PSAT, SAT and ACT - An Introduction
Three of the most critically acclaimed testing systems of the world are PSATs, SATs and ACTs. They are for students from various grades, offering a varying degree in difficulty level and a varying amount of marks for students to grab. Regardless of which one you take, a good score in these tests will brighten your chances in getting to the college or university that you have always wanted to attend. Though they may seem like poles apart, the fact of the matter is that in all three tests, the basic test structure does not differ greatly. All of these tests do not take into account the system of “Negative Marking”, which will be a sigh of relief to all students out there. If you are looking to take part in any of the three tests mentioned above, you would need to be prepared! For exactly that purpose, we highly recommend using Kaplan Test Prep. Not only do they offer free practice tests on their website, they also offer course books to prepare from as well as providing tutoring courses of your choice on their official website. You can choose from any one of the four tutoring options available on their website that best suits your needs and your schedule.
PSAT Testing Scheme
PSAT stands for “Preliminary Socialistic Aptitude Test”. Another name given to the test is NMSQT, which is an abbreviation for “National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test”. It is a standardized testing technique that is given to sophomores or junior school students. An estimated 3.5 million US students appear in PSAT every year. Though the tests are primarily focused on sophomores and juniors, younger students can also take the test prior to that stage. This test serves as the basis for the National Merit Scholarship Program which is offered by the US government as well as a preparation for the SAT and ACT.
Prior to 1997, the test composed of only two sections; Math and Verbal. The verbal section had a double weightage to account for the total 240 marks that could be obtained. After 1997, a “Writing Skills” section was also added into the mix to avoid the double weightage scenario.
The test mostly follows a multiple choice pattern though some portions of mathematics change from the prescribed pattern. A total of 240 marks can be obtained from the test, in a maximum of 130 minutes, which are then scaled by relevant factors to get the results in accordance with SATs. The mathematics section also contains a subsection in which the use of a calculator is strictly prohibited (however, this portion does not include difficult concepts like Algebra II etc). Students can apply through their respective high schools which are members of the College Board.
SAT Testing Scheme
SAT is perhaps the most widely followed testing scheme in the world. It serves as the basis for college admissions not only in the U.S., but also many other countries also recognize SAT scores for their college and universities. SATs are offered to students seven times per annum and offers a score of 400-1600 (depending on the rules of the region in which the test is being taken). The test consists of three basic portions that are termed as writing, critical reading and mathematics, which are to be completed in a total of 180 minutes.
The mathematics portion of the test is further subdivided into two portions. The difference being that one portion permits the use of calculator, while the other does not. The writing section is also further split into two parts. One of which is multiple choice based while the other requires students to write an essay in a total of 25 minutes.
The total score (out of 1600) is then increased to 2400 and the final score of the students is calculated in accordance to it. A percentile is calculated which shows the rank of a particular student with reference to everyone else who gave the test. For anyone willing to get into a good college or university, having a good SAT score is the safest and most direct way. Scoring big in SATs will eventually get you into the college of your choice.
ACT Testing Scheme
ACT stand for American College Testing and is another scheme of testing that is followed worldwide for getting admission into undergraduate programs. Its popularity is demonstrated by the massive number of students that take the test annually. That figure rose to about 1.84 million in 2014. The test itself consists of four compulsory portions (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science) and an optional portion of Writing. The total time allotted for the test is 3 hours and 35 minutes excluding breaks. A maximum of 36 points can be achieved in the ACTs. The test is offered 6 times a year in America and 5 times per annum in other parts of the world. You should definitely take up the ACTs if you want to get accepted into the top universities and get enrolled into their undergraduate programs. A good ACT score is a step in the right direction.
Featured Courses By Kaplan Test Prep
Kaplan Test Prep offers a solid foundation for anyone who is willing to take any of the three tests mentioned above. On their official website, one can find links to all the three tests individually where you can access free practice tests to get an overall feel of the tests. You can also choose from any one of the four tutoring courses that are available on the website. The four courses are as follows and are designed to give you maximum comfort all the while preparing you to perform exceptionally in the tests:
- Live Online Essentials - An online session based tutoring technique which allows you to work at your own pace.
- Classroom - Get enrolled in a classroom near you where you will be taught by a Kaplan trained instructor.
- Classroom PLUS - Full classroom training as well as any additional training that you might require.
- Unlimited Prep - Take/Re-take PSAT,SAT and ACT courses until the end of your senior year.
A good education is that everyone has the right to pursue the fields of their interests. To brighten your chances of getting into the academic program of your choice, you should definitely consider giving the PSAT, SAT or the ACT all the while following the curriculum provided by Kaplan to ensure the best possible score for you.