PSAT Means Preparation

What benefits arise from taking the PSAT?


Someone fills in bubbles for a standardized test. Photo used from Unsplash.

The SAT is the leading exam in the United States in terms of its wide-ranging importance, and students spend hours of their time preparing for it. However, the SAT is also joined by the PSAT, taken by underclassmen around the same time. Although it is lesser known and cared for than the SAT, the PSAT has value and importance.

It provides realistic practice, just slightly easier due to being aimed at lower grade levels. Using the PSAT, students can effectively gain experience for the SAT, which they will then take as juniors.

“To keep the SAT on the table and to get the best score you possibly can, the PSATs are just practice for that, and that’s the best, proven way to increase your SAT score,” Air Academy High School college and career counselor Erica Riggs explained.

The PSAT is also a highly useful tool for estimating someone’s potential SAT score. The PSAT 9 and 10 are scored out of 1440 and 1520 respectively, and the SAT is scored out of 1600 in order to create the ability to translate scores.

“I will say, the scores you get on PSAT 9 and PSAT 10 give us a really good indication of what you will likely get on your SAT. So, even though it might be a little bit easier, your score is usually pretty close, if you don’t do a lot of practicing in between, to what you will get on the actual SAT,” Riggs added.

Any student who wants to get a higher score on the SAT should consider taking the PSAT. SAT scores are highly valuable for AAHS students, so they should try to do as well on it as they can. In this regard, the PSAT is a valuable way to do this.

“For the majority of students, we’re going to use that SAT score to prove that you’re proficient in English and in Math, and check those off that you’re good for graduation… [The PSAT] is just a practice to get you ready for the SAT, and the SAT is the one that you’re going to use for graduation requirements, college admissions, and scholarships,” Riggs summarized.

The PSAT is not only a great way to prepare for the SAT, but the PSAT/NMSQT taken by juniors can even qualify students for scholarships. Students should not pass up an opportunity to save money for college and take advantage of this chance.

“The PSAT is a great primer for the SAT, and even the ACT, but it’s more than just a trial run. PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships…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,” a webpage by The Princeton Review titled “About the PSAT Test” noted.

While some colleges are becoming test-blind, it is still crucial to be prepared for the SAT. One of the most invaluable ways to prepare is by taking the PSAT. Students across AAHS should take the PSAT and do their best to be as prepared as possible for the future.