1. What is the best way to study?
2. Can you recommend a study guide or website?
3. What exactly is on the test?
4. The PSAT qualifies you for National Merit Scholar, right?
5. Do colleges look at the PSAT?
6. Can you retake it?
7. Sorry for all the questions!
I am in the IB program so I know I am competent in most areas but sometimes I don't test very well. Any help would be great!
I will answer your questions in order:
1. The best way to study, unless you're willing to shell out thousands of dollars on a personal tutor is to get a study guide book, like Princeton Review's Cracking the PSAT. I am using this book now, and it is GREAT. You take the first practice test in the book, and see what areas you need to work on. Then you develop a study strategy (the book shows you how many questions to answer to get the score you want). Then you just review the material and take the practice tests.
2. As said above, Princeton Review's Cracking the PSAT is really good.
3. The test is a lot like the SAT. You have 2 Critical Reading Sections, 2 Math sections and 1 Writing Skills section.
4. Yes, getting a good enough score on the PSAT puts you in National Merit Recognition. The study guide book mentioned above also has a chart on what score to get in your state to qualify.
5. Yes, colleges look at it, not as much as the SATs, but it's definitely good to put on your application that you were a National Merit Scholar, semifinalist, etc.
6. The test is adminstered once a year, so I think you have to take a year to retake it. But I'm not sure.
7. It's ok. I had the same questions as you.
PS: Don't get the Kaplan PSAT book, I bought it and found mistakes all over the place.
1. The best way to study is over a long period of time (ideally about 3 months). Don't try to cram everything in at the last minute. Come up with a schedule and make sure to take practice tests every week or two.
2. I used a Kaplan PSAT study book and was recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. It isn't perfect, but it is probably the best study book available.
3. I believe there are 2 reading sections, 2 math sections, and a writing section. The writing section does not include an essay portion like the real SAT. Test takers must answer comprehension questions based on reading passages and fill in blanks in sentences in the reading sections. I believe the math section covers up through high school Algebra II. The writing section tests knowledge of grammar and sentence structure in various ways. A study book will give you plenty more details.
4. Yes, if you score well on the PSAT you could become a National Merit Scholar. There are varying levels of qualification, all of which impress colleges. The scholarships are actually quite small. The award is more of a distinction than a jackpot (very few are given out anyway).
5. Colleges might see your scores and send you recruitment brochures and the like, but they don't consider PSAT scores for admission (unless you are recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation).
6. You can only take the PSAT once your junior year and no more after that. Some schools offer it to sophomores, but they cannot qualify for National Merit Scholarships unless they retake it the following year.
7. That's okay!
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