How to Do Well on the PSAT

St. Agnes Academy
Looking for guidance on how to do well on the PSAT exam? Review our guide that is beneficial for high schoolers to prepare for this rigorous exam.
As you progress on your academic journey, you will be faced with standardized testing, likely in your sophomore and junior years of high school.

The PSAT (known as the Preliminary SAT) is a crucial checkpoint in your pursuit of excellence. To help prepare you to conquer this challenge, we've gathered top-tier strategies from leading experts in test preparation.

We recommend reviewing our guide so that you have a better understanding of how to do well on the PSAT and prepare for success.

Understanding the PSAT

Before diving into preparation strategies, it's crucial to grasp the essentials. The PSAT isn't just a practice run for the SAT; it's an opportunity to qualify for the prestigious National Merit® Scholarship.

To familiarize yourself with the test structure and content, check out the official PSAT resources on the College Board website. These resources will provide you with key information to prepare for the PSAT.

Also, it is important to note that for the first time, the PSAT will be given in a digital format. So, how will this version of the exam look different?

  • The digital PSAT is substantially shorter than its paper and pencil predecessor – lasting 2 hours and 14 minutes instead of almost 3 hours.
  • The digital PSAT includes types of questions that measure skills and knowledge, not test-taking speed.
  • There will be shorter reading passages in the reading section.
  • A built-in calculator can be used on the entire Math section.

Proven Strategies from Experts

  • Kaplan Test Prep's Three Tips for PSAT Success: Start your journey with insights from Kaplan Test Prep. Their article on PSAT Test-Taking Strategies provides valuable insights into mastering the PSAT, covering everything from time management to effective guessing.
  • Higher Scores Test Prep: Key Tips for PSAT: Visit Higher Scores Test Prep for essential tips tailored to boost your PSAT scores. Dive into their expert advice on approaching each section strategically.
  • Engenius Learning's Top 3 PSAT Prep Strategies: Explore Engenius Learning's top three PSAT prep strategies to enhance your performance. From critical reading to math problem-solving, they've got you covered.
  • PrepMaven's Blog: Unlocking the Secrets of PSAT Success: Delve into PrepMaven's blog on PSAT Tips for a wealth of information. Learn how to improve your scores on the PSAT and tackle the math section with confidence.
  • C2 Education's Four Steps to a High PSAT Score: Follow the four steps outlined by C2 Education to maximize your PSAT potential. Their comprehensive guide covers everything from practice tests to effective SAT prep.
  • Test Prep Nerds: Expert PSAT Advice: Navigate to Test Prep Nerds for expert tips and advice tailored to the PSAT. Learn how to approach practice questions strategically and improve your overall testing performance.

Last-Minute Cramming and Full-Length Practice Tests

  • Prepscholar's Last-Minute Cramming Tips: In times of urgency, turn to Prepscholar for last-minute cramming tips. Their insights can help you make the most of your final preparations.
  • YouTube Insights: Visualizing Success: For visual learners, check out YouTube for video tips on PSAT success. Learn from real experiences and gain insights into effective study techniques.

How to Do Well on the PSAT and Enjoy Test Day Triumph

On testing day, you will want to be ready to apply the strategies you've honed through diligent preparation. Remember, each correct answer brings you closer to a high-scoring performance and potential qualification for the National Merit Scholarship.

By incorporating these expert strategies into your PSAT preparation, you'll not only enhance your scores but also develop essential skills for future academic challenges. Best of luck, and may your PSAT journey be a stepping stone to a bright and successful academic future!

The College Counseling Team at St. Agnes Academy provides many of the resources listed above and more support for St. Agnes students taking the PSAT. Learn how the SAA College Counseling Team prepares students to master the PSAT and review our school’s testing stats.

We would be glad to discuss how to do well on the PSAT and provide you with the resources you need before the next PSAT testing date. To learn more about the PSAT testing deadlines, visit our dedicated page for 10th and 11th graders.