What is the PSAT® 10? Why does it exist? Should you take it? How is it different from the PSAT®? We’ll answer these questions in this blog post.
What is the PSAT® 10?
Beyond the SAT, the College Board has three other tests: the PSAT®, PSAT® 8/9, and PSAT® 10. The PSAT® 10 is a test given to 10th graders who are interested in how they might do on a standardized exam. Unlike the SAT and PSAT®, the PSAT® 10 is given on a flexible schedule by schools that contract for it. Additionally, the testing season for the PSAT® 10 spans from February 22nd to March 26th of 2021, and from April 13th to April 30th of 2021. It’s always given in the Spring.
There are multiple testing dates for the PSAT® 10 because it technically doesn’t count for anything. This is different from the PSAT®, which is often used for scholarship qualifications at several colleges. Again, the PSAT® 10 is completely for practice.
What’s on the PSAT® 10?
The PSAT® 10 is similar to the SAT®, except that it’s slightly shorter and the scoring scale is different. Instead, the PSAT® 10 has the same scoring scale as the PSAT® in which the total is a 1520. Both the evidence based reading and writing section and the math sections are out of 760 points instead of 800 points.
Compared to the SAT®, the PSAT® 10’s reading section is 60 minutes instead of 65 minutes, and contains 47 questions instead of 52. The writing and language section is unchanged at 35 minutes. The two math sections are 25 minutes and 45 minutes respectively. Lastly, the content that is tested on is designed for 10th graders. Most significantly, the math section is easier because they don’t expect students’ to have necessarily completed algebra II or trigonometry. The reading passages are typically easier, and the test is scored according to how other 10th graders do.
Benefits of Taking the PSAT® 10
First, the test will help you gauge whether you’ll do well on a SAT® styled test, or whether you’ll need to prep for it. Knowing this, you can plan ahead for goals like becoming a National Merit® Scholar or scoring well on the SAT®. Taking this test is a good indicator of whether or not you may need additional practice.
Second, beginning to prepare for the PSAT® 10 will help you get used to preparing for standardized testing, which is helpful if you plan on taking the SAT® in the future. Typically, we find that students who begin to prep for standardized tests earlier on tend to score better.
Third, you can integrate the data from the results of your PSAT® 10 with Khan Academy after the exam, which is a valuable studying tool for the SAT.® Finally, taking the PSAT® 10 opens you up to the Student Search Service, which lets the College Board sell your data to companies, colleges, universities, and scholarship funds, so that they can advertise to you. Some students want this advertising because they want to be aware of potential scholarships. Just to clarify, signing up only notifies you of scholarship opportunities. Taking the PSAT® 10 will not qualify you for any actual scholarships.
How to Prep for the PSAT® 10?
First, the College Board has released two free PSAT® 10 exams which you can find on our resources page: https://supertutortv.com/resources/. We’ve also included links to other free SAT® and ACT® practice tests if you need them. Download it, take it, grade it, and review the questions you missed.
It’s a good idea to take a practice test before the real test because being just slightly familiar with the test will help you with pacing, scantron bubbling expectations, and question types. All these things may slow you down and make your score less accurate. If you want to target the topics you need to work on, Khan Academy is a great resource, and our online course also has the ability to target your weaker skills.
Moreover, it’s helpful to watch SAT® prep videos. As we’ve mentioned, the PSAT® 10 is essentially the same test as the SAT®, but slightly easier. Any prep material for the SAT® will help you prep for the PSAT® 10, which includes a ton of free videos on our SuperTutorTV YouTube channel.
When do the Scores Come Out?
Your scores can be found online on the College Board’s website 6-8 weeks after you take the test.
If you’re taking the PSAT® this Spring, we wish you the best of luck!