All about AP, PSAT and Pre-ACT – Study Abroad Test Preparation
Advanced Placement (AP)
An Advanced Placement Program is offered by College Board to provide students with the introductory knowledge of college level courses, in 38 subjects, through the help of AP Classes. The AP exam is advance level and is taken by high school students; it is 2-3 hours long. The exam earns you extra college credits. The Myth around AP is that AP courses are for students who always get good grades. However, the reality is AP courses are for any student who is academically prepared and motivated to take on college level courses.
The AP exam is scored from 1 to 5, 5 being extremely qualifies (which might lead you the permission to skip the intro course in college) and 1 being no recommendation. Check out the colleges and universities that offer credit or placement for AP scores here.
There is no negative marking scheme. It has 2 sections consisting of: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Free Response Questions. The MCQ section has 5 options for each question, out of which only 1 is correct. The Free Response Section consists of essays and open-ended questions. On the other hand, MCQs are graded by computers while the Free Response Questions are graded by AP teachers and college professors at annual conventions called ‘AP Reading’.
The composite score is the sum of these two sections. The test is usually taken in May and the results are in by July. You can give an AP exam in the aforementioned 38 Courses . You can report your scores for free to only 1 recipient but there is a fee for 2 or more colleges.
- Register for the AP Test here.
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)
PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, also known as National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), is a test similar to SAT, often assumed to be easier, which helps 10th and 11th grade students across the U.S. and other countries bag Scholarships by scoring the cut-off marks, which is distinct for each state. These Scholarships aren’t hard to achieve and weight more than those received through SAT if your score is higher than the cut-off. The exam is held in Fall (mostly October) and students can search for Exam Centres in their cities. They can prepare for it either with the help of books and online resources or with the help of education counsellors. The test consists of Reading, Writing & Language, and Math sections. Each section has the same types of questions and tests the same things as the corresponding sections in the SAT. Schools order tests and send payments to the College Board; students do not
The PSAT score ranges from 320-1520, each section (Reading+ Writing & Language section and Math section) score ranging from 160-760.
The test results come out in December (6 weeks from test date). The College Board does not send these scores to any recipients other than scholarship and recognition programs of National Hispanic Recognition Program, National Scholarship Service and Telluride Seminar Scholarships. These scores are not intended to be part of college admission decisions. They are meant for scholarships.
The Pre-ACT test is designed to predict the final ACT scores that a student might get. The test has four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science, just the same as the ACT, except for the Writing section; the Pre-ACT does not have a Writing section. The test duration is 1 hour and 55 minutes, making it a shorter version of the ACT, which is 3 hours and 35 minutes long (Writing section included). It uses the questions from past ACT exams, so the level of difficulty is the same. The cost of taking this examination is $12 per student and it is held whenever your school wants it to be administered during the year.
It is scored on the scale of 1-36, similar to the ACT, to ‘predict early indication of progress’ on the final ACT test.
The results come out 2 weeks after the test date. The students are able to analyse their answers as well. Register for the Pre-ACT only if you feel like taking a practice test before the final ACT. It is not mandatory. Students can share their Pre-ACT result with colleges and scholarship programs; they are not directly sent to recipients.