It’s that time of year again: The Christmas carols are playing, you’re showered in holiday sale fliers, and the weather is turning colder. Oh, and if you’ve got a high school kid, your child’s PSAT scores have probably been released.
If your child took the PSAT in October (students usually take the test in 10th and/or 11th grade), then the score reports should have reached your door already. Although PSAT score reports appear to be fairly straightforward, those few pages of statistics can hide a great deal of information about your child’s academic potential. For a limited time only, bring your child’s PSAT score report to a local C2 Education center, and we’ll help you interpret the results so that you have a clearer picture of where your child stands.
To get you started in reviewing those PSAT score reports, here are some things to keep in mind about your child’s scores:
If your child scored high (180 or above):
Remember that PSAT scores are not indicative of future SAT scores. The PSAT differs from the SAT in several ways. For instance, the PSAT lacks an essay component and doesn’t test the same higher level math skills as the SAT. A high PSAT score is incredibly promising and is an accomplishment to be proud of — but high PSAT scores do not necessarily promise high SAT scores. Students who do well on the PSAT will do well on the SAT only if they continue to work hard! Students will need to continue to focus on building vocabulary, mastering higher math skills, and honing writing skills in order to score as high or higher on the SAT.
Your child could qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. Students who take the PSAT in 11th grade are automatically entered to compete for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship. If your child is in 11th grade and has scored very well on the PSAT (usually above 210), there is a good chance that he or she will be selected as a High Scorer, which is the first step in being selected as a National Merit Scholarship recipient. High Scorers are usually notified sometime in the spring. For more information about the National Merit Scholarship, check out our past post, How Important Is the PSAT?
Your child will still need to prepare for the SAT. Many students who score well on the PSAT score lower on the SAT. Why? Because they assumed that they wouldn’t need to prepare for the SAT since they did so well on the PSAT. But as we noted above, the SAT is a different test, even if the two tests share many similarities. Students who do well on the PSAT will likely need less preparation for the SAT — but they’ll still need to review and practice before the big day.
If your child scored in the middle (140-180):