Ava Flaute, Reporter

As October quickly approaches, all students in grades ninth through eleventh will have to soon take the PSAT which stands for Preliminary SAT. This is a test students take to help better prepare them for the upcoming SAT they will have to take to submit their scores to colleges they might want to attend. This is an amazing way for freshman and sophomores to practice their skills and see where they stand and what they will need to study before it comes time when they take the real test. However, for juniors, this PSAT can determine if you are eligible to receive a National Merit Scholarship which allows the students to receive major financial aid benefits when applying to colleges. This test is no joke and should be taken seriously as it can create a path for your academic future.


The PSAT is a practice SAT that combines evidence-based reading and writing with math. When it comes time for students to take the test they will see it is broken down into three sections: readings, writing and language, and math. You are graded on each section and the answers you get wrong do not count against your score, you just don’t earn points for those wrong answers. They combine the scores of each three sections to create a final score which could range anywhere from 320 to 1520 on the PSAT and a 400 to 1600 on the SAT. A good/ average score to earn on the PSAT is between 920 and 1100. However, if you are trying to achieve a National Merit Scholarship you should score between 1420 and above. However, if you aren’t necessarily reaching for the National Merit Scholarship it is still a good idea to take the PSAT given to you by the school to receive practice for your upcoming SAT.


 The reading section of the PSAT consists of passages ranging from anything including history, science, or social studies. After reading the provided passages, you will be asked questions to determine your reading skill and score for that section. The second section is writing and language which is made up of a series of questions testing you on things such as sentence structure, punctuation, etc. The last section is math which is mainly composed of algebra, problem-solving, and additional math topics. In addition, each section of the PSAT is timed, you will do your best to complete as many questions as you can within the given time however, if you are unable to finish all of the questions the blank answers will not be count as incorrect, they will just not count towards your final score in each section.


Seminole High School Junior Flordelee Pino says “From my past PSATs I tend to score higher on the math section than the reading section, although I believe the math section can be more challenging for me.”


With all of this information, you need to know many different ways to prepare so you can earn a high score. One way to prepare for the PSAT is through online PSAT prep, many companies such as varsity tutors have online tutors that can help you earn a score you deserve and introduce you to the criteria on the test. Khan Academy is also another great source to study for standardized tests like these, they have many available practice tests that can help you see similar questions that will be shown when it is time to take the real test. There are also many videos on YouTube from tutors that provide you with helpful tips on how to prepare and see a difference in your score.


Seminole High School IB Junior Sameen Chowdury states “To help me prepare for the PSAT I use resources such as Khan Academy and the Collegeboard 2021 SAT edition to see an improvement in my scores from the past years.”


A few months after you complete the PSAT, you will receive your scores on the college board website. You can see a complete breakdown of your score from each section of the test.