Those of you who are juniors are almost ready to take the PSAT. Some of you took it once as sophomores. For others of you, the PSAT will be the first time that you take an SAT/ACT-like test. If you haven’t done anything as far as prep, here are a few suggestions so that your experience taking the PSAT can be more helpful to you.
First, you should have received a prep booklet from your school—it consists of a guide to questions with a full-length practice test in the middle. If you have not yet received this (some schools don’t give it out until the day before—I do not understand why), first try checking with your school counselor to see if you can get it. If that fails, there’s a copy of the guide to questions online here. Unfortunately, the online version lacks the complete test. Fortunately, it still gives an overview of the PSAT with some sample questions.
If you only do one piece of preparation before the PSAT, go through the different question types and know what to look for. In particular, look over the formats for reading, writing, and math. Make sure you know how to use the grid-ins for math so that you don’t waste time on the test reading these directions. Look over the table of grammatical concepts that are tested. Then, try some of the sample questions!
If you have a little more time, try the full-length practice test. Also, you can start looking over SAT vocab lists (but don’t go crazy with it—not like you have much time at this point).
For any questions you do, make sure to check your answers and try to understand why you missed the questions that you missed.
Finally, relax! Use the PSAT to help you gauge how much work you’ll need to do for the SAT (and don’t forget about trying the ACT to see if it’s a better fit). Good luck!