Are you looking to score high on the PSAT? Maybe you’re hoping to qualify for National Merit Finalist status. Read on to learn Brooke’s tips for getting 1450+ on the PSAT.
Practice with Real PSATs
Above all, the PSAT is a learning experience for those taking it. While only a few have been officially released by College Board, you may find more elsewhere. A good place to start is by asking older siblings or checking out online communities on places like Reddit. If you’re looking for real PSATs to take, we have a few on our resources page. Over at SupertutorTV, we do not advocate for breaking any copyright law!
Overall, practicing with real PSATs is hugely beneficial because the test is slightly different from the SAT. By taking practice PSATS, you can really target what specific types of questions you’re missing. Most of the differences in content appear in the math section. The PSAT does not expect you to have completed pre-calculus. Those pre-calculus questions on the SAT don’t often show up on the PSAT as a result.
Another benefit of using real PSAT practice tests is pacing. The PSAT is slightly shorter than the SAT and also has fewer questions. Ultimately, you have a little more breathing room per question on the PSAT. Taking a real PSAT practice test with a mock proctor can help with pacing for the test.
After you’ve taken the PSAT, now it’s time to go over what you missed! Check out Brooke’s full video explanations for the PSAT Practice Test #1. If you like those explanations and learn well in that way, it’s a piece of what we feature on our online course.
Study like you’re Studying for the SAT
If you’re hoping to get 1450+ on the PSAT, you should study like you’re getting ready for the SAT. Instead of getting one big book, we recommend checking out books from independent tutors.
SAT Book Recommendations
Erica Meltzer’s The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar
College Panda’s SAT Writing: Advanced Guide and Workbook
Erica Meltzer’s The Critical Reader: The Complete Guide to SAT Reading
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Supertutor was not paid in anyway to use these links, or paid by any of these book brands, however we do get a small percentage when these links are clicked on and the product is bought. Thank you for your support!
If you have a lot of time before your PSAT, then we recommend checking out our video, “Self-Study for the SAT.” However, if you don’t have a lot of time and you only need to bump your score by 50 or 100 points, then check out our video, “SAT Tips for High Scorers.” Any prep materials you would use for the SAT you can also use for the PSAT.
Master Strategies for all Sections
To ace the PSAT, you have to master basic strategies for every section of the test. For example, Brooke’s first tip for the reading section is to zoom out. When you feel like you can’t see the answer, then the best thing to do is take a step back and think about the answer choices and passage holistically. Don’t get too caught up in details matching. Often you have to get the overall feeling or vibe of the passage and not get bogged down by the nitty-gritty. Other tips for reading include coming up with your perfect answer first before you look at the choices and make sure you’re not making inferences! Look at how the words function in their specific context.
If you’re looking to improve on the writing and grammar section, make sure to perfect your grammar knowledge! You’ll need to know how to handle things like colons, semi-colons, run-on sentences, and verb tenses. You should also know how idiomatic usage works, as well as redundancy and rhetorical strategy. The writing section is also a great place to zoom out. Remember to take a second to understand the framework of the passage and expanding your viewpoint.
Quick tips to help you improve your math score include memorizing all the necessary formulas that will show up on the test. You can access our SAT Math cheat sheet to help with this by signing up for our mailing list below!