Prepping for the PSAT

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Prepping for the PSAT

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/5843577306

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/5843577306

https://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/5843577306

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

Vivienne Tenev, Assistant Photography Editor

With the PSAT scheduled on Wednesday, there are undoubtedly quite a few nervous juniors. In order to offer some tips and possibly alleviate any remaining stress, some of the national merit winners from last year offered advice for the upcoming test.

In preparing for the PSAT, senior Braeden Foldenauer says, “I practiced! I took practice test after practice test, and I also read a lot of articles for test taking tips online. I found sites that offered SAT prep to be pretty helpful as well since they’re sort of a similar test.” A good tip; the PSAT usually asks the same kinds of questions in every test. By practicing, you learn what types of questions will likely show up on test day, and be better prepared for them.

In order to practice, you need questions to practice with. According to senior Sutton Klein, helpful resources can be found on Khan Academy. Kleins says “Khan Academy paired with college board a few years back to create a test prep service. Khan Academy is great for figuring out what your best and worst sections are. Once these are isolated, you can practice the bad sections until you become better.”

Haley Hsu also found it helpful to take the practice tests timed. “If time is an issue for you, practice the test with a timer and then DO NOT look at the time when you are taking in on [test day].” Getting a sense of how long the questions take to answer will help you pace yourself better and answer more questions in the given time.

However, with the deadline fast approaching, it may be too late to effectively change any test-taking strategies. Instead, focus on preparing for the test by giving yourself enough rest. “Treat your body correctly the few days before the test: sleeping enough, eating healthily, not over studying,” advises senior Daniel Cieslinksi.

Remember the PSAT is just a test, and it is also good not get too worked up about getting the national merit. Rather than staying up all night, take a quick review, then get a good rest.

“Remember not to worry too much,” Sutton advises, “Some days you will have a great test day, and some days you won’t. It’s only a score, and there are many other qualities that define you that aren’t some number generated by a scantron machine based on the way you performed on one day of your life. If you become a semi-finalist, that’s terrific, way to go! But some of the best and brightest were not, and that is A-OK.”

In conclusion, treat yourself well the days before the PSAT, and when you get there, don’t stress and do your best!

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