Advantage Education PSAT Exam Cram

ISBN 13: 9780789734440

PSAT Exam Cram

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9780789734440: PSAT Exam Cram
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The PSAT Exam Cram is the most targeted method for studying for the PSAT. This book offers you specific strategies for answering various question types, a suggested study schedule, a vocabulary list, and some basic admissions counseling information. You'll also find out the differences between knowledge, skills, and abilities, and how these are tested by the PSAT. Each exam topic (Critical Reading, Math Problem-Solving Skills, and Writing Skills) is discussed and every chapter is loaded with practice questions and examples, in addition to two full-length practice exams that cover all three areas. The new writing assignment is covered with sample answers, and the popular Cram Sheet tearcard is included to help you with last minute studying. Increase your chances of performing well the first time on the PSAT with the PSAT Exam Cram.

 

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About the Author:

Steve Dulan is founder and president of Advantage Education, a company offering courses on PSAT, ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, Law School and Bar Review. Steve's background in teaching standardized testing classes is extensive, dating back to 1989 when he was an area director and master instructor for Kaplan, Inc. He has taught at various colleges on numerous topics including all of the standardized tests taken by high school and college students, as well as various law classes, the Graduate School Preparation Program and GRE Preparation Program for Underprivileged/ Minority College Students.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

PSAT/NMSQT_ Exam Cram

PSAT/NMSQT Exam Cram

Introduction: Getting Started

This book includes general information about the PSAT and chapters with specific information on each of the test sections, as well as two simulated tests.

In an ideal situation, you will be reading this at least three to four weeks before you take your actual PSAT exam. If that is not the case, even just a few hours of study and practice can have a positive impact on your PSAT score.

If you have enough time between now and your actual PSAT exam, (at least three weeks) you should work through this entire book. Some of the material is meant to be used as realistic practice material to get you ready for the whole experience of taking a PSAT exam.

As you work through the simulated tests, you should be aware that they are not actual exams. They are reasonably accurate simulations written by experienced experts. They contain basically the same mix of question types as a real PSAT. If you work through all the material provided, you can rest assured that there won't be any surprises on test day. Generally, students tend to score a little better on each successive practice test. But, PSAT exams are sensitive to individual conditions such as fatigue and stress. Therefore, the time of day that you take your practice exams, your environment, and other things that might be going on in your life can have an impact on your scores. Don't get worried if you see some score fluctuation because of a bad day or because the practice test revealed weaknesses in your knowledge or skills. Simply use the information that you gather to help you improve.

In our experience, the students who see the largest increases in their scores are the ones who put in consistent effort over several weeks. Try to keep your frustration to a minimum if you are struggling. And, try to keep from becoming overconfident when everything is going your way.

What This Book Will Not Do

This book is not a substitute for regular textbooks or course work. It will not teach you everything you need to know about the subject matter tested on the PSAT. Although the PSAT is primarily considered a skills-based test, you will be required to have a basic understanding of certain mathematical concepts and standard written English. This book will introduce you to some of those concepts, but it will not provide an in-depth review.

The focus of this book is on helping you to maximize your PSAT score. Each chapter includes specific test-taking strategies, some content area review, and practice questions.

About the PSAT

The PSAT is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT. It is also used to qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs. In fact, the full name of the test is PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.) The PSAT is not a direct measure of a student's abilities. It is not an IQ test. The PSAT is certainly not a measure of your value as a person. It is not even a perfect predictor of how well you will do on the SAT. The PSAT doesn't measure your natural, inborn ability. If it did, we wouldn't have had the successes that we have had in raising past students' scores on PSAT exams.

The PSAT actually measures a predictable set of skills and some specific knowledge. It is "trainable," meaning that you can do better on your PSAT if you put time in learning the knowledge and perfecting the skills that are tested.

More information on the structure of the PSAT is shown in Table IN.1.

Table IN.1 PSAT Structure

Critical Reading

48 questions

Two 25-minute sections

Content

Number of Questions

Sentence Completions

13

Passage Based Reading

35

Mathematics

38 questions

Two 25-minute sections

Content

Number of Questions

Multiple Choice

28

Student-produced Response

10

Writing Skills

39 questions

One 30-minute section

Content

Number of Questions

Identifying Sentence Errors

14

Improving Sentences

20

Improving Paragraphs

5


A company called The College Board decides exactly what is going to be on your PSAT exam. These experts consult with classroom teachers at the high school and college level. They look at high school and college courses, and they consult with educators and specialized psychologists called "psychometricians" (measurers of the mind), who know a lot about the human brain and how it behaves under a variety of conditions.

Registering for the PSAT

You have to register for the PSAT in advance. You can't just show up on test day with a #2 pencil and expect to start right in. The best source of information for everything regarding PSAT is, not surprisingly, the PSAT website: http://www.PSAT.org. There is also a strong chance that a pre-college counselor at your school has a PSAT Registration Book, which includes all the information that you will need for your registration.

National Merit Scholarships

Other than practicing for the SAT, the next most common reason for students to take the PSAT is to try to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship.

The National Merit Scholarship is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and recognizes the top 50,000 scorers out of more than a million students who take the test each year. In order to qualify, you must take the test during your third year of high school (usually called your junior year). Approximately 16,000 of the top 50,000 are named as semi-finalists. The remaining students are sent Letters of Commendation. About 15,000 out of the 16,000 become finalists by qualifying based on academic standards. Approximately 8,200 of the finalists actually receive Merit Scholarship awards, which are valued at a minimum of $2,500. In some cases, these scholarships amount to full scholarships, which can be renewed for up to four years of college. Each year, about 1,600 of the top 50,000, who are not finalists, are awarded special scholarships of varying amounts. Detailed informati...

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