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7 Best PSAT Prep Tips and About PSAT

Jan 25, 2023

PSAT Prep Tips

Many of you may think about attempting the SAT exam during high school. In this process, PSAT will be a great helper for you. The PSAT (i.e., Preliminary SAT) helps high school and junior students with their SAT exam preparations.

If you are a novice, you may have many questions, like what the PSAT is, how to prepare for the PSAT, tips for preparing for the PSAT, and many more. It is necessary to get familiarized with PSAT before knowing how to score high on the exam.


In this unit, you will master some of the best PSAT Prep Tips 

Overview About PSAT

The Preliminary SAT or PSAT is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). It is a practice version of the SAT exam. You can receive a National Merit Scholarship after earning a high score on the PSAT during your junior year.


This test is administered by the College Board. You can take the PSAT once a year. It is a great opportunity for high school students planning for the SAT. This test is held in October every year, and the questions are multiple-choice.

Knowing better concepts, strategies, and tips can easily aid you in succeeding in PSAT. PSAT preparations will help you improve your confidence and the test-taking skills that will help you during the SAT.


How to Prepare for the PSAT?

To prepare for college admission tests, you must take academic tests, placement tests, or many other tests. PSAT is also one of the most important tests among them. Many students do not know how to prepare for the PSAT. The following steps will help you in this situation:

Step 1: Know about PSAT

Many students link PSAT with SAT. Although it is wrong to say that both are the same, you can say PSAT is the practice version of SAT. It would be best if you learned the difference between both tests.


The biggest difference is that PSAT cannot allow you to get into college. However, you can get an opportunity to earn a National Merit Scholarship with its help.

Step 2: Plant a Goal

Before starting your preparation for the PSAT, planning your goal and how to achieve it is necessary. It would be best if you set a goal so that you can chase after it. You can select your aim to

  • Get National Merit Scholarship.
  • Score perfect.
  • Targeting SAT.

Then start your PSAT preparation and chase after your goal.

Step 3: Practice Diligently and Regularly

‘Practice is the key to success.’


Everyone is aware of this idiom. It is one of the important parts of preparing for the PSAT. Practicing PSAT will let you experience the exam pattern and type of questions.

This way, you have a high chance of scoring high on the test and get an opportunity to receive the National Merit Scholarship.


Step 4: Analyze your Mistakes

On the way to learning how to prepare for the PSAT, analyzing your mistakes can be of great step. When you analyze your mistakes, you will learn the areas you lack during preparation. Those weak areas will ensure that you need more information to cover them.

Once you analyze your mistakes and collect the required information, you can start to overcome them. This step is a good way of preparing for the PSAT actual test.

Tips for PSAT Preparation

After knowing how to prepare for the PSAT, you can start your preparation journey. As this journey is difficult, knowing some tips can greatly aid you. The given below are some tips that can assist you in your PSAT test:

PSAT Prep Tips 1: Collect All Related Material

It is very crucial to have the right material to start preparation. You can find a lot of support to help you with your preparation. You can also look for the official College Board website to get more assistance on PSAT. You can get many practice papers that can assist you in learning strategies and concepts.

Solving PSAT practice papers is a good way to brush up on your preparation. They will help you understand the exam format, build confidence, and learn from mistakes.

PSAT Prep Tips 2: Work on Fundamental Concepts

PSAT is like a standardized exam. This test helps you test your knowledge of the subjects you have already studied in your school. But to score high and target a National Merit Scholarship, it is necessary to work on your foundation studies. Make your fundamental concepts strong. It will let you earn a high score on the test. Escalating your reading time, learning reading skills, and improving your vocabulary can lead you to score high in the PSAT Reading section.

PSAT Prep Tips 3: Practice more to Build Skills

Solving practice papers, reading books and newspapers, and familiarizing yourself with test style and timing will help you build skills that help crack PSAT with a good score. Practice more and more is the only effective way for PSAT preparation. While solving the practice paper, make your surroundings like the exam hall and stimulate the testing environment. For this

  • Print the PSAT sample papers.
  • Use bubble sheets to answer the questions.
  • Set a timer with the real PSAT exam timings.
  • Try to solve the complete paper in one go.

PSAT Prep Tips 4: Familiarize with the Calculator

Apart from the Reading and Writing sections, the PSAT exam has a Mathematics section also. Using a calculator to get a good score is allowed for students because the test involves advanced-level Mathematics questions that junior students cannot solve without a calculator.

Therefore, you must practice using a calculator beforehand. Please familiarize yourself with it so that you can become comfortable with your calculator, which will not affect your performance during the exam.

PSAT Prep Tips 5: Prioritize your Questions

While solving the sample papers, target the questions you find easy to answer. If you need to skip a few questions and jump around in search of easy questions, do not go back with it. In the PSAT exam, all the questions carry equal weight. So, feel free to search for easy questions and answer them. Do not waste unnecessary time on difficult questions. It is better to skip them than waste your precious time on them.

PSAT Prep Tips 6: Go Through the Paper Carefully

Attempting PSAT is a challenge for test-takers. Sometimes it happens that you find a question simple, but that question is a tricky one. As a result, you lost your score with it. So, it is better to read the question paper carefully before answering the questions. It will be best if you read a question twice or thrice and look for the truthful elements not select the wrong option.

PSAT Prep Tips 7: Make a Schedule Chart

A study chart will help you divide your precious time among all the subjects concerning the PSAT exam. It helps you in preparing mentally during your crucial time. A schedule chart will also help you learn discipline, consistency, focus, and staying calm in tough conditions. So, adhering to a study timeline is very important before PSAT.


Taking the PSAT is a general exam for high school sophomores before graduation. Although the PSAT exam will not aid you in gaining college admission, you can get your first experience of standardized college tests. It can also assist you in winning the National Merit Scholarship (NMS), which will help with your college tuition fees.

The best thing about PSAT is it will help you learn all the concepts and strategies that can assist you with SAT in the future. Using the PSAT, as mentioned above, and test-taking tips, you can dominate this standardized test.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a negative marking concept with the PSAT exam?

No. Each correct answer will let you earn an equal score and add one point to your overall score. There is no penalty for the guessed answers in PSAT. The College Board removed the negative marking format in 2016. So, for the questions you do not know the answer to, you can tick the guessed answers for them. However, remember to stick to one letter rather than guess randomly.

2. What is the level of Mathematics in PSAT?

The mathematics section of the PSAT is of advanced level and counts heavily on your overall score. This section tests your foundation knowledge of Mathematics topics in the context of real-world situations. Although the College Board has permitted the calculators, the permission is for certain questions.

3. Do colleges look for PSAT scores?

No. PSAT is like a practice test for the preparation for SAT. It is a Preliminary SAT and is like a standardized exam for a college test. Universities and colleges do not use PSAT scores for making college admission decisions.

4. Why should I take the PSAT exam?

Certain reasons let you consider taking the PSAT exam. Some of them are given below:

  • It can let you earn a National Merit Scholarship, which will help you with college tuition.
  • With the help of PSAT, you can make strategies and prepare concepts for the SAT exam.
  • It can boost your confidence to a new level.
  • You can work on your foundation with the help of the PSAT.
PSAT Prep Tips


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