We offer personalized test prep programs for the PSAT test taught by passionate and experienced instructors. Choose to attend classes in person at our four tutoring centers located throughout Dallas-Fort Worth or live online across the country.
What Is the PSAT Test?
The 11th grade PSAT/NMSQT® test is the qualifying test for the National Merit® Scholarship Program. Many colleges reward National Merit Semifinalists and other recognized students with scholarship money, which is a great way to help pay for college.
Many high schools offer the PSAT test to students in 9th and 10th grades. This serves as a practice test for students and a starting point for their test preparation. Only the 11th grade test is used to qualify for National Merit programs. This test is not used for college admissions.
What Is a Good PSAT Score?
A perfect score on the PSAT test is a 1520. You don’t have to earn a perfect score to earn National Merit recognition, but you will need to score in the top ½ percent of 11th graders in your state. Whether you plan to take the PSAT test to become a National Merit Semifinalist or as practice for the SAT® test, your target score will depend on your personal goals.
The top 1% of test scores typically fall in the 1370-1520 range, while an average score is in the 960-1070 range. Learn more about what is considered a good PSAT score.
How Can My Student Prepare for the PSAT Test?
KD College Prep offers several options for students looking to prepare for the PSAT test: test prep courses, one-on-one tutoring, or a combination of the two. To find the best fit for your teen, sign up for a free consultation with our college prep advisors.
Learn content and strategy for the PSAT test in instructor-led lessons for strategic reading, passage analysis, grammar and usage, algebra, data analysis, and more. Our experienced instructors use our proprietary curriculum to coach students to their highest possible PSAT scores.
Get extra practice, gain confidence, and work toward mastery in instructor-led practice workshops. Verbal and Math Workshops are offered several times weekly with new material introduced each Saturday.
Our Complete Program for testing includes workshops at no additional cost.
Practice Tests with Instructor-Led Reviews
Maximize improvement by taking full-length practice tests and reviewing each test in an instructor-led session.
By analyzing performance and missed questions, students learn from their mistakes and improve performance on future tests.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The PSAT test is usually offered once per year by high schools across the U.S. The test takes place around the second week of October. Students should contact their high school counselor to find out their school’s exact test date and how to sign up. Students should sign up to take the test in 11th grade to practice for the SAT test or to be considered for National Merit Scholarship Recognition.
Some schools offer the option to take the PSAT in 8th, 9th, and/or 10th grade. We recommend students sign up to take the PSAT test for additional practice whenever it is offered at school. Only 11th grade test scores will be considered for National Merit recognition. The test is not offered in 12th grade.
At the very least, students should take the 11th grade PSAT test. Unlike the SAT or ACT tests, the PSAT test is only offered once per year, which limits the number of times you can take it. Some schools give students the opportunity to take the PSAT test earlier than 11th grade. Contact your high school counselor to find out when the PSAT test will be offered and how to sign up.
The highest possible score on the PSAT test is a 1520, and the lowest score is 320. The test consists of two main sections: Verbal (Evidence-Based Reading & Writing) and Math. Each section is from 160-760 points, and the section scores are combined to give you your total score. For each section, you can break your score down further by Test Scores (8-38 pts), Selection Index Scores (48-228) and Subscores (1-15 pts).
The PSAT test is about two hours and 45 minutes long and consists of a total of 139 questions. The verbal section is divided into two components, Reading and Writing & Language. The math section is also made up of two parts, one with no-calculator and one with calculator. Here’s what to expect:
- Reading: 60 minutes, 47 questions
- Writing & Language: 35 minutes, 44 questions
- Math: 70 minutes, 48 questions
The best way to raise your PSAT score is to sign up for a test prep program that best meets your needs.
We’ve created our test prep programs based on nearly 30 years of helping students reach their PSAT score and National Merit goals. You can choose to attend in-person or live online test prep classes, prep at your own pace, or sign up for one-on-one tutoring. Sign up for a free consultation with an advisor to create a test prep plan that works best for you.
The major differences between the PSAT and SAT tests are their purposes, scoring methods, and when they are offered. The PSAT test is often taken as practice for the SAT test or to earn National Merit Semifinalist recognition. The SAT test is primarily taken as part of the college admissions process. Colleges do not typically look at PSAT test scores to determine admission. The PSAT test is a practice version of the SAT test, and it has few questions and a lower overall score. The official PSAT test is only offered once per year while the SAT test is offered seven times per year: March, May, June, August, October, November, and December.
Overall, the two tests have more similarities than differences, and we typically recommend that students take both tests in the 11th grade to maximize their scholarship and college admissions opportunities.
The amount of time you set aside to study for the PSAT test will vary depending on your schedule. Some students dedicate time daily throughout the school year to prepare for tests, while others decide to prepare on the weekends, during summer break, or during extracurricular off-seasons.
Most students won’t see a significant score increase if they only spend a few weeks preparing for the PSAT test. That’s why we recommend that students begin preparing for tests as early as possible to maximize their chances of reaching their test score goals and expanding their college and scholarship opportunities. Planning early usually leads to the best results.