What to know about the PSAT for Freshmen

What to know about the PSAT for Freshmen

Olga Cortes, Writer

The PSAT’s are coming soon for freshmen. They will be held on January 28th and here are some things to know before taking the test.

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in the United States. Approximately 3.8 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT in 2019.

The PSAT won’t count towards your college admissions applications, but it is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship. Some of the highest scoring students may win scholarship money, so while you shouldn’t stress out about the PSAT, you certainly shouldn’t ignore it either. Use the PSAT as practice for the SAT and ACT and an important guidepost on your college admissions journey.

The PSAT has two sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.  You’ll encounter passage-based questions—sometimes accompanied by tables, graphs, and charts—and math problems drawing upon algebra, geometry, and a little trig.

Each section is scored on a scale of 160–760, making a “perfect” score 1520. There are also test scores, cross-test scores, and subscores. Find out more about PSAT scoring.

For ILS students, Mrs. Serratore announced via email that the test is going to be in person. It will not be an online test. It will be a paper and pencil test. 

All freshmen are required to take the test. If you do not, it can affect your placement for 10th grade. If you do not take the test it will be considered an unexcused absence.

Be there like any other day at school, at 7:45 am. Bring #2 pencils and a calculator. There will be early dismissal at 12:00.

Don’t worry there will “grab and go” lunch. This means that the cafeteria staff will make the students lunch and put it in a bag, so the students can grab and go, hence the name.

“The PSAT is a really great way to know how much you need to work on for when you take the SAT,” said ILS senior Sofia Farres.

“ILS also uses it for the purposes of class placement for your next year, so be sure to take it seriously! Don’t blow it off or think it’s not a big deal because it’s really beneficial to get an accurate score,” she said. 

Farres recommends: “Try your best to get a good night’s sleep, and eat a hearty breakfast.”

So make sure to have a good night’s rest and be ready to use your brain! Have a good breakfast and don’t forget to bring your supplies.