While your junior PSAT score is the initial qualifier for prestigious National Merit Scholarship recognition, this year’s scores are important not only for early college planning, but for identifying your testing strengths and weaknesses so you can more appropriately prepare for the SAT and ACT. After all, these tests are the second most important factor in college admissions, second only to your academic record. The SAT and ACT even play a significant role in financial aid, merit-based scholarships, and placement in freshman college courses.
Your PSAT score report, which you should get in December, will provide excellent diagnostic information: your responses to each question will be listed along with the correct answers and the degree of difficulty (easy, medium, and hard) for each test question. Since you can get back your actual PSAT test booklet from your guidance counselor in December, you’ll be able to review your answers (as well as any written work you did in your test booklet) with a teacher or test-prep tutor to determine where and why you made mistakes – and what you can do to improve for future tests. A solid review of your PSAT will be the best foundation in preparing for your upcoming SAT and ACT tests.