If you’re planning to get a college degree, your biggest worry right now is probably the SAT — a standardized test used in the college admission process. If you start preparing for the test on time, your chances of acing it will significantly improve. But what is the best way to prepare?
The answer is pretty simple — the PSAT. If you do the PSAT, you’ll be able to use the PSAT to SAT conversion table to see what score you’re likely to get on the SAT.
Before moving on to the conversion, let’s see what the PSAT is and what it looks like.
What Is the PSAT All About?
The PSAT, also known as the Preliminary SAT, is a standardized test administered by The College Board. This test follows the structure of the SAT, which makes it a perfect practice test for anyone aiming for a college degree. However, the PSAT content is less advanced than what you will find on the SAT.
At the moment, there are three types of PSAT:
- PSAT 9 — designed for freshmen
- PSAT 10 — designed for sophomores
- PSAT/NMSQT — the best option for juniors.
While the PSAT 9 and PSAT 10 are great for introducing yourself to the test format, it is the PSAT/NMSQT that matters the most. That is the most advanced PSAT test, and it will give you an idea of where you stand.
Once you do the PSAT, you will be able to predict what kind of score you can expect to get on the SAT. What’s more, you will be able to identify your strongest and weakest areas and work on improving them.
But the crucial thing about PSAT/NMSQT is that it is your shot at qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship. In fact, that is why it is called NMSQT — the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Even though your PSAT score won’t be used in the college admission process, it can still boost your chances of getting into the best colleges. After all, the National Merit Scholarship qualification will surely improve your application.
What to Expect on the PSAT
When it comes to the content, there’s no need to worry. PSAT includes only the things that you’ve already covered in school. Thus, there will be no surprises.
The PSAT looks pretty much the same as the SAT. The test lasts two hours and 45 minutes. It comprises three sections: Reading, Writing and Language, and Math.
The Reading section contains several reading passages and tests how well you understand the context and apply that knowledge. Bear in mind that the genres of the passages vary. Therefore, you can expect anything from scientific texts to literary classics excerpts.
The Writing and Language section will test your grammar and syntax skills. You will need to correct sentences in a short text, identify mistakes, and fix paragraph structure.
The Math section covers basic math principles and mostly focuses on algebra. Still, there are other things that you may come across, such as data analysis and complicated equations. Luckily, you can use a calculator in certain parts of this section.
The PSAT Scoring
Both the Verbal part (the Reading and Writing and Language sections) and the Math part can bring you between 160 and 760 points. Therefore, your overall score can range from 320 to 1520.
Once you get your PSAT/NMSQT score, you can use the PSAT to SAT conversion charts to predict how well you will do the SAT the following year. That way, you will know what to expect and what areas to focus on to improve your score.
PSAT to SAT Conversion Table
|Your PSAT/NMSQT Score||Your Potential SAT Score|
The Bottom Line
The PSAT has many advantages. Not only will it give you a chance to win a scholarship, but it will also prepare you for what is to come on the SAT. Once you’ve done the PSAT, you will be familiar with the SAT structure and types of questions, which will certainly make things easier. What’s more, if you use a PSAT to SAT conversion table, you will know exactly what kind of score you can get on the test.