The PSAT, or Preliminary SAT, has a lot of myths attached to it. You may have heard that your PSAT scores aren’t important or the PSAT isn’t worth your time, but that’s not true! Which of these three myths have you heard before?
Myth: The PSAT is Just a Practice Test
The PSAT is not just a practice test. It is actually much more than that! It definitely can work as a practice test since it helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses on the exam while also giving you a feel for the real deal. It’s also important to note that the PSAT is easier and shorter than the actual SAT.
The PSAT gives you a chance to win awards! Taking it automatically enters you for a chance to be recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program. With a high score, you could be recognized as a Semifinalist. To win the scholarship and go on to earn the title of Finalist, you’ll have to meet high academic standards.
The program also enters you for partnership awards through various employers and schools. However, only juniors will be have the chance to enter the program. If you take the test in 10th grade, you will not qualify to win one of these scholarships.
Myth: You Don’t Have to Prepare for the PSAT
Another myth is that you don’t have to prepare. You absolutely should! Since money and awards are on the line, it’s in your best interest to study for the PSAT. Your score has to be extremely high to win this scholarship, so you should definitely be ready to do your best on this exam.
It’s also a great introduction to the SAT in general. If you study beforehand, you’ll get a real picture of where you need to improve before you take the SAT.
Myth: Your PSAT Scores Don’t Matter So You Don’t Have to Take It Seriously
This was also covered a little bit previously, but it’s worth repeating: Your scores absolutely matter for the PSAT. One benefit is the potential award by the National Merit Scholarship Program, but you want to take it seriously even if you don’t qualify for the program. You want an accurate picture of how you perform on the test.
Be prepared to look over the breakdown of your PSAT results. You may want to go over your scores with a tutor or someone else you trust to make sure you know exactly where you need to study.
The PSAT is an important test and if you’re a sophomore or junior, you should definitely consider signing up for it. Before you sit down to take it, make sure you’re prepared. Your scores do matter and have the potential to win you money. Talk to your guidance counselor to find out when the next exam is at your school.
Check out how your ACT / SAT scores affect your acceptance odds with College Raptor’s free match tool!