How to Prepare for the PSAT

Your SAT score will play a major role in where you attend college. Because the SATs aren’t known for being easy, it’s important to prepare ahead of time. Many freshman and sophomore students take the PSATs so they know what areas they need to focus on for the SATs. That doesn’t mean the PSATs don’t matter. You should study for the PSATs as if you’re preparing for the SATs so you’ll get a better understanding of how to improve your score and if you have effective studying methods. Here’s how you can prepare for the PSATs:

Add Test Dates to Your Calendar

Before you start studying for the PSAT, make sure you see your college counselor about when and where you’ll be taking the test. You can’t register for the PSAT online so you need to let your counselor know that you want to take the test. After you talk to your college counselor, make sure you mark the date of your test on your calendar. You want to make sure you don’t miss and that you have enough time to study and prepare.

Make a Study Schedule

After talking to your counselor, you can make a study schedule. You don’t want studying for the PSAT to take time away from doing your homework or studying for regular exams. Make sure you plan your schedule around your existing responsibilities but give yourself enough time to cover all of the sections of the PSAT.

  • Read!
There’s no better way to train your brain than by reading. Reading has so many long-lasting benefits and the more literature you read the better you’ll understand reading questions on the exam. The critical reading section of the test will include sentence completion, passage-based reading focused on comprehension. In addition to reading, you can study vocabulary and test your knowledge of your reading materials.

  • Review Grammar
To prepare for the writing section of the PSAT, you should review grammar basics. It will test on on grammar by having you identify sentence errors and improve sentences and paragraphs.

  • Review Math Formulas
For the math section of the PSAT, you should review common formulas and make sure you know how to use them with your calculator. There will be multiple-choice questions and calculation questions in this section. Reviewing old math homework assignments and exams will help you refresh your knowledge for this section.

  • Take Practice Tests
Taking practice tests will help you prepare for the format of the questions and the challenging material it will cover. You can find online practice tests for the PSAT online or ask your counselor if they have any available.

After weeks or months of studying, you should just relax the night before the big test. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The PSAT is just practice for the real thing so you have room to mistakes. If you have any questions about how college counselors at The Kiski School help our students study for the PSATs and SATs as they prepare for college, feel free to contact us. Good luck!
 
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Established in 1888, The Kiski School is one of the oldest, private, all-boys, college preparatory boarding schools in Pennsylvania and the United States.  Home to 200 boys, Kiski offers an academically rigorous curriculum that includes AP and Honors courses, 12 varsity sports, and a community that allows boys to thrive through project-based learning and self-discovery.
Kiski's beautiful, 350-acre campus is located in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, PA.