If you provided an accurate email address on your PSAT/NMSQT® answer sheet last October, you may have already received notification that PSAT scores and complete results are now available through My College QuickStart™.
According to the College Board, the tests were scored, analyzed, and started winging their way to the desks of school counselors early last week.
While high schools have different methods of distributing test results, it’s worth noting that you can get your score report now with the help of your personal “access code.”
The code changes from year-to-year. So if you took the PSAT in 2012, the old code will NOT work. You must use the 2013 code—pretty tricky of the College Board!
But your school counselor or the test administrator at your high school should have a “master roster” of this year’s codes for easy reference. The printed score reports also contain individual access codes.
And make no mistake, your PSAT/NMSQT score report can be a valuable tool.
Unlike most services provided by our friends in Princeton, the PSAT offers an amazing amount of FREE information and advice all packaged together in materials test-takers automatically receive.
So whatever you do, don’t trash the packet!
And if you’re worried about test results, keep in mind that the “P” in PSAT stands for “preliminary” not “predictive.”
These scores cannot predict how well you will do in college, and they say even less about how good a student you are. They represent a single snapshot in time, and sometimes that picture is neither flattering nor accurate.
Don't focus on scores or percentiles alone (especially if you're a freshman as your percentiles are computed using sophomore data).
Also, be aware that colleges do not use these scores in the admissions process. Unless you happen to score in the very highest percentile of test-takers in your state, the test results have no usefulness to anyone but you and they will never be reported to colleges.
So what good is the PSAT? As a service to its customers, the College Board organization has developed a package of materials to go along with your scores. And it’s all provided FREE of charge.
First, every student who takes the PSAT receives an actual copy of the test booklet along with a complete Score Report “Plus” containing the correct answer, your answer, and the level of difficulty for each question on the test. This information can help you pinpoint test-taking strengths and weaknesses, and you really should go over your results carefully.
As part of the Score Report Plus, you will also receive personalized feedback on academic skills and will be directed to two or three areas that might need improvement as suggested by your answers on the test. If you’re thinking about signing up for an SAT prep class, this information can be extremely helpful in determining what kind of program or intensity level would be best for you.
But the best part of the total PSAT deal is that all students who take the test receive total access to My College QuickStart, which includes an online version of your score report as well a study plan, hundreds of practice SAT questions, and other early college planning tools including a useful major and career match inventory.
In addition My College QuickStart now provides a list of Advanced Placement (AP) courses you might be ready for now and indicates which are related to college majors of interest to you.
To access My College QuickStart, simply open an account using the access code printed on your PSAT score report. You can find your access code at the bottom right of the report under "Next Steps." The code begins with a letter, is followed by 8 numbers, and ends with a letter.
But you can’t take advantage of any of these tools without the information contained on your score report. And in the past, some area high schools have been very slow to distribute the reports.
If your guidance office hasn't made announcements concerning distribution of PSAT packets, consider asking for an appointment with your counselor to go over your scores and get that access code before the holidays. This way, you can begin to make decisions about test prep as well as take advantage of some of the college planning materials provided by the College Board.