By Jean Burk
A well-kept secret when it comes to raising your teen’s PSAT score is that there is a wrong way and a right way to practice for the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT. Surprised? It’s true. Because the test is based on critical thinking, the best way to raise the score is to follow the guidelines below.
By making the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT a priority in the early high school years, students can avoid cramming at the last minute on a test that has very little to do with content. Learning the logical approach to test-taking as soon as possible is the key to doing well. An early start to test preparation will lessen text anxiety and put time back on the side of the student.
Search & Destroy
Students should start by learning to find the recurring patterns on the test, and then continue by practicing using only materials from the test-makers themselves (The College Board). Then, as they practice, it is imperative that they go back over the questions they miss and identify their weaknesses and common mistakes so they can avoid these bad habits in the future.
Keep At It
Imagine you’re part of a soccer or basketball team. Your coach will tell you that concentrated energy and numerous hours of practice are the only ways to improve. This same approach applies to the PSAT. Incorporating quality study patterns on a daily basis can give students the skills they need to succeed.
How Our State Measures Up
55.6% of Alabama juniors taking
the PSAT meet or exceed the “college ready” benchmark, as do 55.5% of Alabama sophomores. This is higher than the national average of 49% for juniors and 41.3 % for sophomores.
In 2012, 1,585,611 sophomores in the United States took the PSAT/NMSQT. See how Alabama sophomores stack up against mean national scores.
National Average: 43.6
National Average: 43.6
National Average: 41.8
Learn more about increasing your teen’s PSAT score (and why you should) and find a wealth of helpful test prep info for the SAT at collegeprepgenius.com.
Jean Burk is the author of College Prep Genius and has written numerous articles about the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT. She currently travels and speaks about the
importance of college preparation, how to get free college and teaches her
“Master the SAT” Prep Class all over Texas as well as other states to college-bound students. She has been featured as an SAT expert on three major television networks.