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PSAT Tutoring

The PSAT exam is a shorter practice version of the SAT and is offered to students in high school twice, once in the fall of 10th grade and again in the fall of 11th grade. The 11th grade results identify students who qualify for a National Merit Scholarship.
 
While colleges don’t see PSAT scores, they are important exams because they provide students with two additional opportunities to get comfortable with the standardized test structure before sitting for the critical SATs. It can also help students recognize the extent to which focus or anxiety may be a factor in their performance.
The PSAT test serves primarily as a warm-up to the SAT with scores reflecting how students handle standardized test material and pinpointing where they need to focus in order to improve on future tests.
 
I consider one-on-one PSAT preparation to be just as important as SAT preparation. The solid foundation established during PSAT tutoring helps students approach the SAT with improved skills and confidence.
 
Schedule a complimentary consultation to find out how the best PSAT tutoring in New York can help your child get a merit scholarship.

What is the PSAT?

The PSAT exam is a shorter practice version of the SAT and is offered to most New York City students in 10th and 11th grades, providing two additional opportunities to get comfortable with the SAT test structure without the added pressure of having to submit scores to colleges. While the test mainly serves as a warm-up to the SAT, scores reflect how students handle the test material and pinpoint where they need to focus in order to improve on future tests.

Who takes it and when?

There are a variety of PSAT tests. The traditional PSAT/NMSQT is still offered by many schools to sophomores and juniors in the fall. However, only the junior test counts toward qualifying for a National Merit Scholarship. For sophomores the PSAT is only an opportunity to practice for the one that counts the following year. The PSAT 10 is a newer exam that was created to offer sophomores an opportunity to take a practice test in the spring for the 11th grade PSAT. The content of the PSAT 10 is slightly easier than the PSAT/NMQST because it is designed specifically for sophomores, but it has the same format and is scored the same as the PSAT/NMQST.
 
The key as to which tests will be available to sophomores and juniors is dependent upon specific schools or school districts. Many schools have traditionally offered sophomores and juniors the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall while some schools only offer the PSAT/NMSQT to juniors. Meanwhile, other schools have begun offering the PSAT 10 to sophomores in late winter/early spring. Each administration of the exam is paid for by schools, which is why they aren’t offered equally to all students across the country or even within New York. It is advisable to check with your school to find out which tests will be offered and when.

PSAT Overview

The PSAT follows the same structure as the SAT, but is a bit shorter.
Category: PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10
Total Testing Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Components:
  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
    • Reading Test (60 Minutes/47 Questions)
    • Writing and Language Test (35 Minutes/44 Questions)
  • Math
    • No Calculator section (25 Minutes/17 Questions)
    • Calculator section (45 Minutes/31 Questions)
Score Reporting: Scores will be reported on a shared common score scale with the SAT: The scale ranges for the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 scores are 320–1520 for the total score, 160–760 for each of two section scores, and 8–38 for test scores.
 
Ranking: Each student receives a percentile rank between 1 and 99 that indicates how their score compares to other students. Students ranking in the 99th percentile generally qualify for a National Merit Scholarship.

​​When should preparation begin?

Most students do not study for the PSAT. However, if a student is shooting for a National Merit Scholarship, I recommend completing a practice PSAT/NMSQT at least 6 months before the official test. This gives us time to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses and determine how much content we’ll need to review. Afterward, we’ll draft a tutoring schedule that fits your specific needs.
 

When are PSAT scores released?

The October PSAT/NMSQT scores are usually released in early December. PSAT 10 scores are typically available online 4–6 weeks after the test administration.

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