Useful Techniques for Preparing Students for the PSAT

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High school students can gain an advantage when applying to colleges by taking the PSAT, a useful tool for preparing for college. Read on to learn more about the PSAT and how to prepare for success if your student needs clarification on how to pass the test.


The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, also known as the PSAT, is a battery of exams that eighth graders, ninth graders, and sophomores in high school take to prepare for college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT. 

Depending on their results, they may also be eligible to receive a National Merit Scholarship.

Why Are PSAT Results Important?

The PSAT serves as a tool for pinpointing areas that need work for the SAT and ACT, in addition to providing students with a benchmark for their readiness for college entrance exams. 

Students can learn where they need to improve based on their PSAT results and decide whether to spend more money on additional study materials for any subsequent college admission examinations they will take.

Since the PSAT is the prerequisite exam for the National Merit Scholarship, students with strong PSAT results may also be eligible to receive scholarships that they can utilize for college.

Why Should You Take It?

Students are advised to take the PSAT in grades 9 and 10 to gauge their academic strengths and shortcomings, as it has no influence on college applications (only the ACT and SAT are used for college admission). 

Developing abilities like critical reading, grammar, and numerical reasoning takes time. Students in the eleventh grade take the PSAT/NMSQT, which is used to determine their official National Merit Scholarship score.

Below are strategies for preparing students for the PSAT.

Practice for the PSAT

Taking a practice test is one of the finest ways to determine exam preparedness and prepare for the PSAT. 

These practice exams are a terrific method to feel as prepared as you can by simulating the actual test experience in a fictitiously stressful situation and going through the motions of what will be anticipated on the day of the test.

Make a Study Schedule

The best PSAT preparation technique is to establish and follow a study plan. You can utilize a variety of PSAT test preparation books as a guide for studying and a variety of online resources to put together a study schedule.

Make a List of Your Strengths and Flaws

It’s a good idea to evaluate your exam strengths and weaknesses after taking a practice test. For instance, if you had trouble in geometry on the PSAT, you should concentrate your study and test preparation efforts there.

Establish PSAT Scoring Targets

The act of establishing and pursuing concrete goals has many advantages, and the PSAT is no different. Set precise score targets for each part, then work backward to figure out how to hit them.


Studying the night before the PSAT is not a wise strategy. The PSAT is not a test that can be crammed for. Instead, getting a good night’s sleep and starting the next day rested and prepared for success is the ideal PSAT preparation. 

With the help of the PSAT study advice provided here, you’ll be able to design a schedule that you can be proud of and improve your chances of getting good PSAT results.

Kenny Tan Test Prep provides outstanding PSAT tutoring services. We customize our tutoring to fit each student’s learning style and focus on teaching challenging new concepts. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.