When to expect them and what to do once you get them
PSAT scores from the October tests will be released to students starting on December 9th, with dates varying by state. For those in Connecticut, PSAT scores will be available on December 9th; for New York and New Jersey, you will be able to access your scores on December 11th.
Photo courtesy of the College Board
What to do:
If the student has already started test prep:
Compare the PSAT score to previous SAT or ACT scores. To help assess the efficacy of the test prep, it is important to take into account how many actual full length tests the student took, as well as the sequencing. In other words, if the student had tutoring and took a practice or actual test after the PSAT, it is understandable that the PSAT score be less reflective of the student’s eventual score, since it was taken prior.
If the student’s score is lower than the practice, it may be a good time to try the ACT.
If the student has not started test prep and is disappointed with their score, they have a few options:
- Start a test prep program (we advise one-on-one tutoring).
- Take a practice ACT to compare to the SAT-style test.
- Schedule the actual test dates and try to ensure that they don’t conflict with other important events or periods of heavy academic workload.
- Follow a test-optional approach and prioritize schoolwork.
If the student is satisfied with their score:
Focus on schoolwork and possibly an SAT Subject test path, particularly if interested in engineering or other selected sciences.
Steer test dates and preparation away from heavy academic or extracurricular periods. Each student has their own schedule and academic burden, so try to avoid what everyone else is doing; the only thing that matters is what works for each student individually.
As tempting as it may seem to avoid the whole test prep initiative altogether, applying to only test-optional schools has its own set of risks. Test-optional schools may request proof of the student’s academic abilities to offset the lack of a standardized college entrance exam.
Special Pre-Holiday offer for High School Juniors: Bring in your October PSAT scores and get $175 off of our 15-pack private program AND get a voucher for a friend to take a full practice ACT or SAT test and test analysis.