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Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Do I need to study for the PSAT, or is it just a practice test?

Okay, so I’m hearing a lot of mixed messages about the PSAT. Some people say it’s super important, while others say it’s just practice. How much studying do you all really think is necessary for the PSAT?

8 months ago

The PSAT serves a dual purpose - yes, it's a practice test for the SAT, but it also qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship Program if you score exceptionally high. Whether you should study for it or not really depends on your goals. If you're aiming for National Merit recognition, which can lead to scholarships and a generally impressive accolade for college applications, I’d advise you to study as you would for the actual SAT.

However, if you’re simply looking at the PSAT as a diagnostic tool to gauge where you stand and what you need to work on for the SAT, then intensive studying might not be necessary. In fact, not studying may actually be a better strategy, as you can get a feel for your "raw" ability, and then determine most clearly how you need to structure your studying.

How you approach the test also depends on your year—freshmen and sophomores can treat it more as practice, but juniors should consider the implications of their scores more seriously. Hopefully, this overview helps give you a general sense of whether or not studying makes sense for you, and good luck with the test either way!

8 months ago

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