In October, our sophomores and juniors took the PSAT exam. Two weeks prior to Christmas break, the guidance department met with each class to return their results. We took some time to explain how to read the results and provide additional information on what the actual SAT exam consists of. We also went into a brief discussion about the ACT exam. The ACT is another standardized tests that is accepted by all colleges. Because the format of the two tests are different, some students prefer one over the other. There will be more on the differences of the SAT and ACT in a blog post coming very soon!
A brief explanation of the PSAT results:
The score range of the PSAT is 20-80 for each of the three sections. The highest possible score one can receive is a 240. This is known as the Selection Index. How does this translate into an SAT score? Simply add a zero to the score of each section. Another great way to see how one does on the PSAT is to look at the percentages. This allows the student to see how he or she did compared to other students.
There are two more features on the score report that are extremely helpful in building skills.
First, the Your Skills section.
This section breaks down the types of questions and how well you answered them.
The next section is Your Answers.
Your Answers provides each question with the correct answer, your actual answer, and the level of difficulty. Again, this is great way to focus on the areas that need to be worked on.
So one might ask, “Now that I know all of the questions I got wrong, how do I work on them and learn why I got the incorrect answer?” First, each student got back his or her actual test booklet. Also, each student has an access code that is unique to him or her.
Students can go to www.collegeboard.org/quickstart, enter the access code, and be able to view all the test questions and read each answer’s explanation. In addition to accessing your Online Score Report, My College QuickStart also provides a customized SAT Study Plan, a personality test, and so much more. This is a wonderful tool that students should take full advantage of!
Sophomores that did not do as well as they hoped or thought they did should not worry! There may have been some material on the exam that they have not learned yet. They shouldn’t expect to do as well the juniors. Also, they will be taking it again next year so they have plenty of of time to prepare and practice :).
Juniors should plan on taking the SAT and/or ACT in the spring. Students are encouraged to take at least one of the exams twice. The spring is the perfect opportunity to take the first.
For additional information on the PSAT exam and to access My CollegeQuickstart, go to: