It was great to appear with Mike Bergin and Amy Seeley to discuss the new Digital PSAT! You can listen to it here:
The College Board has released a new Preparing for the PSAT/NMSQT™ booklet that is updated for the Digital PSAT to be administered in October of this year:
Here are some important takeaways:
- The National Merit Selection Index Calculation Has Changed: Under the previous paper-based PSAT selection Index, the writing and reading sections were counted independently towards the selection index. Now, the combined reading/writing section counts twice as much as the math. The formula is as follows: [2(Reading/Writing Score) + (Math Score)]/10 = National Merit Selection Index. The Selection Index will be between 48-228. So, students should be sure to do as well as possible on the Reading/Writing sections in order to earn National Merit Recognition.
- Students Should Review the Bluebook Application for PSAT Practice: In years past, the PSAT/NMSQT has had extensive practice. For the Digital PSAT/NMSQT, the College Board is encouraging students to go directly to the Bluebook Application and Khan Academy to get practice material. There is one PSAT practice test available on Bluebook.
- Students Can Use the PSAT to Connect with Colleges and Scholarship Organizations: The College Board has a program called “Connections™, a free program that lets you hear directly from nonprofit colleges, scholarship programs, and educational organizations that are interested in students like you.” It is notable that in light of the recent affirmative action decision by the Supreme Court, students have the option of sharing their race/ethnicity in the Connections program. Since the PSAT is not technically used for college admissions, perhaps this will be a way that colleges can bypass the restriction on using race/ethnicity in the admissions process to encourage a more diverse selection of students to apply.
As more information becomes available, we will be sure to keep you up to date.
Thanks, Brian W. Stewart
The College Board has recently updated the details about the devices requirements for the Digital SAT and Digital PSAT. The following types of computers/tablets are permitted:
–Windows laptop or tablet
I highly recommend that you purchase or borrow one of these devices before the actual test date for these two reasons:
- You can download the BlueBook App ahead of time and practice with it prior to the actual test. On test day, you will use the same application for the actual test.
- While the College Board will provide you with a device if you need it, you will have to apply for the device at least 30 days in advance to allow for shipping. You can make this request when you register for the Digital SAT. Even with this application, an adult reference (a school counselor or teacher) will need to fill out a questionnaire confirming you need the device. Given these obstacles to borrowing a device, you will be much better served by finding a device well in advance and practicing with it ahead of time.
Best of luck to those taking the first international Digital SAT on March 11th!
–Brian W. Stewart
My brand new Digital PSAT book will be released on May 2, 2023. With millions of students taking the Digital PSAT for the first time in October of 2023, there is a great need for new material to help students prepare. This book has four full-length Digital PSAT practice tests, all aligned with the content and format of the new Digital PSAT. In addition, there are new strategy chapters and practice exercises to help students prepare for the many new types of Digital PSAT Reading and Writing questions they will encounter:
–Central Ideas and Details
–Textual Command of Evidence
–Quantitative Command of Evidence
–Words in Context
–Text Structure and Purpose
–Form, Structure, and Sense.
Also, since the Digital PSAT and Digital SAT have the same format and question types, international students taking the Digital SAT this year can use this book to prepare.
–Brian W. Stewart
I am very excited to share our new Digital SAT e-book! It has a full-length practice test and test-taking tips. The e-book is available to download to your kindle on Amazon.