Sophomores and juniors will receive PSAT scores

Expect an email from counselors in early December

The+Khan+Academy+allows+students+to+link+their+PSAT+scores+from+their+College+Board+account.+The+Khan+Academy+then+provides+questions+to+help+students+improve+their+skills+and+their+scores.+

Khan Academy website screen capture

The Khan Academy allows students to link their PSAT scores from their College Board account. The Khan Academy then provides questions to help students improve their skills and their scores.

Katherine McCauley, Reporter

PSAT scores from the Oct. 13 test will be released in early December, College Board test coordinator and counselor Mr. Martin Kirkwood said. Students can access their scores via email from the College Board, and the counseling department will send an email with further instructions.

The scores are compiled from the evidence-based reading and writing sections along with the math sections. The top score for the PSAT test is slightly lower than the SAT because the PSAT is a practice test. The total score range for the SAT is 400 to 1,600, while that range for the PSAT is 320 to 1,520, according to information posted on the College Board website.

When students receive their scores via email, they should carefully review their score report and read the information to determine the specific areas in which they struggled, Kirkwood said. Because the scores can be used for scholarships and increase a student’s chance at acceptance to college, identifying weaknesses and improving scores on future SAT tests are important to a student’s academic success.

Kirkwood said, “(The PSAT) better prepares (students) for future exams and after high school.” Senior Allison Schneider’s PSAT score of 1,450 resulted in her being named a National Merit Semifinalist, one of three in the Class of 2022.

Schneider prepared for the SAT by using the online Khan Academy. Schneider said, “Khan Academy walks you through practice problems.” You can go at your own pace. Schneider also said, “It’s easy to use,” and noted that it’s free. She said she wasn’t as stressed to take the PSAT as she was the SAT and felt good ahead of the test. When the College Board sends out PSAT scores, you can link them with Khan Academy to better prepare.

Khan Academy walks you through practice problems.”

— Senior and National Merit Semifinalist Allison Schneider

Kirkwood noted that Khan Academy even will provide specific test items for students to improve their skills as indicated by missed questions on the PSAT.

Along with Schneider, Kirkwood said Khan Academy was a good place to improve scores from the PSAT to the SAT.  He also said using private tutors, paying attention in class and accessing resources on Naviance will benefit you the most on the PSAT. But Kirkwood also noted, “Everything on the PSAT is covered in class.”

Schneider said she studied for the PSAT for one to two weeks prior to the test. Schneider said, “Mr. (Mike) Miller’s Algebra II class and paying attention in class also helped me prepare for the PSAT.” She said she also participated in four sessions at Bender and Rocap tutoring prior to the SAT, where she learned specific test taking strategies. “They taught me to read the questions before reading the passage,” she said and also provided other skills that allowed her to improve her score significantly.

Schneider said being named a National Merit Semifinalist was a goal of hers because it puts her name out there for scholarship consideration. She said she enjoys school and it’s “satisfying to check off the box,” as one of the accomplishments she wanted to achieve during high school.

With this in mind, Schneider will apply to 14 colleges. Alongside her being named a Semifinalist, she also takes four AP classes and two honors classes and her weighted GPA is a 4.51. Her college applications will be sent to institutions such as University of Chicago, Notre Dame and St. Louis University, she said. She plans to major in political science on a pre-law track.

For Schneider, her SAT test taking days are over. But for juniors, the process has just begun.

Kirkwood said Indiana is changing graduation requirements for all current juniors and is replacing the ISTEP with the SAT. Students who take the test will not be necessarily be required to attain a certain score to graduate, but a good score could allow them to meet one of the new criteria for high school graduation. All juniors will take the SAT on campus on March 2, which is also Ash Wednesday. For the first time, the test will be taken electronically. Kirkwood said specific details about the schedule that day have not been determined.

The SAT school day test not only will assess students on their knowledge, but also will serve as Indiana’s new high school accountability assessment. “How students perform will be used to evaluate the school in multiple areas,” Kirkwood said. For example, teachers will be able to review scores, see where students have the biggest gaps and adjust their instruction.

“Do your part to help yourself,” Kirkwood said. “(My goal is to) motivate students to use this information and take seriously the opportunities to benefit yourself and plan for your future.”