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Your Next Steps: Using PSAT/NMSQT Results Transcript

Your Next Steps: Using PSAT/NMSQT Results
 

Congratulations. Just by taking the PSAT/NMSQT, you’ve already taken an important step on the path to college.  But what’s next?

We’re going to walk through two tools that can help you see how you did on the PSAT, get ready for the SAT, and start planning for college – your paper score report and your personalized online tool called My College QuickStartTM

First, let’s talk about the PSAT Score Report.  There are four major sections on your paper score report: Your Scores, Your Skills, Your Answers, and Next Steps.  This information is organized by the three PSAT test sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing Skills. 

In the Your Score section, you’ll find your score, your score range, and your percentile.  Your score range shows scores that are similar to yours, and your percentile shows what percentage of students you scored higher than.

Juniors who meet eligibility requirements are automatically entered into scholarship competitions conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.  In the National Merit Scholarship Corporation subsection of your score report, you’ll see your Selection Index, which is the sum of your scores on the three test sections.  If your Selection Index has an asterisk by it, you do not meet all of the eligibility requirements for the competition.  To learn more about the competition and eligibility requirements, visit nationalmerit.org.

In the Your Skills section, you’ll find how you performed on each of the skills measured on the test.  These are the same skills measured by the SAT. To practice and improve, you can try hundreds of practice questions online at My College QuickStart.

In the Your Answers section, you’ll see the answers you provided to each question, the correct answer, and the difficulty level of that question.  Take a look at the questions you got wrong and learn why by visiting My College QuickStart online. 

In the Next Steps section, you’ll see the major you selected on test day and your access code for My College QuickStart, where you can learn more about that major, colleges that offer it, and related careers.

Now, let’s switch gears and talk about My College QuickStart, your personalized online college and career planning kit.  You can find it at collegeboard.com/quickstart.  First, you’ll need to log in.  If you’re logging in for the first time, you’ll need to enter your access code from your paper score report and either sign into your existing College Board account or sign up to create a College Board account.  After the first time, whenever you visit My College QuickStart, simply enter your username and password to login.  My College QuickStart shows how you did on the PSAT and provides a personalized SAT study plan.  You can also use it to learn more about your personality and find majors, colleges, and careers that match your interests.

In an area called My Online Score Report, you’ll see your score, your score range, and your percentile information.  You’ll also see your projected SAT score range and state percentile. 

Scrolling down the screen, the Your Answers tab shows your response for each test question, the correct answer, and the difficulty level of that question.  You can filter your view of the questions by skill or difficulty level as well as questions you answered correctly, incorrectly, or omitted.  For example, try viewing the easy questions you got wrong.  If you click on a question number, you’ll see the question and answer explanation.  You can review the questions you got wrong and see why you got them wrong. 

On the Your Skills tab, you’ll see a summary of your performance on each skill group measured by the PSAT. The longer the green bar is, the more questions you got right. 

Let’s focus on a skill that needs improvement.  You can see the total number of questions linked to that skill, the total number of questions you got correct, and which questions you omitted, got incorrect, and correct.  To practice, try the questions again by clicking on the question number.  Read the answer explanations to see why an answer is right or wrong.

In the My SAT Study Plan section, available for sophomores and higher, you’ll find your personalized skills feedback with access to hundreds of practice questions. 

The My Skills Feedback tabs within each PSAT subject – Critical Reading, Math, and Writing – can help you identify which skills you’d like to focus on for improvement.  Focus on the skills that you performed the worst on and click the skill group to display test questions that measure this skill.  Review the questions you answered incorrectly and omitted.  Once you feel you have a good grasp of the questions from the test, you can practice from hundreds of other questions by clicking on the “Try some harder practice questions” link for each skill group from the list at the top.  These are new practice questions, not questions from your PSAT test.

From the My SAT Study Plan homepage, you can also familiarize yourself with the format of the SAT so you know what to expect on test day, and you can take an official SAT practice test.

In the My Personality section, you can take a fun, in-depth personality test.  The results will describe your personality type, things you’re good at, and tips for success.  You’ll also see majors in careers that match your interests.  Here’s an example of a personality test report for someone labeled a communicator. 

In My Majors and Career Matches, you’ll learn more about the college major you chose on test day as well as related majors and careers.  Click on any of these links to see a description of the major, a list of high school courses you can take now to prepare for that major, and the college courses you can expect to take when you get to college.  The Career Connection link will show you the various careers associated with this major. 

Finally, the last section, My College Matches, will provide you with a starter list of colleges in your state.  You can customize your list using different criteria, like location, admission requirements, and school size.  You can view college profiles and save your searches.  When you click on a college, you’ll find all the essential information about that college, including type of school, setting, school size, and student body demographics.

Congratulations on your first step towards college.  Take advantage of all My College QuickStart has to offer to help you plan and prepare for this exciting opportunity.  Visit www.collegeboard.com/quickstart.

[© 2014 The College Board.]