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New PSAT Preview Available

Good news sophomores (and younger grades)! The practice PSAT has now been released and is viewable here. More information is also available here and here.

While the upcoming ACT and SAT have been taking up most of my free time lately, I have had a chance to quickly review the new PSAT and here are some of my first impressions:

General Notes: 

1. It looks a lot more like the ACT than the SAT used to, but with some important distinctions.

2. It appears as if ACT-Science-like questions pop up in both the Reading and Math sections.

3. The test looks a little more interesting to take, with synthesis of graphs and reading in one. As in, it may be a little more engaging and you may not be as prone to drifting off during it.

4. This is a well-designed test.

 

Reading/Writing Section Notes:

1. There is still some vocab being tested, just as the ACT has been testing vocab, through contextual questions. But these are still distinctly vocabulary questions. Quick sidebar: do you know what despondent means? 

2. They’re still using some of their tried-and-true methods for wrong answer choices.

3. The Writing section now looks remarkably like the ACT English section. Note too that it has not been eliminated, but folded into the Reading score.

4. Some of the same Writing errors are popping up with great frequency (think Subject-Verb errors).

 

Math Section Notes:

1. The No Calculator section is not one in which you would want a calculator anyway. (phew!)

2. The questions look extremely similar to the ones showing up on the last (Feb) SAT.

3. There are more statistics/graph questions than the older SAT.

4. There are more questions related to what you’ve learned in school, but still as difficult as the older SAT (e.g. Section 4, Q28-Q30).

 

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