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What is the PSAT?

The PSAT is a practice version of the SAT that many students take in 11th grade; some students also take it in 9th and/or 10th grade.  It is generally not considered as part of the college admissions process.  However, a high score on the PSAT in 11th grade could help you qualify for various scholarships, including the National Merit Scholarship.

The PSAT is a mostly multiple-choice test that includes

Two scored Reading and Writing sections, testing:
• information and ideas
• craft and structure
• expression of ideas
• standard English conventions

Two scored Math sections, both of which allow a student to use a calculator

Taking the PSAT

The PSAT is a fully digital test that students take on an electronic device.  Students with a documented learning disability can request to take a paper-and-pencil version of the PSAT if warranted.

Many students will take the PSAT on their own devices.  For students without access to a suitable device, the College Board has a lending program, subject to availability; a student hoping to borrow a device should request one as far in advance as possible.

The PSAT is generally given at a student’s school sometime in October.

If your child needs accommodations for the PSAT (such as extra time), you will need to apply for them through well in advance of the test date.

The PSAT Requires Students to Apply Their Knowledge to New Situations

Taking the PSAT is not the same experience for students as taking tests in school. Classroom teachers prepare their students for material-based testing. The PSAT requires students to apply their knowledge to new situations and new types of questions.

Preparing for and taking the test can be stressful for students, so it is important for parents to be encouraging and positive.

Our tutoring program is also designed to reduce students’ stress by showing them how to approach the different kinds of questions and giving them lots of practice while working with a tutor in a caring, supportive environment.


PSAT Scoring

The Reading and Writing section and the Math section are each divided into 2 modules. The first module of each section contains questions of various difficulties. Based on how a student performs on the first module, the second module in each section will either be more difficult or less difficult than the first. A student’s score is based on both the number of correct answers and the difficulty of the questions.

There is no penalty for guessing on the PSAT; a blank answer and an incorrect answer have the same effect on the score. Therefore, a student should answer all questions.

The range of scores for each section of the PSAT is 160-760, and the combined overall score range is 320-1520.

One-On-One Customized PSAT Tutoring

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