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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Best time to start prepping for the PSAT?

Hey everyone, I’m starting to think ahead about the PSAT and I’m kind of lost about when I should start prepping. I want to do really well, potentially for National Merit consideration. What's a good timeline for beginning to study? Is the summer before junior year enough time, or should I start earlier?

8 months ago

Hello there! It's wonderful that you're planning ahead for the PSAT. Starting early can make a big difference, especially for National Merit. Typically, students begin prepping the summer before their junior year, which is generally sufficient time to get familiar with the test format and work on any areas that need improvement. By this point, you've also likely covered all the material on the exam in one of your courses, so you shouldn't run into anything totally unfamiliar.

However, if you want to give yourself the best chance at a high score, consider starting even earlier. By the spring of your sophomore year, you could begin to review concepts and take practice tests on a semi-regular basis (while making sure not to interfere with keeping your GPA up and immersing yourself in your extracurricular activities, of course). This approach would give you more time to identify your strengths and weaknesses. As the test approaches, you can ramp up your studies, especially since you'll have more time over the summer.

Keep in mind that the PSAT is very similar to the SAT, so any prep work you do is also preparing you for the SAT later on. Study guides, like the ones from Khan Academy, or practice tests available through the College Board website, will give you a solid foundation for both tests. And remember, the skills you're building are not just for the test—they're fundamental for college, too.

Best of luck with your studies!

8 months ago

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