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PSAT vs. SAT Scores

  1. Dec 10, 2013 #1
    How closely did your PSAT score match your SAT score?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2013 #2

    WannabeNewton

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    My junior year PSAT score and my SAT score differed by like 30 points after converting the PSAT score to a 2400 scale (not sure if they do that automatically nowadays; this was about 3 years ago).
     
  4. Dec 10, 2013 #3
    Yup, they do! :-) May I ask your scores? I was fairly disappointed with my PSAT scores,although they weren't awful at all, and I'm hoping to raise my SAT score quite a bit.
     
  5. Dec 10, 2013 #4
    Oops, I meant that the scoring is the same, they don't do it automatically.
     
  6. Dec 10, 2013 #5
    My SAT score was 200 points higher than my PSAT. My English scores jumped once I learned to stop over-thinking the passage questions. Also, the essay helped me on the writing section.
     
  7. Dec 10, 2013 #6

    WannabeNewton

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    I'm basing this off of memory (because my college board account is long gone from my memory :biggrin:): my SAT was a 2310 and it was the higher of the two.
     
  8. Dec 10, 2013 #7
    Thanks H-S! How much did the essay bring up your score? WannabeNewton,that's a great score!
     
  9. Dec 10, 2013 #8
    My PSAT score was a 208 and my SAT was a 2300, with both of the English scores going up ~100 points. I found the SAT essay to be pretty straightforward; if you have a reasonable assertion with examples that make sense, you will get an 11 or 12. The only hard part of the essay is the timing, so I would advise you to not spend 5 minutes (or however long is suggested) planning out your writing.
     
  10. Dec 10, 2013 #9
    Good! It seemed fairly easy from the book, but in a too good to be true kind of way. I only got a 160 on the PSAT, which is still slightly higher than average, but still frustrating considering I have a 4.0 and I studied a lot. I want a 2100 or a 2200 on the SAT. Did you find that your high score helped you get into a career or college of your choice, or was that just a small part of the requirements?
     
  11. Dec 10, 2013 #10
    I am only in high school, but I guess I'll find out if it was good enough in the upcoming weeks (I'm a senior)! Colleges certainly look at your scores but other factors like GPA and coursework are also important. Unless you are applying to top schools, your application probably won't be killed by an imperfect SAT score.
     
  12. Dec 10, 2013 #11
    True! I hate standardized tests. They don't really judge intelligence or potential or what you've learned, just how good you are at playing a game you won't use after college. (I'm NOT negating your score though, I think it's great! :smile:)
     
  13. Dec 10, 2013 #12

    PAllen

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    For me, a zillion years ago, PSAT was a poor predictor of SAT (PSAT was well over a standard deviation lower). However, my experience leads me to discredit standardized tests in general, and specifically claims of repeatability within claimed error measures. My experience was, that despite always trying hard, depending on what chess players call 'form', my scores varied wildly over two standard deviations (+2 to +4 with seemingly uniform random distribution in this range).
     
  14. Dec 10, 2013 #13
    PAllen, I feel the same way! The questions change, constantly. I saw some questions from the 1970's on the College Board website. My first thought was "Wow, I bet I could have gotten a 210 back then." and my second was "How in the world are these questions going to help with this year's test?" It's ridiculous. Most of the math questions are about things no one but computer scientists or engineers need to know.
     
  15. Dec 10, 2013 #14

    WannabeNewton

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    A good chuck of the math questions are on plane Euclidean geometry; this is one of the most important tools in introductory physics. Anyways, regardless of whether or not it is an inefficient test of academic capabilities, it counts so do your best and I hope you get the score you want :)
     
  16. Dec 10, 2013 #15
    Hmm. I think they may have been different this year. I can't remember what exactly, but they had many relevant math equations, but also many more that seemed more out of the ordinary.
     
  17. Dec 10, 2013 #16

    jgens

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    This is definitely frustrating, but come application time if your grades and letters of recommendation are really solid, a low SAT score can easily be overcome.

    Good scores alone cannot get you into college and bad scores are not enough to keep you out. If you have fantastic test scores, then yes the probability of being admitted is certainly higher. That being said, if other parts of your application are outstanding, then that can more than compensate for a lackluster SAT. My honest to god advice would be that you should try to improve your SAT, but do not pour loads of effort into that. Instead work on getting great letters and grades and maybe doing some interesting extracurricular stuff.

    Granted I took the test like 4-5 years ago, but I remember the SAT math being basic things everyone should know.
     
  18. Dec 10, 2013 #17
    Thanks jgens! I think I saw some problems from that time period, and you're right, they were basic things everyone should know. Now, however, it seems to be a bit more of a mind game. I'd say about half of the questions are things that most (college-bound) people should know, but the other half is more complex. Most of those things many people can figure out anyway, but there's the time difficulty as well. And it's strayed a bit from basic Euclidean geometry and basic algebra, and into more precalculus-like questions. Not the practical ones, either. Like the ones at the end of the book that are fun to do but not needed in "real life". XD
     
  19. Dec 10, 2013 #18
    Is it possible that you were over-thinking the questions when you took the test? I doubt the math section has changed much from 4-5 years ago, and certainly not much from when I took the SAT in October.
     
  20. Dec 10, 2013 #19

    WannabeNewton

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    Real life is lame anyways :tongue2:
     
  21. Dec 10, 2013 #20
    Most likely I was! xD Are we talking about the PSAT math section or the SAT math section? I was referring to the SAT's section, and the math questions were different than those seen in most sophomore math books, as far as I know. Helpful for physics-Yes! A great judge of potential? Not really.
     
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