Connecticut students will be taking the PSAT in early October.
I have to avoid going to the grocery store during the weeks preceding the PSAT because I am accosted by Shoreline CT parents who understand that the college process unofficially kicks off for juniors when the PSATs are given. Why? Because students start to talk among themselves about their PSAT and the upcoming SAT. You may have talked about college for the last year but now your student-children will pay greater attention.
Some parents take the PSAT too seriously. Others take the PSAT too lightly.
Let me allay some anxiety. The PSAT does provide helpful information. It is a snapshot of how your child will perform on the SAT if he/she does about the same level of preparation as other students. Fortunately, students can improve their test scores!For the last 15 years, students have left our SAT seminar (now SAT-ACT seminar) held in Old Saybrook and Madison with scores that barely resemble their PSAT results.
Let me light a fire among the few that are not taking the PSAT seriously. While I’ll hear occasionally – usually from acquaintances who are trying to mitigate their own stress – that the PSAT does not matter and nod my head in agreement to be polite – I should say: “you are correct that it doesn’t matter in a literal sense since the scores are not reported to colleges but it does matter a great deal in showing how the student will score and that matters psychologically in a far bigger way than you realize.”.
Given that not only college admission but also college cost is tied to test scores, start test prep as soon as possible. Those that are anxious will feel better that they are doing something that will quell their anxiety and those that are lackadaisical will be compelled to do something that their future self will be happy about.