Category Archives: PSAT Test Scores

Why Any Score Can be a Good Score on a PSAT

Did you just get handed the results of your PSAT test and think “YIKES?!”

The thing is, even a low score on a PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) can be good if it motivates you to focus on what you need to learn before taking the real test.

Think of your results as a valuable document that shows you what you still need to learn or re-learn prior to the real SAT.

First, analyze your results to see what questions you answered incorrectly. Is there a pattern? Are you missing a basic concept? Is there a series of silly errors because you were rushing? Or, did you not take the test seriously enough? Why? A certified college planning professional can help you answer these questions and provide valuable insights into the testing and college admissions process.

If you scored high, are you in contention for the National Merit Scholarship? If so, what do you have to do to get the designation?

Once you have your 11th grade PSAT in hand, take a Mock ACT (American College Test), under real testing conditions. Once you have those results, have them compared to the PSAT results and see which test better highlights your abilities. Then work out a reasonable testing schedule for the preferred test. Finally, use your results, along with your unweighted GPA, to begin to develop a list of colleges that represent a good Fit and Match for you! If you need help with this, call me!

NEW!  To help you get going on your college planning, we are offering a 10% discount on these popular services:
  • Developing your strategy…and your college list10% discount
  • Completing your applications
  • Our Comprehensive Service

Click here for complete details.  This offer is only valid through March 15, and the number of students is limited!

About the PSAT

Students in any high school grade can take the PSAT test, which is paid for by school districts nationwide. Unfortunately, not all schools explain the relative importance of the test, or of how the results can and should be used in preparing for the SAT and their college search activities.

PSAT testsFew students are told that the highest score on the PSAT is 760 and not 800, as on the SAT. Freshmen and sophomores may be especially disappointed when they see scores well below their school performance to date. (I discourage taking the PSAT before your junior year, but if you do, keep in mind that your percentile – how you rank compared to other scores – is the key statistic to look at).

Also, you may not be informed that this test is designed to be less difficult and shorter than the SAT. That might lull you into a false sense of security that disappears when you take the real test!

If you’d like help interpreting your PSAT scores, estimating your unweighted GPA, or helping you find a college that’s a good Fit and Match, please email me at [email protected] or call 803-487-9777.

For more information on our 10% off sale, which runs through March 15, 20019, click here. 

Limited Time 10% Discount Available on Our Most Popular Programs

For the first time ever, from now through March 31, 2019, Charlotte Klaar, 10% discountPhD, is offering a 10% discount on three of her most popular services!  Take advantage of this special and save up to $500!


1. Developing Your Strategy…and Your List!

Regular price – $2,700.  Now through March 31 – just $2,430!

This includes:
– Review prior academic accomplishments
– Advice on which upcoming courses would be best for your senior year
– Important advice for extracurricular involvementPlaying sports
Review of recommendations for testing (SAT or ACT)
– In-depth interview on college preferences (with both student and parent)
– Career planning using a career assessment/
personality inventory
– Refine choices of college type and major
– Advice on making successful college visits that count
– Prepare a selected list of colleges that are uniquely suited to your student

The approximate duration of this service is 6-8 weeks. It is suggested that
it begin in the fall of junior year, after the student’s PSAT scores have arrived.

2. Completing Your Applications

Regular price – $2,700. Now through March 31 – just $2,430!

This includes:
– Action plan with organizational timeline
– Plastic file tote to use as an organizational tool
– Essay brainstorming session(s)
– Edit common application essay
– Edit the activities résumé
– Edit up to five additional essays (subsequent essays charged at hourly rate)
– Recommendations and practice for college interviews, if requested
– Review applications for up to 10 colleges
– Help with making your student’s crucial final choice when decision letters arrive

This contract covers up to 10 applications using two unique applications, i.e. The Common Application plus a state school, or the Common Application and Coalition Application. Additional applications beyond 10 colleges, or using multiple application types, may be assessed an additional fee of up to $500 each.

The approximate duration of this service is 10 months. It is suggested that it begin in the summer before senior year, as most early decision/early applications are due in November of senior year.

3. Comprehensive Service – includes the above two programs – ordinarily $5,000 – and there is:
– No limit on the number of essay edits!
– No limit on the number of application reviews!

When you pay in full you ordinarily get a 10% Discount and save $500! But, with our limited time offer, you’ll get a 15% discount and save $750! 

Ordinarily, the Comprehensive Program with the payment plan is not eligible for a discount. But through March 31th, you receive the 10% discount and save $500!  Here’s how it works:

Comprehensive payment plan is $5,000 with a 10% discount = $4,500.
$1,500 is pre-paid before starting. Then make four subsequent payments of $750 each to your credit card.  Contact Dr. Charlotte Klaar at 803-487-9777 or [email protected] for questions and a contract.

Act now!  Dr. Klar can only accept a limited number of students, and her calendar will fill up quickly! Download this fillable pdf now!

Your Student’s PSAT Scores are in: Now What?

Many families have received or are about to receive the PSAT results for their 11th grade student. Most high schools present the results to students PSAT test scoresin their English classes and ask that the score report and booklet be taken home to parents. Unfortunately, most families will have no idea what to do with it. Read on for some suggestions.

1. Consider your student’s score: During my 21-plus years of practice with high school students, the most consistent response I get to “How did you do on your PSAT?” is “Awful!” No one explains to students that they still have almost two full years to go before the end of high school and that the number score is much less important than the percentile into which they fall.

For example, if a student sees a 540 on the Math section, he or she assumes that this is not a good sign for the SAT. If the student looked at the percentile for this score, 73 percent, she or he would have realized that this percentile puts him or her in the top 27 percent of the country.

Although there is no longer a penalty for guessing on either the PSAT or the SAT, what most families are not aware of is that the PSAT has a maximum score of 1520, not the 1600 of  the SAT. My message is: Don’t stress about this score – use the information to address your student’s weak areas prior to taking the SAT.

2. Understand what to do with the booklet: The booklet is the actual test, and your student can compare it to the right and wrong answers on the score report. Doing this shows whether incorrect answers were a careless mistake, or if your student doesn’t understand a concept in order to do better on the SAT.

Once this analysis is done, make a list of the missed questions that s/he doesn’t understand and go to the appropriate teacher for an explanation of the concept. Frankly, the PSAT does this online for you if you know which buttons to click.

3. Know that the PSAT is not identical to the SAT: The discrepancy between the two tests lies in the Writing section. There is no essay on the PSAT. The PSAT Writing section is simply a grammar test. Therefore, students who do not understand grammar will do quite poorly on this section of the PSAT.

On the other hand, your student may have respectable essay writing skills in the sense that s/he can make a point and support it in a written argument, which will raise the Writing score on the SAT.

This is not to say that grammar is unimportant; it’s very important. Unfortunately, we have not stressed grammar in schools for many years, and students are bearing the brunt of this decision. I advise students who want to do well to get a basic grammar book and study. Ask your English teacher to help you if you don’t understand. Practice writing a standard five paragraph persuasive essay and apply this skill to the SAT.

4. Realize that if you don’t read regularly, you will not do well on the Critical Reading section: Reading is a skill that must be developed over time. When students proudly announce to me that they “Hate reading” or “Never read,” I suggest that they do 20 minutes of reading each night before bed and build up to at least 45 minutes of sustained reading in order to build the skill.

It doesn’t matter what your student reads, just that he or she is reading. Just PSAT test scoresas muscles will be weak without working out, reading will be weak without practice. Unless the student reads regularly, she or he will not be able to read quickly or with understanding and this will have a profound effect not only on the SAT score, but also on the likelihood of success in college where there is so much reading to be done often without feedback except for the test on the material.

The PSAT is a great tool but, like many tools, few understand how to properly use it for maximum effect. I hope that you will use it correctly and enhance your skills before the SAT. If you’d like more information on the PSAT or SAT/ACT tests, please contact me today!