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Decent PSAT, prepping for SAT

D-YuD-Yu Registered User Posts: 995 Member
edited January 2009 in SAT Preparation
Hi, for the 2007 PSAT, I got 80M, 79CR, and 73WR.

For all you SAT geniuses out there (and I know you're out there, I've read your posts) What would you say were some big differences when you took the 2 tests? I mean, I know the differences in # of problems and time, but like, are the questions harder? Would it be a good idea to do some further prep?
Post edited by D-Yu on

Replies to: Decent PSAT, prepping for SAT

  • RahoulVARahoulVA Registered User Posts: 1,364 Senior Member
    I believe that the questions are definitely harder and they are different. You should never stop your rhythm. I could write practice essays for 3 weeks straight but then I don't write one the week before the test and I could do poorly on the essay. You should always keep studying and doing practice questions before the real test.

    When are you taking the test? The week before start taking full-length practice tests, but in the months leading up to it, you could take individual section tests. Keep learning more vocab from the Sparknotes 1000 list and 250 hard word list. You will get rusty. Just tell me, when is it a bad idea to do more prepping?
  • D-YuD-Yu Registered User Posts: 995 Member
    I'm planning to take it in March. I have seen the Sparknotes 1000 list, but not the 250 hard word list. Can you paste a link on your next post for it?
  • alpha2400alpha2400 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    I took the PSAT and SAT within a month or so of each other, got 80M, 80CR, and 68W PSAT and 780M, 760CR and 800W.

    The SAT is certainly harder, has harder questions and since there are more questions, more chances to screw up (stamina issue).

    But if you did as well as you say you did on the PSAT, you should need only minimal studying and a little bit of practice :)
  • Ephemeral2Ephemeral2 User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 817 Member
    I thought the SAT was definitely harder than the PSAT in every section.. I got a 219 psat and 2 months later (after a decent amount of studying for about 3 weeks beforehand) got a 2230. I think if you do a good amount of studying for about a month, you can repeat your PSAT scores.
  • D-YuD-Yu Registered User Posts: 995 Member
    Alpha2400, I see that you're on the uber2300+ thread. Did you do anything special to achieve that score. I could use a few pointers (actually, more than a few, especially on writing):)
  • RahoulVARahoulVA Registered User Posts: 1,364 Senior Member

    SAT: Improve SAT Score with SparkNotes: The Top 250 Most Difficult SAT Words

    Honestly though I don't think that I did too great on the PSAT as in getting a 210 or above, probably below 200. I didn't study for it and I had never taken anything like the SAT before it besides the 2006 PSAT(sophmore). Did you actually study for yours though? All I had was the Princeton Review which taught the main strategy to come up with your own #s instead of doing algebra. On one of the Blue Book practice tests I got like a 740 or 750 for math so I think that I"m good to go on math. As for Critical Reading, I'm going to read more of National Geographic Magazine(I already do but not enough) and start memorizing a ton of words everyday.
  • D-YuD-Yu Registered User Posts: 995 Member
    yeah, I did study (w/ PSAT books and the blue book). The barron's prepraring for the SAT has a ginormous 3500 word list, if that interests you
  • Echelon32Echelon32 Registered User Posts: 759 Member
    I got 79 CR, 80 M, and 73 W on the PSAT, but 2400 on the SAT. Writing was definitely my weakest section, but the essay portion really helps give a cushion with the MC.

    Do not waste your time with Barron's 3500 word list. If you're bent on memorizing vocab, then memorize efficiently. The Sparknotes list looks good, but it is missing a few - I found Sesame Words to be extremely beneficial in that regard.

    Sesame Words: Academic and SAT Vocabulary

    I don't know how comprehensive your current vocab is, but if its pretty good, you can go ahead and skip all the lower level words and go for the high ones. Unless you're consistently missing vocab questions, I really think that memorizing vocab ultimately gives diminishing returns. If you reach a certain level of comfort, just stop, otherwise you would be wasting time that could be spent doing practice tests or even just sleeping...

    Like I said on the previous thread, I think you should get those 20+ CB tests together and figure out when you can take them. I never did "sections" alone, but if you really dont have much time, I guess you could.

    Strunk and White's Elements of Style will do you wonders for writing, both grammar and the essay. Sure, it may not say "SAT 2400 Prep Book," but this text is regularly used at the college-level and its a good read! Your writing score seems pretty good, so if you just want to brush up on those grammar tips, Barron's Writing Workbook just lists them all.
  • amb3ramb3r Registered User Posts: 1,504 Senior Member
    Honestly, I think the PSAT is harder to get a perfect on, less forgiving. I got in the mid 230s with my PSAT and a 2400. There are a lot of similiarities, but one of the marked differences is the presence of the essay section on the SAT. I relied solely on the barron's 3500 word list and both times I took the SAT, I didn't get any vocab questions wrong. It is exhaustive and time consuming, but not that bad if you are fast and already know 95% of the words. The errors on SAT W are more tricky than those on the PSAT W, so you'll need some more practice. Memorize commonly-missed constructions (I think they can be found in Barron's 2400); for example, "between you and ME, NOT between you and I" and commonly made errors (lie/lay/laid, etc)Honestly, you should be fine for math (750+) if you're decent at math, the rest comes down to how careful of a test-taker you are. CR is harder, because I think they choose more difficult passages, and some of the last questions can be really nuanced. But there is always a bit of wiggle space with the curve.
  • amb3ramb3r Registered User Posts: 1,504 Senior Member
    Another piece of advice: memorize 10-15 examples for your SAT essay and you are pretty much guaranteed to be able to use 3 of them for ANY prompt. It sounds stupid, but the SAT essay follows a formula and you can 'learn' how to score well (I got a 12 both times I took it.)
  • D-YuD-Yu Registered User Posts: 995 Member
    Echelon, I have the BB, online, and 1 free practice test from CB. Where can you get the 7QAs?
  • alpha2400alpha2400 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    D-Yu, I don't really know how much advice I can give. I took it in March, scored a 2040. But I made many careless math errors (4, to be precise), and I didn't even read the CR passages (hence my 680). The writing -- I didn't know what I was doing and got a 650...

    When I retook in December, I basically went into laser-focused mode, made only 1 math mistake, 1 writing mistake (but 12E, so I got an 800), and got a few CR wrong due to vocab (I know all the Q's I got wrong were SC's). I didn't study vocab and if I had, perhaps, studied a word list or two, I may have gotten an 800CR.

    Your PSAT score is good, though, so I don't know why you're worrying.
  • D-YuD-Yu Registered User Posts: 995 Member
    So was yours, alpha (228, if I could recall from a previous thread). What did you do?
  • Infinite_TruthInfinite_Truth Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    The writing section on the SAT is easy beyond measure. I didnt practice for it at ALL and I got a glorious 780 w/ 12 Essay. Practice writing essays? wt*? I never did a practice essay for sat-prep ever....just write like how u would normally write a paper, in my opinion - i just let it naturally flow out and got a 12.
  • amb3ramb3r Registered User Posts: 1,504 Senior Member
    Infinite_Truth, that's great. And you get a 800/800 on the SAT II: Jerk.
This discussion has been closed.