Tag Archives: PSAT

Tips for Building High School Schedules

As high school students start scheduling for the coming school year, I encourage them to think ahead and think hard to make wise choices. Think Ahead While the choices you make will be in stone for next year, you should sketch out the remaining high school years as well whether you’re one, two or three years from graduation. You’ll want to make certain you are first meeting all graduation requirements.  Next looking ahead to the junior and senior years where you have more room to take what YOU want, you’ll want to pay close attention to prerequisites for those advanced … Continue reading

Lessons Learned from PSAT Results

‘Tis the Season – PSAT results season, that is.  In October most juniors and many sophomores took the PSAT.  Unlike the SAT and ACT where you get results in just over two weeks, PSAT results are finally delivered two months later before you head off on winter break. So now that you’ve got the PSAT score report in your hands, how do you make sense of it? Scores are based on a scale of 20 to 80.  Your Selection Index, used for National Merit purposes (see below), is a total of the three parts (critical reading, math and writing).  It might be … Continue reading

Making the Most of Winter Break

While sleeping in, video games and Facebook maybe calling over the Winter Break, there is still plenty of time for college bound students to do something productive toward their college goals. FRESHMAN Have you put together a resume? If not, start now! It doesn’t have to be something fancy or even well formatted.  Simply start a list of activities, honors and community service along with dates. This is something to build on throughout high school and will save you time three years from now when you’re completing college applications. Pulling your resume together will also help you see any holes … Continue reading

5 Questions to PSAT Prep Success

Coming from LEAP, where we pride ourselves on increased ACT and SAT scores of students in our program, it may sound counterintuitive that we advise most rising  juniors not to prep for the PSAT.  (This is not the advice we give for ACT and SAT prep!)  See, most families who are questioning whether or not to prep for the PSAT are doing so with the National Merit Scholarship program in mind.  The bar is high to qualify as a finalist, as we talked about in an earlier post on PSAT and National Merit basics.  Essentially, finalists are the top 15,000 scorers from … Continue reading

How to Schedule “rigorous” High School Classes Colleges Want

Colleges will look closely at the level of rigor a student has in their schedule.  What does ”rigor” really mean? Honestly, something different for each student.  Rigorous courses are meant to challenge the student; colleges want to see that a student has appropriately challenged herself. Choosing rigor can start as early as eighth grade when many students have the opportunity to jump start high school by taking high school courses for credit.  If a student is ready for that level of work, go for it! Keep in mind, grades earned in these courses will in most cases impact the high school GPA … Continue reading

How to use PSAT Results

Students took the test in October and finally, as we approach winter break, they’ll receive their PSAT scores. So now what? Juniors If you are a junior, learn from your score report. Analyze your results.  What is your area of strength and weakness? Hone in on these as you enter ACT and/or SAT testing.  Concentrate not only on improving areas of weakness, but highlighting your strengths. Compare to PLAN results.  The PLAN is the little sister to the ACT; hopefully your school administered this valuable tool.  Comparing PLAN and PSAT results by examining national percentile scores can give you an early … Continue reading

PSAT & National Merit Basics

Stephanie Meyer Twilight author, M. Night Shyamalan movie director, Jeffrey Bezos CEO of Amazon.com, JohnRoberts Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Bill Gates former Microsoft Chairman, Ben Bernanke Chairman of the US Federal Reserve have one thing incommon.  They were each National MeritScholarship winners chosen from a pool of 15,000 National Merit Finalists.  How did they get there? Each October more than 1.5 million high school juniors enter the National Merit Scholarship race by taking the PSAT test through Collegeboard at their local high school.  The PSAT doubles only in the junior year asthe National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test … Continue reading

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