PSATS are Over – Now What?

Juniors: Congratulations on finishing up the PSATs! That’s behind you, but what do you do after the PSAT? We’ll cover a few exciting things to think about, and also give some tips for freshmen and sophomores who may be up for the PSATs next.

sat prep

You May Win a Scholarship

You may just have thought of the PSAT as the “practice PSAT” that was given by your high school, but it’s actually much more than that. Juniors who score particularly well on the exam could qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

If you’re up for consideration as a Semifinalist, you will be notified through your high school around the beginning of September. To become a finalist, you’ll have to complete an application, show a great academic record, write an essay, gather an endorsement, and score well on either the SAT or ACT. If you become a Finalist, you will be informed by early February.

The award is worth $2,500 that can be put towards your freshman year, and being a Finalist is an amazing accomplishment to include on college applications.

You Should Think about SAT Prep

Studying for these exams though isn’t behind you quite yet, but the good news is now you have a better idea of what to expect on upcoming tests. You have the “real deal” coming up, and many schools still consider the SAT (or ACT) as part of their college requirements for applicants.

Think back to your PSAT – how did you feel during the test? Did you have any strong areas? Weak areas? Did you not have enough time to complete a particular section?

This initial exam will give you some direction for your SAT study. You’ll be able to identify where you need to work and discover ways to speed up your efforts (or slow down if you rushed through too quickly).

When you receive your PSAT results, don’t just ignore them. They really do provide some valuable information that can be extremely helpful in the coming year.

Here’s a quick SAT/ACT checklist

  • Create a study schedule
  • Take practice exams…more than once!
  • Find study methods that actually benefit you
  • Study apps and games
  • Flashcards
  • Reading
  • Math puzzles
  • Schedule at least two SAT or ACT test dates

Freshmen and Sophomores: What Should You Be Doing?

If you’re a freshman or sophomore in high school, you’re most likely not even thinking about the PSAT – and the SAT is not even on your radar. But here’s why you’ll want to think about it sooner rather than later

Did You Know You Can Take the PSAT as a Sophomore?

Yep! You can absolutely take the PSAT during your sophomore year of college. While it’s excellent practice, you won’t qualify for the scholarship just yet. But it could set you up for a successful PSAT exam in your junior year.

You Can (and Should) Study for the PSAT

You might be thinking about the PSAT as just another practice exam, but studying brings an actual, tangible benefit – that scholarship!

Now that you know what to do after the PSAT, you can prepare for the SAT that is still ahead. Not sure where to start? Check out our tips and tricks to help you study and get a great score on your upcoming tests.


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