Preparing for the SAT


Photo by Veda Thangudu.

PSAT/NMSQT Study Guide, Practice Test 1, SAT Study Guide (which includes 8 real tests) 2020 version. The Study Guide is also available at the Hamilton East Public Library to check out.

     Freshmen, sophomores and juniors at FHS took the PSAT on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The PSAT is one of the standardized tests taken as a high school student intended to start preparing students for life after graduation.

     “The PSAT/SAT splits up into 2 sections for reading and 2 sections for math,” English teacher and SAT preparation mentor said. “It incorporates a lot of reading into the math section. There are a variety of passages in the reading section.”

     The PSAT is a preparation test for the SAT. It has the same layout and format as the SAT does. The test is conducted by the College Board.

     “The PSAT obviously prepares you for the actual SAT,”sophomore Jennifer Jo said. “It gave me an idea of what the SAT is formatted like. Since the SAT is such an important exam, people need to see how it is and be required to take it at least once before you take the actual exam.”

     There are a variety of opportunities that can come from the PSAT scores, according to Albonetti.

     “It [the PSAT] can open doors for you,” Albonetti said. “If you have given access, the colleges can access your scores and can start recruiting you. Colleges figure out which student will be competitive for the school. There are scholarships available for the high earners. It’s really, really good preparation for the SAT. ”

     Freshmen take the PSAT 8/9 which is a level lower than the official PSAT that sophomores and juniors take. 

     “I think it’s great that they are taking a version of the PSAT,” Albonetti said. “It gets them used to a test that’s going to be important for their lives, so they might as well get started early.”

     FHS offers a SAT Preparation class for sophomores and juniors after school. It has a fee of $110.

     “I teach the SAT preparation class,” Albonetti said. “It’s a class that runs for a month, twice a week; a total of 16 hours. Based on the data that we have seen, the class helps students improve their scores. We divide the class up into reading and math portions. We teach students how to prepare their minds to take the test. They learn strategies to beat the test.”

     Khan Academy is also a way to prepare for the PSAT/SAT.

     “Khan Academy is incredibly impressive to prepare for the test,” Albonetti said. “Their PSAT prep is world-class.”

     There are different ways to prepare for the SAT to ensure readiness and success during the test.

     “Buying the SAT practice book and taking the tests in that book helps.” Albonetti said.

     The PSAT score is considered by colleges and shows how the student improved for the SAT.

     “What they [colleges] learn about this is how a student is what the student earned. “This makes the student competitive for our school, let’s start sending this student some marketing material.”

     While each person has their own opinion, Jo found the English section to take more time.

     “In my opinion, the hardest part was the writing and language section.” Jo said.

     The next time freshmen and sophomores will get a chance to take the PSAT is October 2022.

     “I think the next time would be easier since I got an idea on what it is.” Jo said. “Prepare and don’t be nervous is my best advice to future test takers.”