What are PSAT & SAT Examinations? Tips, Strategies & Important Dates.
What is PSAT?
PSAT or The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in the United States.
It’s Score / Grade Range is 160-760 for two sections, adding up to a maximum score of 1520. Reading and Mathematics skills are evaluated here. It is of 2 hours and 45 minutes duration.
What is SAT?
The full-form of SAT is the ‘Scholastic Aptitude Test‘. The SAT is a standardized test used for college admissions in the USA. Scores on the SAT range from 400 – 1600. The SAT exam is needed for securing admissions at an undergraduate level.
Read more about the SAT Exam in our previously published article: SAT Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Fees, Test Centres & Exam Dates in India 2020 – 2021
PSAT VS SAT
Though PSAT and SAT aren’t much different but there are a few points in which they differentiate in an elaborated manner. Following are the points:
- PSAT material is slightly easier than SAT
- Top score in PSAT is 1520, which is 80 points lower than 1600 i.e. maximum score in SAT
- PSAT Reading and Math contain fewer questions than SAT and are thus, shorter than their corresponding SAT math sections
- No essay in PSAT
WHEN TO APPEAR FOR SAT AND PSAT?
Given the college application timeline, you should try to take your first SAT exam in Sept-Oct of eleventh class. This way, if you are not happy with the score and want a better score, you can retake SAT in April-May or after your eleventh final exams. If you get a good score in the first attempt, it means your twelfth class will be completely free for the college application process.
The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) is a test taken by students across the world who want to get an idea of the SAT format and difficulty level well before they take the actual SAT itself. In India, many students take the PSAT in Grade 9 or 10 to get an idea where they stand before sitting in the SAT Exam.
TIPS FOR SAT AND PSAT
PSAT & SAT STRATEGY #1: TRIAGING THE TEST:
First, work through all the easy questions that you can do quickly. Skip questions that are hard or time-consuming. You do not need to complete questions in order. Second, work through the questions that are doable but time-consuming. In the end, with the time remaining, work through the hard questions.
PSAT & SAT STRATEGY #2: ELIMINATION:
- See, the question :
- Read each answer choice
- Cross out the answer choices that are incorrect
- Remember: There is no wrong-answer penalty, so take your best guess
PSAT & SAT STRATEGY #3: DON’T CHANGE
Your first response is usually correct.
Our first response to a question is usually correct. Don’t change an answer unless you’re certain you’ve made an error.
PSAT & SAT STRATEGY #4: GUESS
Never skip answers. Earlier in SAT, you were penalized for guessing. But not anymore! If you don’t have any idea what the answer is? then guess. But try to get an idea of what can be an incorrect choice and then eliminate them before taking the guess.
LAST BUT NOT AT ALL THE LEAST STRATEGY#5: DON’T WASTE TIME
Author: Kartikey Tripathi
With a Masters Degree in Media Science and Specialisation in Corporate Communications. I have both likeliness as well as professional experience in Advertising Copywriting. I’m an actor cum writer based in India.
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