Should you take up the PSAT as a sophomore? This is the first question that pops up in your mind as a high-school junior. In my opinion, it’s an affirmative and resonating YES. Although it is pretty risky to take up the PSAT as an 11th grader, particularly in terms of National Merit scholarships and distinctions. But I perceive taking up the PSAT as a good strategic idea before you take up the main test that counts for so much.
Let's discuss some of the key reasons to sit for the PSAT as a sophomore:
Reason 1: PSAT acts as a Good Practice for the Junior year
Always remember that your junior-year PSAT score holds good in National Merit distinctions and if you score well, you stand a chance to earn scholarships too. It might interest you to know that the questions pattern of PSAT does not change so often. So as a sophomore, you can familiarize yourself with the test and gain some valuable experience. While you’re preparing for the test in your junior year, you can discover your strengths and shortcomings and focus on areas which need improvement. But if you’re scoring more than 95 percentile, there is a good chance for you to earn National Merit scholarship. By taking up the PSAT, it acts as an effective and efficient way to gauge your performance and progress and boosts your morale to take up the SAT with confidence.
Reason 2: Aids in prepping up for the SAT
The PSAT is a true copy of the SAT. Both PSAT and SAT are scored on a similar scale. Your PSAT scores can give you a fair idea of what you’re likely to score in SAT. In a way, while preparing for the PSAT, you would have begun your SAT prep already. Although, we know that the PSAT is comparatively easier test than the SAT, scoring a perfect PSAT score gives you a fair prediction of your SAT score and aids you to do well in the test. One more important thing to note here is that there is no negative marking system for wrong answers in the test, so focus on answering maximum questions possible. Set your priorities first and take up the test both in your junior and senior year and try to continue improving your scores. You’re likely to score good PSAT scores as a sophomore, and by prepping up early and would be able to stay ahead of the game and ease up your workload for junior year.
Reason 3: It Exhibits your Readiness to attend College
By taking up the PSAT as a sophomore, it conveys a positive note to colleges that you are on the right track. It signals the colleges that you are putting every possible effort to score good grades. Besides, taking up the PSAT in the 10th grade not only prepares you for the present but also gives you a detailed understanding of your academic strengths and shortcomings and to work on areas which need polishing and be ready for the future.
Simply put, taking up the PSAT as a sophomore gives you an enriching and valuable experience and indicates in the true fashion which are the weak areas you need to improve and work harder in case you’re aiming to earn the National Merit scholarship. Remember, it is all in the way you prepare for the test. The more you practice, the better you become. You need to put in extra efforts and capture your weaknesses in case you wish to excel in your junior year and be overall ready to take up the final test.