5 Steps To Prepare For PSAT The Right Way

Tutela PSAT in 5 steps to prepare

The PSAT is a great primer for the SAT, but it’s more than just a trial run.

The Preliminary SAT(PSAT) is a standardized test administered by the College Board and is co-sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation(NMSC) in the United States. The PSAT is essentially a gateway to doing well on the SAT. The two tests share several similarities as well. As a result, prepping for the PSAT can give you an early sense of what are the SAT content areas you’ll need to strengthen and what strategies and approaches work well for you.

Since PSAT will be the first standardized test you will be appearing for, take no worries! We have got you covered with this step-by-step guide to PSAT preparation:

Step 1: Get familiar with the syllabus of the PSAT

Understanding the format of the PSAT is the easiest and most fundamental manner, to begin with. Keep a note to be well-versed in these topics.

English(Reading, Writing, and Language): Vocabulary, Ability to find evidence for answers in passages, Data interpretation, Ability to improve flow and style of passages(writing only), English grammar and Punctuation(Writing only)
Math(With and without a calculator): Algebra, Non-linear expressions, Data Analysis, Geometry, Trigonometry, Complex Numbers


Step 2: Define your goals by setting a target score

In general, you must score 1400 on PSAT but regardless of that, you’ll have to aim high!
You must have a rough idea of what colleges you want to apply to as a senior. Once you have got your list of target colleges narrowed down to your priorities, start studying according to their score requirements.


Step 3: Find and analyze your strength and weakness

While studying, try to understand why the incorrect answer choices you chose are in fact wrong. Mark the questions you have answered incorrectly and spend time figuring out where your logic/concept/calculations went wrong. Find out if there are any patterns in your mistakes. For example, are you getting stuck on a certain kind of question type? Do you guess the answers randomly or strategically? Pin-pointing your mistakes and understanding what you need to do in order to fix them, allows you to avoid repeating them on the PSAT(even on the SAT & ACT).


Step 4: Take PSAT practice tests

If you’re aiming to do well in the PSAT, taking official PSAT practice tests is one of the best ways to boost your scores. Out of all the study materials, practice tests are perhaps the best resources available which you can download from the College Board’s website. Practice tests are splendid tools for tracking your progress.

While taking a practice test, it is advisable to always simulate real test conditions as closely as possible(take the practice test in a quiet room without any distraction and timing yourself on each section) as doing this ensures that you will have an explicit and more accurate sense of where your strength and weaknesses lie.


Step 5: Use SAT questions & tests for extra practice

There aren’t many resources for PSAT practice. Having stated that, there are tons of free SAT resources with questions nearly identical to those on the PSAT.  Therefore, it is advised to incorporate SAT resources into your PSAT prep if you’re dissatisfied with the breadth of questions in PSAT practice tests.


Last but not least, you have to be meticulous and laser-focused on your studies. And as any standardized test is a coachable test, do let us know if you need any assistance by filling out Tutela’s Student Assistance Form.