Benefits of taking the PSAT/NMSQT • The test provides: • the best practice for the SAT Reasoning Test™. • the option to receive information from colleges and scholarship services through the secure Student Search Service • the entry point to compete for National Merit Scholarships (juniors only), including the National Achievement Program. It also provides recognition via the National Hispanic Recognition Program. • information about college major interests • motivation for students to think actively about preparing for college. • Access to My Road. Online College, major, and career exploration tool. Access code distributed with score report.
Benefits of taking the PSAT/NMSQT Additionally, when you take the test, you receive: • personalized feedback on critical reading, math, and writing skills, including suggestions for improvement. • information about each test question, including correct answers with full explanations online; students also have their actual test book returned with their score reports. • insight into how students’ academic skills compare to their college-bound peers. • free access to MyRoad, a dynamic Web-based career, major, and college exploration tool
Scholarships & Recognition • By taking the PSAT/NMSQT, you may qualify to enter the competitions for prestigious scholarships and participate in recognition programs. • (As cosponsor of the PSAT/NMSQT, NMSC receives all students' scores. If you do not want your scores released to other recognition programs, contact us.) • National Merit Scholarship • The National Hispanic Recognition Program • National Scholarship Service • The Telluride Association
National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) • National Merit® $2500 ScholarshipsEvery Finalist competes for these single payment scholarships, which are awarded on a state representational basis. Winners are selected without consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice, or major and career plans. • Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awardsCorporate sponsors designate their awards for children of their employees or members, for residents of a community where a company has operations, or for Finalists with career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards. • College-sponsored Merit Scholarship awardsOfficials of each sponsor college select winners of their awards from Finalists who have been accepted for admission and have informed NMSC by the published deadlines that the sponsor college or university is their first choice. These awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.
National Hispanic Recognition Program • The College Board's National Hispanic Recognition Program was initiated in 1983 to identify outstanding Hispanic high school students and to share information about these academically well-prepared students with subscribing colleges and universities. In order to be eligible, students must be at least one-quarter Hispanic. Each year the NHRP identifies approximately 3,300 of the highest scoring students from a nationwide total of 124,000 high school juniors who took the PSAT/NMSQT and designated themselves as Hispanic as well as approximately 125 of the top scoring PAA students from Puerto Rico. The nationwide selection also includes students from Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and U.S. citizens attending international and APO schools. • Although the College Board is not able to provide a monetary award to these students, an important component of the program is the CD-ROM distributed to subscribing four-year postsecondary institutions. This CD-ROM lists the names of all students selected in the program and is mailed in September to these subscribing colleges and universities. Being listed may give students an opportunity to hear from colleges that are particularly interested in communicating with prospective students of Hispanic heritage.
National Scholarship Service • National Scholarship Service (NSSFNS) offers a free college advisory and referral service for students who plan to attend two-year or four-year colleges. Scores will be sent for juniors who indicate that they are African American students. (This program is not conducted by NMSC.) • For more information, write to: • National Scholarship Service980 Martin Luther King Drive, SW, PO Box 11409Atlanta, GA 30310
The Telluride Association • The Telluride Association offers scholarships to gifted juniors for summer seminars in the humanities and social sciences. (This program is not conducted by NMSC.) • For more information, write to: • Telluride Association 217 West Avenue Ithaca, NY 14850
What is on the PSAT/NMSQT? What is it testing?
What does the PSAT/NMSQT actually test? • Critical reading skills—using content from: humanities, social studies, natural sciences, and literature. • Math reasoning skills—using content from: number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry and measurement; data analysis, statistics, and probability. • Writing skills—focus on editing, grammar, usage, and organization.
PSAT/NMSQTCritical Reading Questions • 13 Sentence Completions • 35 Passage-Based Reading Questions (100- to 800-word passages)
PSAT/NMSQTMath Questions • 28 Multiple-Choice Questions • 10 Student-Produced Response Questions(”Grid-ins”)
PSAT/NMSQTWriting Skills Questions • 20 Improving Sentences Questions • 14 Identifying Sentence Error Questions • 5 Improving Paragraph Questions
How does the PSAT/NMSQT compare to the SAT? • Same question types, except the SAT includes an essay assignment. • PSAT/NMSQT is 2 hours, 10 minutes; the SAT is 3 hours, 45 minutes. • SAT will have a few math questions from third-year math courses; PSAT/NMSQT will not. (Samples of third-year math questions are available on www.collegeboard.com/psatextra after you receive your score report in December.)
Critical Reading SectionSentence Completions Roger said the report was significant; Heather contradicted him, saying that all the information presented was ------- . (A) contemporary (B) scintillating (C) objective (D) irrevocable (E) immaterial
Critical Reading SectionSentence Completions Roger said the report was significant; Heather contradicted him, saying that all the information presented was ------- . (A) contemporary (B) scintillating (C) objective (D) irrevocable (E) immaterial Because Heather is contradicting Roger, the correct response is the word that is most nearly the opposite of "significant.“ Choice (E) is correct. "Immaterial" means inconsequential or irrelevant. Information that is immaterial is by definition not significant.
Critical Reading SectionPassage-Based Reading • Excerpt from reading passage: After I left the room, I began to sift my impressions. Only the day before, an acquaintance had warned me to watch carefully for sleight-of-hand tricks, especially as the man had earlier been a stage conjuror.
Critical Reading SectionPassage-Based Reading The “acquaintance” mentioned in line 2 can best be described as a (A) skeptic (B) hypocrite (C) hoaxer (D) confidant (E) mystic
Critical Reading SectionPassage-Based Reading The “acquaintance” mentioned in line 2 can best be described as a (A) skeptic (B) hypocrite (C) hoaxer (D) confidant (E) mystic The acquaintance mentioned in line 2 warns the author to "watch carefully for sleight-of-hand tricks." Choice (A) is correct. In warning the author to watch out for tricks, the acquaintance is showing that he is skeptical about the telepathist's supposed powers.
Math SectionMultiple Choice If ax + bx = 36, what is the value of x when a + b = 12? (A) 3 (B) 6 (C) 12 (D) 24 (E) 48
Math SectionMultiple Choice If ax + bx = 36, what is the value of x when a + b = 12? (A) 3 (B) 6 (C) 12 (D) 24 (E) 48 The expression ax + bx is equivalent to (a + b) x, so the equation ax + bx = 36 is equivalent to (a + b) x = 36. When a + b = 12, the equation becomes 12x = 36, which can be solved to get x = 3.
Math SectionStudent-Produced Response • If — + — = — , what is the value of h? h 1 5h 4 3 6
Math SectionStudent-Produced Response If — + — = — , what is the value of h? h 1 5h 4 3 6 4 / 7 • Multiply each member of the equation by 12 (the common denominator) to get 3h + 4 = 10h • Subtract 3h from both sides to get 7h = 4 • Divide by 7 • h = 4/7.
Math SectionKnow the Student-Produced Response Directions • Read and understand the directions ahead of time.
Math SectionCalculators are encouraged • A scientific or graphing calculator is recommended. • Bring one with which you are familiar. • NO CELL PHONES!!!
Writing SectionImproving Sentences A few barges still move oil up to Hartford, but in the old days they had more traffic then. (A) but in the old days they had more traffic then (B) but in the old days traffic was heavier (C) but in the old days they had a lot more (D) whereas the traffic was a lot more in the old days (E) whereas then there was more traffic in the old days
Writing SectionIdentifying Sentence Errors A few barges still move oil up to Hartford, but in the old days they had more traffic then. (A) but in the old days they had more traffic then (B) but in the old days traffic was heavier (C) but in the old days they had a lot more (D) whereas the traffic was a lot more in the old days (E) whereas then there was more traffic in the old days Choice (B) is correct. It avoids the errors of the original by eliminating both the unnecessary adverb, "then," and the vague pronoun, "they."
Writing SectionIdentifying Sentence Errors The electronic computer is a technological triumph that scientists have developed,mastered, and then put it to constantlyincreasing use. No error. B C A D E
Writing SectionIdentifying Sentence Errors The electronic computer is a technological triumph that scientists have developed,mastered, and then put it to constantlyincreasing use. No error. C B A E D The error in this sentence occurs at (B), where an unnecessary pronoun is used. The object of the verb "have . . . put" (like the object of the verbs "have developed" and "have . . . mastered") is the relative pronoun "that," which refers to "technological triumph." The pronoun "it" is therefore unnecessarily inserted after "put."
Writing SectionImproving Paragraphs (1) The last century was a time of great technological progress. (2) Life is more convenient, comfortable, and efficient today than ever before. (3) Yet this has created new concerns. Which of the following versions of sentence 3 (reproduced below) is most effective? Yet this has created new concerns. (A) Although this has created new concerns. (B) Yet this progress has created new concerns. (C) Yet these have created new concerns. (D) Yet this has created new concerns to worry about. (E) New concerns have been created.
Writing SectionImproving Paragraphs (1) The last century was a time of great technological progress. (2) Life is more convenient, comfortable, and efficient today than ever before. (3) Yet this has created new concerns. Which of the following versions of sentence 3 (reproduced below) is most effective? Yet this has created new concerns. (A) Although this has created new concerns. (B) Yet this progress has created new concerns. (C) Yet these have created new concerns. (D) Yet this has created new concerns to worry about. (E) New concerns have been created. Choice (B) is correct. The vague pronoun "this" is replaced by "this progress," which clearly refers to the progress mentioned in sentence 1.
Writing SectionPractice for the SAT Essay A practice SAT essay assignment will be printed on the PSAT/NMSQT Student Score Report. Students can go online to www.collegeboard.com/psatextra to see sample papers written for that essay assignment and learn about how the SAT essay will be scored.
How is the PSAT/NMSQT scored? • Multiple-choice questions: 1 point for each correct; 1/4 point deducted for each incorrect • Math grid-ins: 1 point for each correct; 0 points for each incorrect (nothing deducted) • 0 points for omitted questions (nothing added, nothing deducted)
How is the PSAT/NMSQT scored? • Scores are reported on a scale of 20–80 for each section: critical reading, math, and writing skills. • For juniors, 47–50 is about average; for sophomores, 43–46 is about average.
How does a PSAT/NMSQT score compare to an SAT score? • Some students add a “0” to the two-digit PSAT/NMSQT score to give a rough estimate of a three-digit SAT score. • A more reliable SAT projected score range will be on your PSAT/NMSQT Score Report. • SAT writing score = approximately 1/3 essay scaled score + 2/3 multiple-choice score. • Students who have taken the PSAT/NMSQT average higher scores on the SAT than those who have not.
Personalized Skills Information The PSAT/NMSQT Score Report has helpful information to help students improve their skills. • Lists skills that have the best chance of improvement with additional work. • Includes advice, written by teachers, on how to improve those skills.
Getting ready to take the PSAT/NMSQT Long-term and short-term preparation
Short-term Test Preparation • Students should: • take the full-length practice test in the Official Student Guide and get comfortable with the test format. Take time to score it, to better understand the scoring process. • Visit www.collegeboard.com/psat for additional practice test items • Sign up to receive the SAT Question of the Day at www.collegeboard.com • Understand “formula scoring” and “educated guessing” • Become familiar with the types of test questions, the directions, and test format
Test-Readiness Strategies • Learn the directions beforehand • Read all the answer choices • Do scratch work in the test book • Work steadily • If you skip a question, be sure to note it in the test book, and leave it blank on the answer sheet. Return to it if you have time. • Remember: students don’t have to answer every question to score well
Tips and strategies Sentence Completions • Some PSAT sentence completions have two blanks rather than one. If you can guess the meaning of one blank, but not the other, scan the answer choices, looking for the word you’ve guessed. Eliminate the answer choices that don’t include it or a near-synonym, and then guess from what remains. Critical Reading • Look for the main idea of each paragraph. Remember the concept of the "topic sentence"? Your English teacher may have taught you to include one in every paragraph you write. PSAT paragraphs often contain such a sentence that summarizes the central point of the paragraph. When you find one, underline it. Math Multiple-Choice • If you don’t see your answer listed as one of the choices, it may be the same as one of the choices but written in a different mathematical form. If your answer is a fraction, try changing it to a decimal or percent. Grid-ins • The grid that you will use to fill out your answer does not contain a minus sign, so there is no way to indicate that a value is less than zero. If the answer you come up with is a negative number, check back over your work because you’ve made a mistake.
Be sure to take the Practice Test in the 2005 Official Student Guide
Test-readiness Strategies • In most sections, the questions are arranged from easy to more difficult (except for passage-based reading in critical reading section and improving paragraphs in writing skills section) • Wild guessing is discouraged, but students should make educated guesses.
WG EG 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Take the PSAT/NMSQT • How to sign up: Everyone will take the PSAT (Be sure to pick up the Official Student Guide with Practice Test.) • Test Day/Date: Wednesday, October 18th 2006 • Time: 8:00 – 12:00 • Where: Go to homeroom in the morning • Bring: • Two #2 Pencils • Calculator • Social Security Number (optional) • E-mail Address (optional)