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Janeway

Best PSAT and/or SAT prep?

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My 10th grader earned almost 200 on the PSAT this year. I would like for him to take a prep class and feel he could make NMS, but he would need to have very good prep. What would be the best for prep? I have no idea where to start. 

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I just about fell over before realizing you posted his selection index (vs. scaled scores).

 

Hands down, best FIRST place to start is Khan Academy. He should be able to link his PSAT (College Board) account with a Khan Academy account. They will target his test prep to what he needs to work on the most. If you give them a date to shoot for as far as taking an actual test, they'll even give you suggestions as to how often and how much prep he should be doing every day or every week. They have at least two other PSAT practice tests on Khan. I can't remember if they are only paper tests (print them out) or if you can take them on the computer. Khan has several full length practice SATs, too.

 

If he feels like that isn't enough, there are prep books. Come back and ask about those once he's spent significant time on Khan and taken at least one more practice test. For National Merit, the English sections are very important to do well on since those are counted twice vs. only once for the math.

My 10th grader earned almost 200 on the PSAT this year. I would like for him to take a prep class and feel he could make NMS, but he would need to have very good prep. What would be the best for prep? I have no idea where to start. 

 

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I just about fell over before realizing you posted his selection index (vs. scaled scores).

 

Hands down, best FIRST place to start is Khan Academy. He should be able to link his PSAT (College Board) account with a Khan Academy account. They will target his test prep to what he needs to work on the most. If you give them a date to shoot for as far as taking an actual test, they'll even give you suggestions as to how often and how much prep he should be doing every day or every week. They have at least two other PSAT practice tests on Khan. I can't remember if they are only paper tests (print them out) or if you can take them on the computer. Khan has several full length practice SATs, too.

 

If he feels like that isn't enough, there are prep books. Come back and ask about those once he's spent significant time on Khan and taken at least one more practice test. For National Merit, the English sections are very important to do well on since those are counted twice vs. only once for the math.

the overall score was 13 something...I do not have it in front of me...1370? 1340? Something like that. The smaller number, the one you see on charts was almost 200.

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 For National Merit, the English sections are very important to do well on since those are counted twice vs. only once for the math.

I am very disappointed about this part. They did it this way when I was a teen. I would have thought they would have moved on to having math be as important as English.

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the overall score was 13 something...I do not have it in front of me...1370? 1340? Something like that. The smaller number, the one you see on charts was almost 200.

Sure. Just threw me off balance for a few seconds. You might also want to check your state's selection index cut off for the past couple of years to see what he'll have to improve his score to. They've gone up since the PSAT/SAT changed a few years ago.

 

Let's say he had a 1340 with a 650 English and a 690 math (199 SI). 

For the sake of the example, let's say you live in Texas (SI actual for NMSF seniors this year = 221). So, his SI would need to improve by 22.

 

The top PSAT score in each section is 760 (SAT is 800, but PSAT doesn't go that high).

He has 70 points (7 selection index points) he can improve in Math (on the example #s above), but 110 (22 selection index points) he can go up on what I call the English section and the College Board calls "Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score".

 

So, while he should work on his math score, he doesn't have as much room to improve as on his English section. And, the amount he improves on that English section counts double.

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I was going to suggest Khan as well.  That's what I have my tenth grader doing; I like how Khan links to College Board and provides a more custom approach.

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Sure. Just threw me off balance for a few seconds. You might also want to check your state's selection index cut off for the past couple of years to see what he'll have to improve his score to. They've gone up since the PSAT/SAT changed a few years ago.

 

Let's say he had a 1340 with a 650 English and a 690 math (199 SI). 

For the sake of the example, let's say you live in Texas (SI actual for NMSF seniors this year = 221). So, his SI would need to improve by 22.

 

The top PSAT score in each section is 760 (SAT is 800, but PSAT doesn't go that high).

He has 70 points (7 selection index points) he can improve in Math (on the example #s above), but 110 (22 selection index points) he can go up on what I call the English section and the College Board calls "Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score".

 

So, while he should work on his math score, he doesn't have as much room to improve as on his English section. And, the amount he improves on that English section counts double.

 

:iagree:  I saw this thread earlier and came back to post this same thing (only probably not as well.)

 

My first step would be to realistically assess whether a NM score is attainable. If not, I would not do a ton of prep for the PSAT and would focus on skills development in general for the SAT, which will be more important.

 

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:iagree:  I saw this thread earlier and came back to post this same thing (only probably not as well.)

 

My first step would be to realistically assess whether a NM score is attainable. If not, I would not do a ton of prep for the PSAT and would focus on skills development in general for the SAT, which will be more important.

 

 

You probably would have done much better than I. It really does depend on the Selection Index range for the particular state, although it isn't unheard of to have a Selection Index jump of 15+ between Sophomore and Junior Year. (linked post is Reg's family history of #s) It is easier to improve the math score when it is low and you just haven't had the math yet by the Sophomore year test. Or, you prep really hard with a low English score and can just knock the socks off English while keeping a high math number.

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I was going to suggest Khan as well.  That's what I have my tenth grader doing; I like how Khan links to College Board and provides a more custom approach.

 

I agree with the Khan Academy tip, but I also like the SAT Prep Black Book on Amazon because it gives test-taking tips (in addition to help with the content).

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