If you’re anything like me, you’ll avoid any work that’s not absolutely necessary. So why bother studying for the PSAT? After all, it’s the Preliminary-SAT. But if you don’t, then you’re missing out on a great chance to start preparing yourself for college applications.
It’s worth your time to spend some of your summer prepping for your PSAT. Even something like 30 minutes every few days adds up! Then, not only can you tell your parents you’re being productive, but you avoid any last minute, day-before -the-test cramming. You can start by using SAT study materials. Take note though, there are some major differences. The most important ones are that the PSAT doesn’t test you on the hardest questions of the SAT, there’s no essay, and it’s shorter.
For math, you want to focus on 3 areas: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. They roughly correspond to Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II, respectively. For reading, you should focus on being able to examine evidence from a passage to determine its meaning and inferring the meanings of words based on context. For writing, you’ll be reading passages and answering questions on how to improve their grammar, sentence structure, etc.
You can also take a practice PSAT (seems redundant, I know) by downloading one from the official College Board website. Overall, you should treat the PSAT as a practice run for the actual SAT. Taking it in an accurate test setting will let you know which strategies work well for you and which don’t.