The PSAT or Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test can teach your child a great deal.
While it is sometimes seen as a practice exam for SAT, it would be in your child’s best interest to prepare well and move forward with the experience they gain from the PSAT.
Here are five things you learn by taking the PSAT.
1. Your PSAT Score Does Matter
While college admissions do not factor this test into your child’s application, it doesn’t mean that it’s inconsequential or irrelevant.
Per US News, there are three reasons your PSAT score matters:
National Merit Scholarships. This is a monetary award that can help you access more scholarships.
Your score on your PSAT can affect your score on your SAT. You can get a pretty good sense of what the SAT is like by taking the PSAT, which gives you valuable experience. It will also give you a good idea of how well you’ll do on your SAT.
If you do well, it can boost your confidence. The PSAT is not the last test you will ever take as you advance in your education. If you score well on the PSAT, it could be an indicator of future performance on other exams.
2. It’s Important To Prepare For Every Exam
The importance of preparing for exams cannot be denied, especially when it comes to college admission tests like the ACT and SAT.
But there can be benefits beyond good grades that come with scoring high on various tests like the PSAT, such as scholarships.
Getting into the habit of preparing for tests can help you develop a plan of attack for future tests and help you do well on any tests you take in the future.
3. You Can Save Money On Test Prep
If you’re planning to hire a tutor to work with your child, you can get them to help your child prepare for the PSAT and SAT at the same time.
The two tests share a great deal in common, and as you’ve already learned, scoring well on one can be a confidence booster and indicator of future success.
If you’re going to be hiring a tutor anyway, it might be worth asking them to prepare your child for both tests at the same time.
4. Weaknesses You Should Focus On
It’s common for students to be stronger in some subject areas compared to others.
According to AcademicApproach: “The most important function of the PSAT is to help students learn.”
There are mainly four areas that can shed light on one’s strengths and weaknesses:
Composite scores. This score offers a high-level view of one’s performance.
Subscores. Subscores will help you identify specific areas you can improve in.
Question & answer analysis. You can look at how you answered each question and evaluate where you went wrong.
The test booklet. You can see your work and precisely the process you took to solve problems.
5. The Right Mentality
Per College Raptor: “Ultimately, the reason it is so important to take the PSAT has little to do with the academic importance of the test. Rather, the PSAT prepares students for the physical act of taking the test, something which can stress out even the most-prepared student.”
The PSAT is excellent preparation for SAT and can help you develop the mental skills necessary to focus on future exams.
The PSAT and SAT are almost identical in structure. As such, it can prove to be a valuable learning opportunity – one that could help you identify any weaknesses you may have, and create a study plan that will allow you to perform at your best for your SAT.