Guest Blog: PSAT Scores Are Out!

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The College Spy periodically welcomes guest blogs from other experts and thought leaders on topics we believe will be of interest to parents and students on the journey from high school to higher education. Today’s guest blogger is Jenn Cohen, CEO of LaunchPad Education.

PSAT Scores Are Out!

Most students should have received their 2018 PSAT scores this week. I think most parents know that it doesn't "count," but that doesn't typically stop a lot of the hand wringing that goes along with seeing your student's score.

Here are some important reminders when looking at the results:

  • Most students will score in the average range (900-1100). This is just how the test works, and it's exactly what average means. It's NOT a bad word!

  • Anything less than 1300 is not a BAD score, though a lot of parents believe that. Just remember that the kids - and parents! - with the high scores talk about them; everyone else keeps quiet. You hear about higher scores, but you're not getting a complete story.

  • Use the results as a motivational tool. This score is what you got when you weren't really prepared for the test. You'll do better when you've put in some work.

  • If your student is a sophomore, remember that the score is comparing them to all of the juniors taking the test. Look at the percentiles to see how he/she did in comparison to other sophomores.

  • Don't panic about the whole National Merit Scholarship thing. Only a tiny percentage of students will qualify. It's not a huge amount of money, and most of the kids who win them are applying to the most selective schools (who turn down National Merit winners all the time). Is it a nice thing to win? Sure. But it's not worth worrying about.

Do remember that now is the time to line up test prep for spring test dates. Don’t procrastinate. The best prep options will fill up quickly.


Jenn Cohen is owner and CEO of LaunchPad Education, an online test prep tutoring business specializing in students with learning differences and ADHD. She is a frequent speaker on test prep and study skills for students with special needs, and has been featured in The Dallas Morning News, ADDitude Magazine and Good Morning Texas. Jenn also serves as Treasurer of the Learning Disabilities Association of Texas. Follow Jenn on Facebook or LinkedIn, or contact her by email for more information on how LaunchPad might help your student.