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Did your student prep at all for taking the PSAT in 10th grade?  

 

If they did prep, how much/long?  What did they find to be the best test prep resource?

 

I know the PSAT & SAT are different, but it seems like it would be more time effective to just prep for the regular SAT, since that one matters more unless one were specifically targeting NM finalist status.  Wouldn't SAT prep also help PSAT performance?  Do we need to bother with specific PSAT test prep? (Having taken the SAT in the era of no prep, just showing up w/ a #2 pencil, it's hard to fathom all this test prep, but I know it's a different world...)

 

 

It looks like there is a "PSAT 10," starting in spring 2016, but that does not count toward the NMSQT. The PSAT10  is targeted toward 10th graders while the PSAT/NMSQT is targeted at 11th graders, but why bother w/ the PSAT 10?  Why not just use the real thing for 10th?

 

 

 

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Before 11th grade - minimal prep. DD worked through the one practice test in the booklet we received when we signed up.

In 11th grade - definitely, since she could potentially make National Merit. Bought a test prep book and worked through it over the course of three weeks

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So it was specifically PSAT prep?  Not SAT prep that had the spillover effect of helping w/ her PSAT score? 

 

Did your daughter think there was much difference between the PSAT and the SAT?  Or between prep for the PSAT and prep for the SAT?

 

And were her scores on the practice PSAT (or practice SAT) pretty similar to her scores on the real tests?

Thanks!

 

 

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My daughter found the Chalk Dust SAT Math Review to be helpful for the math portion of both the PSAT and SAT.  I had my teen watch the DVD and stop it whenever she needed/wished to work a problem. She also did several practice tests (in their entirety) as well as worked through math sections in the big blue book. Ideally, I'd start the Chalkdust program about 8 weeks before the test for maximum effect.

 

I'd also suggest reading/working through a PSAT prep book to learn some test taking strategies.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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So it was specifically PSAT prep?  Not SAT prep that had the spillover effect of helping w/ her PSAT score? 

 

Specific PSAT prep. The test is very different: much easier math, and no essay

 

 

 

Did your daughter think there was much difference between the PSAT and the SAT?  Or between prep for the PSAT and prep for the SAT?

 

yes, much difference. SAT has harder math, and an essay, and is much longer. The prep was definitely different.

 

 

 

And were her scores on the practice PSAT (or practice SAT) pretty similar to her scores on the real tests?

 

Yes.

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I had my ds take the PSAT in 9th and 10th grade without prepping.  Each year he scored high enough that, if he had been a senior, he would have made the commended status but not enough to be named a National Merit Semifinalist/Finalist.  

 

Because we new he was close to the cutoff score he needed for NM (12 points away), he studies a great deal the summer between 10th and 11th grade.  He used the Chalkdust Math Review, studying the concepts for which he felt he needed some review.  He also used the SAT blue book.  He would take a section a day and work through the questions without a time limit.  He would then review ALL the questions (even the ones he answered correctly).  He then started timing himself, giving himself 10-15 minutes extra per section.  He would again review ALL questions.  He did this until he could answer all sections well within the time limit.  Ds also used released exams I found online, although now with the new format we will not have access to a bunch of previously released exams.

 

The SAT is more difficult than the PSAT, and this method allowed him to "overprep" for the PSAT.  He raised his score 24 points on the PSAT, easily obtaining a score that would qualify him for NM in any state.  His SAT score was comparable, but a bit lower, than his PSAT score. 

 

I think taking it without prepping (other than taking a practice test to get an idea of the format of the test) gives you a good baseline.  My dd, who will be in 9th grade this year, will take it this year and next without prep before it counts in 11th grade.

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My ds took the PSAT in 10th grade and did no prep at all. However, he had taken the SAT previously for a talent search, so he was familiar with the test. This fall he'll take it in 11th grade, and he is (will be) doing prep since he is borderline for national merit. At least he was borderline on the old PSAT. It's hard to say where he is with the new PSAT.

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The only prep we did for the PSAT was going through the booklet they give to all students taking the test. I didn't think NM scholarships were within range, so we just used the PSAT to help us decide if we should bother with the SAT.

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My boys didn't find any difference between the PSAT and SAT.  My oldest's SAT score was exactly 10 times his PSAT.  My middle son's SAT score was slightly higher than his PSAT score.  The biggest prep my boys did was working through the Direct Hits vocabulary books.  They also worked through the reading and writing sections in the Blue Book published by the College Board.

 

The PSAT this year will be very different from the current SAT, unfortunately. 

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Thanks so much for the feedback on how your students prepped. I'll have to look for the Direct Hits books. Haven't seen them yet.

 

 

The PSAT this year will be very different from the current SAT, unfortunately. 

 

Is that bec. the SAT has been revised, but the PSAT hasn't ?   Or vice versa?

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Thanks so much for the feedback on how your students prepped. I'll have to look for the Direct Hits books. Haven't seen them yet.

 

 

Is that bec. the SAT has been revised, but the PSAT hasn't ?   Or vice versa?

 

The latter.  This year has the new PSAT.  The new SAT will commence next March.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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My son prepped using old SATs. We didn't invest in a course, but he spent time on test prep each day during the spring , summer and fall (10-11 th grade). His score increased 30 points. This opened a few doors for him. I think I lived on College Confidential at the time. They had lots of good study methods.

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No prep for PSAT.  I knew my ds wouldn't score high enough for the merit scholarship, so we did it just for the test taking experience.  If your child is taking it with the hopes of qualifying for the scholarship, then by all means prep for it.

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