Many students are about to take the PSAT test in a few days and many of them are probably wondering why it’s so important. Here are some reasons:
The expert college advisors at International College Counselors understand that the PSAT is the best practice for the SAT. It’s a standardized test made by the College Board, the same company that creates the SAT, and it tests the same three subjects as the SAT: critical reading, math, and writing. The kinds of questions and the directions are almost exactly the same as the SAT. Students also get to experience sitting down for a two to three hour test with few breaks. For many, it’s an eye-opener. The real SAT is about an hour and a half longer than the PSAT.
PSAT scores indicate how a student might do on each section on the SAT. Using the test results, students can then focus their test review on the areas and types of questions they most need to improve. Students and parents can also use the scores as a gauge to see what kind of additional study aids or tutoring is needed. Consider poor results as an early warning signal that serious work may be needed before a student takes the real SAT.
By taking the PSAT, a student could become a National Merit Scholar. This is a highly prestigious recognition. To participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program, a student needs to score above a certain percentile on the test.
Through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), different sponsor organizations offer different amounts of scholarship money to high-scoring students, even if the student reaches levels below that of National Merit Scholar. According to the National Merit website, Merit Scholarship awards are supported by approximately 440 independent sponsors and by NMSC’s own funds. Sponsor organizations include corporations and businesses, company foundations, professional associations, and colleges and universities.
High scoring African American high school students become eligible to participate in the National Achievement Scholarship Program as well as in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Students can see how their performance on the SAT test might compare with that of other students. This may boost self-esteem or be a good dose of reality/kick in the pants.
To all students: Good luck on the PSAT!
The college advisors at International College Counselors are available to review PSAT scores and recommend highly qualified tutors to help. Please contact us with any questions you may have.