If you are a sophomore or junior taking the PSAT in October 2015—congratulations! You are officially among the first crop of students to take the redesigned test.
Both the PSAT and SAT have been redesigned by College Board, and these changes mark the biggest overhaul to the two tests in 30 years. The New PSAT comes first (the redesigned SAT makes its debut in March 2016), so the test in October will tell us a lot about the New SAT test.
The good news is that your results on the PSAT will not have an impact on college admissions (though if you are a junior a high score could qualify you for a National Merit Scholarship). The PSAT is also great practice for the SAT (which will be very important for college admissions and scholarships). Taking the test in October will also provide an opportunity for exposure to the redesigned SAT, as the New PSAT is expected to closely resemble the New SAT.
Rest assured that our research team has been monitoring the changes to both tests closely so that we can give you all the information you need to succeed. Both the New PSAT and SAT remain coachable tests, and we can help you prepare.
But let’s jump ahead to early December, when you will receive your New PSAT score report.
The redesigned PSAT will now be scored on a scale of 400–1600 that will be the sum of the two section scores that range from 200–800. The two sections are the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Mathematics section.
In addition to the overall composite score and the section scores, there will be other subscores reported on your PSAT score report:
Additionally, the Math test is broken into several categories:
Finally, there is an Additional Topics domain that’s filled with what you might consider wild-card material. These questions will contribute to overall scores, but not to individual subscores noted above:
You can use your PSAT score report to identify your weaknesses, so you know what to work on as you prepare for the New SAT. Is there content you need to review? Do you need to work on your pacing? The best news of all is that you don’t have to wait until October to get a peek at the redesigned test and pinpoint the areas on which you should focus your attention. We offer a free, full-length practice test given under the same testing conditions as the actual exam. You’ll get a personalized score report that shows your strengths and weaknesses and allows you to get a jump on preparing for the new PSAT test and potential National Merit recognition.