PSAT results will be released soon. Are we ready? If the scores are strong, congratulations are in order. If they could be better, it is not the end of the world but a call to action.
Do we know how to react if they are disappointing -- and do we know why they might not be as strong as expected?
I consulted with panelist Linda Auld of Suburban Learning Center. She has some good suggestions for us, whether we're parents of sophomores or juniors.
"I recommend that BEFORE the PSAT scores come back you have a conversation with your child about the testing experience. Things to consider:
1. Did they feel rushed? (Even if they answered all of the questions they may have rushed through the ones at the end.)
2. Did they know what to expect or did some of the question types surprise them, particularly double fill-ins and quantitative reasoning questions?
3. Were there questions that they had no experience with before (particularly in math and/or vocabulary words that they had never seen before) and what did they do (guess/skip it)?"
Linda also suggests that parents consider these points:
1. What do you feel was the student's motivational level? Was your teen trying to do well or just going through the motions -- a possibility especially for those who had to take it on a Saturday morning.
2. What amount of prep work did your child do before the PSAT - did he/she review prep materials thoroughly or just give the sample booklet a cursory glance?
As Linda says, "Thinking about these things BEFORE you see the results can help you better evaluate the scores."
We'll be posting more thoughts about the PSATs in the coming weeks, so please watch for additional insights.