a great way to learn from your mistakes.
Sample test papers are available on the college board website, or you can buy them online.
Get the right study materials.
While preparing for PSAT, the right study materials can do wonders. So, before zeroing a preparation book, it is vital to research and read a review. Moreover, you can easily find free sample test papers or SAT prep material online. Likewise, the right guidance is also critical. Get help from parents or hire an online home tutor. PSAT online tutors know the tips and tricks that will help you easily sail through the exam.
Approach the test strategically
Here are some important tips for approaching the PSAT test like a pro:
Do not overstress; get enough sleep and nutrition.
During an exam, do not get hung up on one question.
Do not easily give up; some questions might be out of your reach; try to attempt the rest.
You can guess the answers to questions you can’t solve.
After examination, assess the results; in any situation, do not let the results negatively impact you.
Work hard on the sections that you found difficult to solve.