Most juniors take the PSAT, but in truth PSAT scores aren’t nearly as important as SAT (or ACT) scores. Why? You see, because the PSAT isn’t used for college admission, schools won’t even so much as glance at your PSAT score.

But if that’s the case, then, why bother prepping for the PSAT at all? As it turns out, there are a few reasons PSAT test prep may be worth the effort.

For one, the PSAT is essentially a gateway to doing well on the SAT. Because the primary aim of the PSAT is to prepare you for the SAT (hence its name, “Preliminary SAT”), the two tests share several similarities. As a result, prepping for the PSAT can give you an early sense of what SAT content areas you’ll need to strengthen and what strategies and approaches work well for you. 

Even if you’re planning on taking the ACT instead of the SAT, the PSAT can still help you get used to the kinds of questions and content you’ll need to know since there are so many similarities between the redesigned SAT and ACT.

What’s more, your PSAT score can predict your SAT score. Though the PSAT and SAT scoring scales differ (the maximum score is 1520 on the PSAT and 1600 on the SAT), each PSAT score directly corresponds to the same score on the SAT. So a 1300 on the PSAT indicates the same level of ability as a 1300 on the SAT does.

The PSAT essentially shows you how well you’d perform on the SAT if you were to take it at that exact moment in time. Without any PSAT prep, however, you’re glimpsing what your SAT score would be without any SAT prep as well. Such a score isn’t particularly helpful, as you’ll most likely want to study for the SAT, so to get a more accurate SAT prediction, you’ll definitely want to engage in some PSAT prep.

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