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Did bad on my PSAT's - what should I do?

conscious02conscious02 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
Hello, I am currently a junior but when I took the PSAT's my sophomore year I did so BAD!

Language Arts: 520
Reading: 24
Writing: 28
Math:420

OVERALL: 940

Yikes!!!!!!!!! I know.

But in all honesty, I didn't try my very best but I still somewhat tried (another yikes). I am not that great at math and I usually do better in language arts but when I saw my scores last year I felt so ashamed.

I am taking the PSAT's this Wednesday and I am pretty nervous - what if I do terrible again?

Ugh. I can't.
Post edited by MaineLonghorn on

Replies to: Did bad on my PSAT's - what should I do?

  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 1,922 Senior Member
    The PSAT is utterly meaningless for the vast majority of juniors. Our school district requires sophomores to take it so they know whether National Merit Semifinalist is a reasonable aspiration. Juniors are not required to take it, and most of them don't.
  • makemesmartmakemesmart Registered User Posts: 905 Member
    I hope you had done some prep (using CB’s official SAT practice tests/Khan Academy), and with one full-year of additional learning, you should see a nice improvement too.

    At this point, try not to be too nervous. Unless you are shooting for the NM scholarship, which most high school kids don’t have; and I know a few kids who got in HYPs didn’t have it either.
    Good luck!
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,806 Senior Member
    It doesn’t matter unless your scores are tippy top for National Merit consideration. But it is clear that you should put a lot of energy into prepping for the real SAT.
  • conscious02conscious02 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    I do need to put a lot of energy into prepping for the SAT. I bought the black book.
  • makenziestrattonmakenziestratton Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I honestly didn't even try on my PSATs, and only attended because my parents forced me. PSATs mean absolutely nothing to colleges, as they don't even receive them. However, if you're worried about how you will do on the SATs as a reflection from the PSATs, maybe it's the fact that I didn't learn some of the material or another factor, but I most definitely recall the PSATs being so much harder than the actual SAT was.
    Plus as another relief factor if your future with the SAT is your concern, you definitely can benefit greatly from SAT studying programs or tutoring. I found the most difficult part of the SAT was time management and I'm not that smart so try not to stress yourself out too much.
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,040 Senior Member
    There are several ways to improve. One is by signing up online for the SAT Question a Day. Just a minute or two each day answering questions can pinpoint the areas in which you need more help. Some kids find multiple practice tests useful. Get as close to real test conditions as you can (like start at 9am Saturday morning and go the whole 3.5 hours). The advance repetition desensitizes the nerves somewhat. Test prep classes can be very useful. Whether you're super busy or simply a procrastinator, setting aside specific times forces you to focus. A really good class gives you valuable insight on identifying types of questions and how to best answer them, and somehow hearing it rather than reading tips in front of a prep book makes a difference. If you're tight on funds, check to see if your high school offers classes for free or at a low cost. If you are self-motivated then Khan Academy or test prep books are inexpensive ways to practice. Just make sure you have the self-discipline to follow through.

    Also, colleges don't see your PSATs, so don't beat yourself up. Just move on and work towards improvement.
  • MomInSBMomInSB Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    Actually, the PSAT is useful in starting to draw up your college list. While you can raise your score on SAT with some effort, the PSAT can give you some idea of what schools to visit during your junior year.
  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom Registered User Posts: 800 Member
    I don't think 940 as a sophomore is all that terrible. My son took the PSAT starting in 9th grade, and each year saw some improvement. By spring of Junior year, with more math under your belt and some test prep, I'm sure you'll be fine. Don't look at scores on this site and think because you didn't get a 1300 as a sophomore you're destined for community college!
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 742 Member
    Is this your first standardized test of this sort. My kid improved each time taking these test and built stamina and speed with it over time. I wouldn't worry about it at all. Consider doing some thoughtful practice and prep next summer. If testing isn't your thing, there are still plenty of options when it comes to choosing a college.
  • FlyAwayTimeFlyAwayTime Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    Just wondering why you chose the SAT as opposed to the ACT. We are just beginning this process and trying to gather information. TIA.
  • Nicki20Nicki20 Registered User Posts: 272 Junior Member
    In many states its mandatory and the state pays for the test.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,219 Forum Champion
    go to https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/sat and start practicing right away!
  • c0llegenerdc0llegenerd Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    Don't worry! It is just Sophomore year and the PSATs don't count for much except National Merit Scholarships. If you struggled with the PSAT I have 2 recommendations:

    1. Wait a little! You still haven't learned some of the material on the test or worked on the skills the test requires you to use! In the two years of high school left you will learn and improve. I would recommend waiting a little and then taking another practice SAT and see how you do.

    2. If you are still very worried, try taking a practice ACT. Some students prefer the ACT over the SAT and vice versa; it is all about finding a good fit for you! Of course with a lot of practice and time you will be able to improve your score on either test!
  • surrealshocksurrealshock Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    edited January 9
    Focus on the SAT! You'll do great.
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