After 30 years of helping students get the test scores they need, we know that the best way to prep for the PSAT is to prep for the SAT.  Learn why it's a smart idea to combine your PSAT and SAT prep.


Why Prep for the PSAT?

Your PSAT scores won’t get you into college or affect your GPA. But if you’re a junior, high scores on the PSAT can earn you scholarship dollars, including a National Merit Scholarship. Out of 1.6 million entrants only about 50,000 students qualify—if you want a shot at National Merit recognition, you need to prepare.


The PSAT and the SAT are almost identical. The PSAT is fifteen minutes shorter than the SAT, doesn’t include an essay, and is scored on a slightly different scale. Otherwise, the PSAT has the same question types and tests the same knowledge areas as the SAT. By prepping for the SAT, you are prepping for both tests!

Here's a quick summary of the differences.

Why Take It

PSAT scores determine your eligibility for National Merit Scholarships.

Colleges use SAT scores (and ACT scores) for admissions and merit-based scholarships.

Test Structure
  • Reading

  • Writing & Language

  • Math

  • Reading

  • Writing & Language

  • Math

  • Essay (Optional)

  • 2 hours, 45 minutes

  • 3 hours (without essay)

  • 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)

How It's Scored

Scored on a scale of 320–1520

Scored on a scale of 400–1600

Benefits of Combining SAT and PSAT Prep

1. You can prep more efficiently.

Save your time and prep smarter. We recommend that students start their prep for the SAT (and/or ACT) during the spring or summer before junior year. Summer prep is a particularly smart move if you’re planning to take the August SAT. Our comprehensive SAT prep programs will help you prep for both the PSAT and the SAT, so you can excel on both exams.

2. You can boost your confidence.

Because the PSAT and SAT are so similar, you’ll walk into test day knowing exactly what to expect. You'll feel more in control and have a better testing experience.

3. You'll get in extra practice for the SAT.

Prep for the SAT and then think of the PSAT as a very realistic practice test. You'll have a chance to analyze your results and hone your SAT strategy before taking the real thing.

4. You can save money on test prep.

Combining your prep is cost-effective! For a limited time, get our PSAT prep for free when you enroll in a comprehensive SAT course or tutoring program. Learn more.

What If I'm Planning to Take the ACT?

Your ACT prep also provides a great foundation for the test-taking skills you'll apply to the PSAT. Consider adding some targeted PSAT tutoring to your prep routine in the weeks leading up to the October exam. 

Practice for the PSAT

Take a PSAT practice test with us under realistic testing conditions. You'll get a personalized score report highlighting your strengths and areas of improvement.


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