8th Graders Take PSAT Tomorrow, Dec. 7


Lexi Garza

 The PSAT is December 7, so what will eight graders need to know about it?

The PSAT is like a trial run for the SAT. It stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test. The PSAT is not a college admissions test, it’s a qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship. Some of the highest scoring ninth grade students can win scholarship money. The PSAT is a practice test for the SAT, and your SAT score can dictate what colleges you get in to and what kind of scholarships you can receive.

You take the PSAT in eighth, ninth, and tenth grade. Willow Springs eighth graders will be taking the PSAT on December 7, after a failed attempt on November 16. Most students don’t prepare for the PSAT at all, so studying for it will give you a huge advantage over your classmates. The best way to prepare for the PSAT is to learn the format of the test. The PSAT and SAT are very similar. The PSAT just has fewer questions, and you don’t have to write an essay. There are four parts to the PSAT, reading, writing, math without a calculator, and math with a calculator. You take the reading part first. You have one hour to complete the 47 questions on the reading part. The writing part comes second, you get only 35 minutes to answer 44 questions. The first math part, without a calculator, is only 17 questions and you get 25 minutes to complete them. The second math part, with a calculator, is 31 questions and you get 45 minutes. All of the questions are multiple choice except some of the math questions, which are grid-ins. The reading and writing tests test your vocabulary, ability to find text evidence, data interpretation, grammar, and your ability to edit and improve passages. The math tests test you on algebra, data analysis, geometry, and trigonometry.

Another good way to prepare is to learn how to take this kind of test. You probably won’t finish it so you should skip any questions you don’t know. You won’t get docked points for not answering, You will get points for every correct answer. You should also set a goal for what you want your score to be. Each section is scored between 160-760, adding up to an overall score between 320-1520. On the math section you should aim between 510-760 and on the reading and writing you should aim between 460-760, making your total score between 970-1520.

 The PSAT can be a scary test, but it doesn’t affect your grades and colleges don’t look at it so you shouldn’t worry about it too much. Just treat it like a practice test and do your best. Good Luck!