In the next few weeks, members of the high school class of 2012 will receive their October PSAT/NMSQT results. While some students will anxiously await their scores in hopes of progressing further in the National Merit Scholarship/National Achievement Scholarship competition, many simply glance over the report before relegating it to their growing pile of college related information. Fortunately for test takers at all score levels, the PSAT score report provides a wealth of information to aid you in your SAT and college preparation.
At the most basic level, you can add a zero to PSAT section scores to gain a rough estimate of how you might perform on the SAT. Remember, the SAT also contains an essay, and for many test takers, scores can fluctuate, regardless of preparation, so use this as a guideline, not a gospel.
In addition, you will receive a percentile score. For students in the class of 2012, you are compared with all other test takers in the class of 2012. All younger students are grouped together for percentile purposes. For most students, when they apply to colleges, their test scores support their day-to-day classroom performance, as it is reflected on their transcripts and in course selection. If your test scores are significantly higher or lower than your grades and the rigor of your curriculum, consider the reasons behind this. Should you be applying yourself more in class? Should you put an emphasis on your preparation for the spring SAT and ACT administrations?
The PSAT is one of the few times you will receive your test booklet with your score report. It doesn’t take too long to compare the two and understand your errors. Did you run out of time? Guess when you should have omitted the answer? Do you need to brush up on geometry? Identifying your weaknesses will help you determine what type, if any, of preparation might benefit you the most.