PSAT Tips!

Alexis Kelerchian, Writer

Hey sophomores and juniors! Are you getting ready to take the PSAT this Wednesday, October 13th? Maybe feeling some pre-test nerves? You have nothing to be worried about! The PSAT is designed to gauge your current proficiency on the SAT exam without the pressure of it being an actual administration of the SAT. For juniors, you might be thinking about qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship, which is determined by your scores on the junior year PSAT. Although qualifying for the NMS program is an exciting academic feat, try not to let the pressure get to your head! Rising juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to apply for a myriad of merit, skill-based, athletic, and other scholarships for college, so don’t sweat one standardized test too much if you do not earn your desired score.

If you are looking to score your absolute best on the PSAT this year, here are some helpful tips to get you there:

  1. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam. Shoot for seven to nine hours of sleep, and make sure you set an alarm for the morning of the exam, so you don’t wake up late and rush to school flustered.
  2. Sharpen two to five #2 pencils, have handy an eraser and double-check your calculator’s batteries or charge percentage. Set out your testing supplies the night before the exam to ensure effective testing the next day.
  3. Eat breakfast and pack snacks. Even if you do not typically eat breakfast, have some scrambled eggs, yogurt, or cereal before entering the testing room. Pack a water bottle and a snack (granola bar, pretzels) to eat during a mid-exam break to keep up your energy.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring layers. Maybe you have a lucky shirt or pair of shoes (I have both!); Wear them to testing day but be sure to bring a sweater or sweatshirt in case it gets cold in the testing room. The last thing you want to worry about while taking the PSAT is the thermostat!
  5. Don’t post about the PSAT questions on social media. Guys, this should be an easy one, but PSAT Twitter memes can be very enticing. Do not republish, repost, text, or comment on any PSAT question content you see on social media. The College Board gets better and better at catching students who publish testing material every year, and you don’t want to jeopardize your scores because you got too edgy on TikTok.
  6. Take a deep breath. The PSAT can seem daunting, but you’re a Gwynedd Girl – you’ve got this! Come prepared, come ready to work, and your studious behavior will pay off in the end. Remember that the PSAT is not your final score, and you have plenty more opportunities to showcase your test-taking abilities and academic excellence in future examinations and applications.