- There is no penalty for wrong answers! Test takers earn points for their correct answers and so they should answer every question.
- The new test is longer- by 35 minutes. The test will take 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- There are no more obscure lists of vocabulary words to memorize. Testers will be asked to figure out a word's meaning based on content.
- The math section will include geometry and trigonometry. It will also include scenarios to solve problems mathematically that involve science and real-life situations.
- Students will be asked to read and respond to a passage from US Founding Documents or conversations that have resulted from these documents.
- There is no essay on the PSAT.
- The scoring will be all new too, and will likely be more confusing to students and parents. The range will be between 320-1520. While the new SAT, available in March 2016, will go back to the 1600 scale, the PSAT scores don't go as high because the SAT is more difficult. I suspect there will be many questions about how to correlate PSAT scores to predict SAT scores. Stay tuned!
Writing and Language
Students may also pick up a free practice booklet from their school guidance counseling office.
While the PSAT is truly a practice for sophomores, juniors may qualify for scholarships based on their scores. Be aware that students are asked for an email address when they fill out the registration information. I recommend setting up a free email account that is just dedicated to "college stuff" as their inbox will get flooded with emails from all things related to higher education. A dedicated mail address helps parents and students sift through numerous communications.