For SAT & ACT info, visit the SAT & ACT page under College Planning…
August – Prepare!
October/November – Juniors Take the PSAT/NMSQT
Get a good night’s rest.
Bring a calculator with you for the math section. The math questions can be answered without a calculator, but if you want one, bring the one you are comfortable using. Calculators can be the scientific or graphing kind you use at school for your normal math classes; they cannot make sounds or have a keyboard.
January – Set up College Board accounts & review scores
February – Sophomores Take PSAT-10’s
Remember, this was a “P” SAT – meaning it’s practice to show you how this kind of test operates. Colleges do not receive PSAT scores. They are only for you to help you! Although college admissions do not rely solely on test scores (lots of other factors, too), but they do play a part, so the students who take the experience from the PSAT and learn from it, taking time to use the practice materials provided by College Board (and me!), will do better and score higher on the SAT later on. Question yourself – how many of you actually looked at the practice guide for the PSAT that I sent home with you in August? Do you think preparing for it might have helped your score? Just think about that for future tests.
PSAT/NMSQT scores are reported on a scale of 160 to 760 in each of two sections. In 2015, the benchmarks for college readiness (the ability to do college-level work successfully in the freshman year of college) were –
- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 460
- Math: 510
Also listed on your score report is the Selection Index, which is used to determine eligibility in National Merit Scholarship Corporation programs (NMSC). Note: Only students in eleventh grade are eligible to enter NMSC scholarship programs.
Finally, score reports include national percentiles, which allow you to compare your scores with other students in your grade level who have taken the PSAT/NMSQT. If you take the PSAT/NMSQT in the eleventh grade, you receive junior percentiles. If you take the PSAT-10 in tenth grade, you will receive sophomore percentiles. For example, a student in eleventh grade with a percentile of 55 has earned a score better than 55 percent of all eleventh graders. Another way to understand percentiles is to imagine 100 students lined up from the lowest (or 1st) percentile at the end of the line to the highest (or 99th) percentile at the front of the line. If you are at the 55th percentile, you would be the 56th person in line, ahead of 55 people in the line and behind 44. Go to Score Report Plus for more information about your score report.