PSAT Scores Available to Students Online Jan. 7

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

*Update at January 7, 7:32 a.m. According to the College Board Twitter, scores will be released in waves starting at 8 a.m. EST*

PSAT/NMSQT scores will be available online starting Jan. 7 on the College Board’s website. Students should create a free account on the college board’s website prior to scores being released in order to access the scores as fast as possible. On the score report, juniors will also be able to see if they met the standards for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Printed reports, like those received in years prior, will be sent to schools around Jan. 29.

“The PSAT score is a good indicator for how you are going to perform on the SAT, so it can give you some pointers on the areas that you may need to work on before you take the SAT,” said Meredith Wright, the new College and Career Counselor at Robinson.

The 2015 PSAT was the first administration of the redesigned suite of testing for the College Board, which included a change in number of sections and scoring as well as the elimination of the wrong-answer penalty. The two sections of the PSAT, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math, are the same two sections the New SAT, which debuts in March, will have. In addition, each PSAT section is scored on a scale from 160-760, close to the New SAT’s scoring scale of 200-800.

With this in mind, Wright said students should look at their PSAT scores as a benchmark for future testing. For juniors, the school district offers a free SAT March 2, giving them a little less than two months to brush up on any skills.

Those who cannot afford a high-priced tutor need not worry, as for the first time, the College Board is offering free prep for the New SAT through Khan Academy.

After making a College Board account and viewing their score report, which breaks down missed questions by subsection, students can receive personalized prep on Khan Academy based on their PSAT weaknesses.

Khan Academy offers over 4000 practice questions and videos to help students in SAT prep alone. The site draws praise from names such as Bill Gates, who uses Khan to teach his son math and biology, for the quality of its videos and practice materials. And, as Wright stressed, practice will get students as close to perfect as possible. Free practice is just an extra bonus.

“The Khan Academy has amazing lessons and they are specifically tailored to the area you need to improve most, so it’s not like you have to go on and take the practice test for reading and math,” Wright said. “You can just work on a specific area and specific subject you need help in.”

Tutoring for the SAT will also be offered during certain Saturday schools as the date of the free SAT draws closer and during ELP after school for students wishing to improve their score. As the spring, and standardized testing season, draws closer, Wright emphasized the importance of proper prep for testing. After all, tests like the PSAT/SAT are just a factor in the college admissions process.

“Don’t stress too much, get plenty of sleep the night before, and just practice ahead of time.”