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Counselor’s Corner

Get ready to take the PSATs!

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Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 2:21 pm, Mon Sep 17, 2012.

The PSAT

Taking the PSAT is your first step in preparing for the actual SAT Reasoning Test. Though designed to be slightly easier than the SAT, the PSAT will familiarize you with SAT-type questions and give you firsthand experience taking a standardized test with a strict time limit. The PSAT totals two hours 10 minutes and measures writing skills, critical reading skills, and math problem-solving skills.

As a preliminary qualifying exam, the PSAT is not used to determine college admission. Scores are not sent to colleges, but are used instead to signal skill areas that need improvement. PSAT performance can also gauge a student’s relative competitiveness with other college applicants.

PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In addition to its other benefits, the PSAT gives students a chance to be qualified for scholarship and recognition programs. If you succeed in scoring high enough, you may become a National Merit Scholar. With this achievement on your resume, your chances of earning scholarship money for school increase significantly.

Our advice: Take the PSAT seriously. Prepare as if you were taking the actual SAT and study accordingly. Since the PSAT is often the first strictly timed standardized test that students take, make sure to practice under timed conditions to improve your pacing.

PSAT dates and sign-ups

The PSAT is on Wednesday, Oct. 17 here at Bear Creek, McNair, Lodi and Tokay high school campuses. The cost is $15. Sign-ups will begin around the second week of September in the Counseling Office. The cost is $15.

Save the date

Lodi Unified School District’s annual College and Career Night at Bear Creek High School on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gym.

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Stephanie Hiatt

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