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Benefits of Taking the PSAT/NMSQT

Ms. Lisa Jain gives you many good reasons on why you should undertake the PSAT if you’re thinking of further studies abroad.
BY Lisa Jain |   15-07-2015
Lisa Jain
By Lisa Jain – Country Representative of India

The  PSAT/NMSQT  or  Preliminary  SAT,  is a very useful  and  powerful  tool  available  to  high  school students. It has many benefits, and students should fully understand how they can benefit from taking the PSAT in October 2015.

Best Practice for the SAT

The PSAT is created by the makers of the SAT, for the very purpose of providing students with effective practice for the SAT. The PSAT is an authentic and accurate reflection of the SAT, and provides students with a very real exposure to the SAT.

Best Exposure to the Redesign

Since the SAT is being redesigned in 2016, the PSAT/NMSQT of October 2015 has been redesigned to reflect the changes of the SAT redesign. Hence, the PSAT this year will give students the first real feel of what the changed SAT will look like.

Benefit Proven by Research

Research conducted in schools in the U.S. indicate that students who take PSAT in Grade 10 or earlier, score 189 points higher (on average) on their SAT.

Comprehensive Score Report

The PSAT Score Report provides a detailed skill breakdown and performance review, helping students identify their strength and weakness areas, and enabling them to adopt smarter and more effective strategies while preparing for SAT or other similar exams. Each question on the test is broken down by skill level, and students can easily see how many questions of each skill type they got right/wrong. Having such deep insights into performance makes it much easier for students to adopt smarter SAT test preparation strategies.

No Stress Exam

PSAT scores are not shared with universities, so it’s a no-stress exam. Students can take the PSAT without worrying about whether it will have an impact on their college applications.

High Quality Practice Resources Available

Students can find a complete practice PSAT Test here. Students can also use free SAT prep resources (due to the SAT’s close alignment with the PSAT/NMSQT) on Khan Academy’s website (www.khanacademy.org/sat).

Cost Effective

Schools and centers only pay $19 to the College Board for the PSAT/NMSQT exam. Most schools add a minor fee to cover their own administrative costs while charging students, but the total cost to the school is still much lower than the SAT, which is roughly $100.

Access to Useful College Planning Resources

When students take the PSAT, they gain free access to online college planning resources and useful tools through My College QuickStart, such as a personality test that helps match skills to college majors and career choices, a SAT plan based on PSAT performance etc. Also, when students take the PSAT, they can check "yes" to “Student Search Service”, which allows colleges and universities to get in touch with students about interesting courses, scholarship opportunities etc.

Useful Even for Students Who Won’t Take the SAT

Even if students who do not plan to take the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT can offer very meaningful insights into their skills and abilities, and help them prepare for other similar standardized/competitive exams for India and abroad.

Lisa Jain is the Country Representative of The College Board in India. In her role, she works extensively with schools across India to help with the implementation of College Board programs. She also interacts directly with students and parents, educating them about how College Board’s programs and resources (such as SAT, AP, PSAT or Big Future) help in the college application and admission process.

Lisa was previously the Head of Marketing at an international school in Kolkata and has worked in the Equities division at UBS Investment Bank in London for two years.

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