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PSAT Prep: Tips and Strategies Presented by: Cheryl Hutchinson Diane Scott Seneca Ridge Middle School September 26, 2011

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What is the PSAT/NMSQT? It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT, gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and the application test when applying to AOS.

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Know the Test The PSAT/NMSQT includes five sections Two 25-minute critical reading sections (sections 1 & 3) Two 25-minute math sections (sections 2 & 4) One 30-minute writing skills section (section 5) AOS adds a 30 minute timed writing prompt

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General Tips Take practice timed tests Know the topics/sections of the test Learn the directions ahead of time Keep track of the time Can’t flip between sections Can flip back and forth within a section Skip hard ones and come back to them Mark answers in testing booklet and grid five or more answer at a time Beware of answers being TOO easy – read carefully Cover the answer choices and predict the answer Don’t spend too much time on any one question - don’t 2 nd guess yourself

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Scoring 1 point for each correct answer -1/4 of a point for each wrong answer 0 point for skipped questions 0 point for wrong answers on the Grid-in 50/50 guessing

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Math Strategies Take practice timed tests Know the sub-topics/sections of the test 25 minutes each 28 Regular multiple choice 10 Grid-in Two types: Multiple choice Self-answer Grid-in– Never skip the Grid-in Questions (you can only earn points) Arranged easiest to hardest

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Math Strategies Review Algebra I and Geometry skills Calculators are allowed but could slow you down Formulas are provided at the beginning of all math sections Review common math terms such as quotient, absolute value, prime, variable etc)

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Reading Strategies Take practice timed tests Know the sub-topics/sections of the test 25 minutes each 13 Sentence Completion (single and double blanks) 35 Reading Comprehension including short, long and pair-passage sets

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Reading Strategies Positive/Negative Charges to a word Sentence Completion arranges easiest to hardest Reading Comprehension – NOT in order of difficulty

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Writing Strategies TTake practice timed tests KKnow the sub-topics/sections of the test 30 minutes each 20 Improving Sentences 14 Identifying Sentence Errors 5 Improving Paragraphs

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Writing Strategies Positive/Negative Charges to a word Sentence Errors and Improving Sentences - arranged easiest to hardest within each section Improving Paragraphs– NOT in order of difficulty

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Essay Strategies Practice writing to a prompt timed (30 minutes) 1 minute read the prompt 5 minutes plan your essay 20 minutes write your essay 4 minutes review/re-read for errors/additions Not an official part of the PSAT/NMSQT by College Board Write it like you would write the essay for the SAT (three practice prompts are on the school website) Stay on topic and support with evidence 3-5 paragraphs

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Reference Materials College Board PSAT website http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html Kaplan PSAT/NMSQT Premier 2011 Kaplan Inside the SAT The Princeton Review-Cracking the PSAT 2012 Gruber’s Complete PSAT/NMSQT Guide 2012 Barron’s PSAT/NMSQT 2012

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Where To Go From Here? Parent Resource Center http://www.lcps.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=7575&V iewID=7b97f7ed-8e5e-4120-848f- a8b4987d588f&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=8135&PageID=1413 http://www.lcps.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=7575&V iewID=7b97f7ed-8e5e-4120-848f- a8b4987d588f&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=8135&PageID=1413 Private Group Tutoring (timed tests and strategies) Three practice test dates - Cascades Library Reading – Thursday, September 29 th 4:30-6:30 Writing/Essay – Monday, October 3 rd 4:30-6:30 Math – Tuesday, October 4 th 4:30-6:30 Sign-up and fees – Fill out the form and attach payment per session and hand to one of us by the day before the session to guarantee a spot and the session. 6-20 students per session – (first come, first serve)

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