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Current time:0:00Total duration:33:28

PSAT/NMSQT inside scoop: Khan Academy interviews the College Board

Video transcript

Riley's connection hey um are we are we broadcasting are we live Adele can you tell us are we alive a little bit trouble I'm live okay um hi everybody I'm Dave SAT coach for Khan Academy and I'm here in New York City at the College Board office it's a huge building downtown amazing place meeting everybody here has been great and we're gonna today we're going to talk about the psat/nmsqt with Beth hi I'm Beth I work here at the College Board I started out as an English teacher for a 10th and 12th graders and then I came to the College Board because I liked making tests so much I wanted to do it all the time so I worked in tech development here thanks for laughing and now I work in instruction and I get to talk about psat/nmsqt because it's so closely tied to instruction okay so what is what is the psat/nmsqt why why do students take it what's it for what's the deal okay so the psat/nmsqt is two hours and 45 minutes and NMS QT stands for the National Merit Scholarship qualifying test so when you take this test what's you makes you eligible for the national Scholarship it's like the SAT in the sense that it has an evidence-based reading and writing section and in that section and evidence-based reading and writing section is made up of the reading tests and the writing language test okay how long is it and when when the students take it so it takes 2 hours and 45 minutes just take it and students take it mostly if you're in 10 over 11 3 so so you're proud if you're watching this you're probably taking it October 19th or you might be taking it earlier on Saturday October 15th or Wednesday November 2nd okay so it's administered on Wednesdays at some schools and Saturdays other schools should is it important to study for this test I think for psat/nmsqt and the great news is that just taking it is like studying for the SAT or practicing for that's 18 so that's great and just watching this is great that's helping you get prepared so congratulations on being a step of hit ahead you it's a good idea probably to become familiar with the chest in general and the directions you know what the questions look like and you can that on official SAT practice on khanacademy.org or you can download a practice test fun at 18:00 that work okay so what you're saying is it if it's probably a good idea to figure out what we're gonna see on test day so if there are instructions for the reading section or instructions for the writing and language test or instructions for the math tests it's better to know what its gonna look like in no one you're going to be expected to do on test day so you know spend time on test day figuring out what you're supposed to do so so some examples of that are on the writing and language test there are questions that just have sections of a passage under low underlined and what you're supposed to do is [Music] sometimes you just see a question that looks like it doesn't have a question and there the question number you can find it in the passage and what you're being asked to do is either choose the most effective or correct version so one option will be no change okay so we're going to talk a little bit more after a few more questions about specific things to think about in each section but first I want to ask you what are what are a few of the key benefits of taking the psat/nmsqt well like I mentioned before taking it as great practice for the SAT and it also puts you in the running not just for the National Merit Scholarship but a lot they're stocking millions of dollars in scholarships like the jack kent cooke or Hispanic scholarship there's a so as I understand that there's like more than a hundred and fifty million dollars of scholarship money available for those students who score score high and and so if you take the psat/nmsqt you you might be able to qualify for money to help put towards your college education so let's see let's talk for a second about the reading test is there anything in particular that you think students need to know about how to approach the reading test I think the most important information the answer to every question is right there in the passage okay so it's called evidence-based reading and writing right good point so what so what does that mean evidence-based it means that the best answer will have support in the passage sometimes that will even be the question a question will ask you to choose evidence from the passage that supports your answer to the question before but even the ones that don't have that follow-up question there will be evidence in the passage that indicates which cancer is the best answer so one of the things that I spoken about in previous live streams is that in the reading section you know one answer is right and the others are wrong so the reason that the others are wrong is because they don't have evidence to support them and the right answer if you have a toss-up and you're say like oh these two answers both look good you if you have time you should go back and find and choose the one that actually has evidence to support that between two answers go back to the question usually the question is specific enough that it's pointing to one answer more than the other okay that's great and how about this helpful tip on the writing and language test the reading and language test I would say what's important to know is really important and that may mean okay so the writing and language test is the one that's people sometimes think of as the grammar section they have the little bits and you have to fix it questions and but it's not all little fix-it questions a lot of it's much more involved but understanding how the paragraph works how the passage works as a whole so it's important if I may give piece of advice it's it's important to keep in mind that the whole there gonna be questions that there may be questions that say like what you know this send we want to think about putting this sentence in to the passage should we put the sentence in if so where should we put it so if you saw why or why should we put it there yes we should why no we shouldn't why not so it's important to actually understand what the passage is saying not just go from like grammar piece the grammar piece the grammar piece actually a little more than half of the questions will deal with things like develop and logic you know support evidence those kinds of things and a little less than half are gonna be grammar and language use but even those you want to have the context of the of the passage or the sentence surrounding sentences that might be a question about a pronoun and to really understand what the pronoun is referencing you need assigns before okay let's move on to math test anything to offer math test are we allowed to use calculators on this test good question the math test has two sections so there's a calculator section and a no calculator section so it'll be pretty clear when you're taking the test when you're allowed to use a calculator and when you're not even on the calculator section and some questions it might be faster to answer them through you know through structure or you know through reasoning it so when you might want to practice to see where calculator would actually slow it down if you do use a calculator you want to make sure that you know how to use it before test day and that it's on the list of acceptable calculators that you can find on there are some calculators that just are not allowed like the little basically computers probably maybe not so good so I think it's the ones that you can like type in and save like documents to tell you how to do problems right like that it's the ones that have the keyboard anyway sorry about the ones you can use yeah don't worry about those you're not gonna be allowed in with one of those calculators so we're gonna post down below I have to use this down below we're gonna post this is a number two concerning number two and we're gonna post the link to the acceptable calculators and also you should while we continue to talk to the next few minutes break questions if you have questions for us now's the time to write them into the comments we'll be able to take some of them and also some of them will be answered by the folks who are standing by a cut Khan Academy and College Board so ya calculator use I my advice about calculator use I like to give students is don't just start plugging stuff into your calculator you should write down as much as possible when you're doing a math test at the math question write stuff down don't do stuff in your head and if you because we do stuff in your head you may lose track of what you're doing come out with an answer it isn't there and then have to go back to square one the own other thing that can happen is you make a little mistake in your mental calculation and there's that answer that reflects that mistaken calculation that's a common mistake so the more that you write down what you're doing the better you're going to do and the more accurate you can be when you do decide that it makes sense to use a calculator okay are there any other skills that the student should be practicing I think in general you want to read widely so what that means in winter but on the reading test you'll see passage that's us for world literature you'll see one or a pair of founding documents or passages from the great global conversation may inspire you'll see social science passage and you'll see one or two or one ordered pair of science passages so it's a broad range so you want to be comfortable reading both challenging fiction and nonfiction so there's science on the psat/nmsqt there are science passages but we won't ask you questions about you know science content we may ask you how a scientist who's written a study is explaining his argument or how he's using evidence he or she is using evidence to support something so it's questions about the passage and it's a serious science topic okay okay that's great super helpful so we I think we've covered our prepared questions done and we could move on to your questions and and look at what kind of questions are coming up let's see um okay first can you use official SAT practice on Khan Academy to prep for the PSAT I think we know the answer to that yes you can um they're very similar in format and content so it's great practice for the PSAT but NMS QT yes thank you but like we said you know this is war I think you to focus to get ready for SAT you know especially if you're taking psat/nmsqt in the next two weeks stay calm you don't have to go crazy I think the best thing to do is get familiar with what the test looks like the psat/nmsqt colleges won't see those scores your school will and maybe your state or district it's more to help you see where your strengths and places where you okay that's a good raising a question like what um does this count like does it does it matter how will I do in this we talked about the National Merit Scholarship mm-hmm but will this be reported to colleges it won't be but it is important you know to really get the best idea of where where you might you focus your practice when you when you practice for SAT then I you should because when you get your results back it's gonna tell you all sorts of stuff about like what you could do better right and where you already do great okay so that's another great lead-in to official SAT practice because once you get your PSAT results you can link your knowledge board account to your Khan Academy account if you haven't already done that and you can get personalized practice recommendations that are specifically you know created designed just for you based on the questions you missed right so you guys are in the right place they congratulations you're way ahead of the game okay let's see our let's see how do I know what score I need to get to qualify for National Merit I think the best okay what what strategies can I use on reading section strategies to use it I guess that's one's for me well you had you just did a great video on reading strategies I did thank you so I last week on Wednesday can go into account Academy Facebook page and you see that there I spoke for like an hour straight and a lot of that was about reading so there's specific strategies in there you can also find strategies in the official SAT practice tips and strategies section but briefly so the ones that I think are really helpful is the first one is don't just read the passage read the questions read the choices and choose the one that looks best it's much better to have a sense of what you think the answer is before you look at the choices but even sort of recommend trying to cover up the choices until you have an idea of what you think the answer is so once you read the question there is a technique that's in visuality practice called I call riprap rephrase if possible read around and predict and the most important words being rephrase and predict it's easier to handle a question and keep it in your head when you go back to the passage when you rephrase it using how what or why so if you rephrase like the author uses this word primarily in order to dot I would change at Anu and to say what does that word do what is the function of that word and then I go back because that's easy to keep in my head what is this work doing what is this we're doing and then I'd answer in my own words so that way you're taking control of the question you're taking control of your you know what what the question is and then getting your own words based on evidence in the passage what you talked about earlier mm-hmm and then you go back and use process elimination to cross out the ones that don't match your answer and that's a lot about trusting yourself and not getting not looking at the choices and thinking oh that sounds good wait maybe I missed something that sounded really good I'm gonna choose that answer cuz it sounded good that that's not a good way to take the test it's much better trust yourself and to answer it with evidence that's from evidence that is in the passage so that's the that's the big be-all end-all of reading strategies and in my opinion it's important to note that any strategy is that way about in the past for SAT applied to psat/nmsqt but they're very similar tests and the same strategies work okay so in what ways there's the psat/nmsqt different from the SAT the PSAT more is the thing than different but in terms of let's say they're leading tests you won't see a passage of the highest complexity that would be on SAT on PSAT so that's a slight difference there's some math on SAT that's not on PSAT so mentioning before if you think about it if you watch the Olympics and you watch gymnastics some routines had a higher degree of difficulty so you can score more points so if you think of SAT as a more difficult routine so there's there's harder things to do in there but some a lot it's more the same rate so like the highest score that's even possible when PSAT is in is 15 if 21 15 20 just don't need to worry about that really just do your best and okay let's see couple more interesting one what do you think is the best way to improve your vocabulary for the verbal section of the PSAT I'm gonna let you take that one okay let's start with there's evidence-based reading and writing right but you probably mean the reading section and I mean the reading test and the writing and language test which both involve vocabulary in different ways it was important to know that on the reading test the vocabulary is going to be in context it's going to be more academic vocabulary words that you would see in writing pretty often maybe a little less into speech sometimes there will be multiple meaning words so you want to make sure that you are answering questions like that on the context of the passage and the best way to get really comfortable with those kind of words is to read some academic writing so that might be some more challenging pieces and newspapers are more challenging magazines and you know the more you read the more you see those words used in different ways it was important and then on the writing language test you'll see those words vocabulary used in precision questions so there might be different types of words that have slightly different meanings and you have to choose the one that's exactly right in that context again you need the context of the passage and the paragraph in the sentence to really be able to I bet his trying to reconnect we're back the so people some people wonder about vocabulary on the psat/nmsqt vocab there any SAT the format changed in March and that then the whole thing about vocabulary changed also right so if you've heard about in the past really challenging words that you would never use again those aren't on the psat/nmsqt or SAT anymore so everything in context you still want to I think always having a great vocabulary is helpful I hope you understand the passage it helps you understand the question so any vocabulary building that you can do through reading help you with the focus of the psat/nmsqt the focus of the SAT is to measure college readiness right and and the the change has happened because the words that that that are going to be coming up more in the new format of the test are words that you've determined are more likely to be the sort of sort of language you're going to see in college when reading in an English course or history course or a science course cool so but there's no like there's no list not anymore but the more you do it the better you get is what I was what we're hearing right the more than you you say okay you know what I'm gonna you're telling me I just need to read more I should have read more for the last fifteen years like that the more you read the more you challenge yourself the more you push yourself to understand more advanced text the better you're likely to do right and and I think that's a key point is to be challenging text to look up words that as you come across them if you don't know sometimes it's hard to pause and stop reading and go look it up but that's a that's a great way to and and if you're taking any practice sensor just doing you know some official SAT practice that's a great time to circle words you don't know or pause a little bit where they don't know okay let's see I got one more here how how should I best manage my time on the test I guess that one's for me so every every to every learner is different every test taker is different I'd say that if you're the sort of person who runs out of time then there are slightly different time management things you could consider to help you do your best and the big one is that just to remember that the test doesn't has a mixed level of difficulty through it the math section kind of gets harder as it goes along but the with the reading section and the writing the reading tests they're running a language test have a mixed bag of difficulty so that so some passages will have will start out with a more difficult question and finish up with a more more basic question and so the important thing to remember for those of you who feel pressed for time is that there are easier questions waiting and passages that you might find more straightforward to understand at the end of the whole section so so one way to to make sure that you have a chance to do all the questions that are that are maybe the easier ones for you is to you don't have to do the whole the reading test or the regular English test in order you shouldn't jump around all over the place like don't do that because that's super confusing and it's much better to try to do every question for each passage that you choose to do but my advice would be and it's you can find it in tips and strategies in the fish'll ICT practice my advice would be to make sure that you don't run out of time before you have a chance to look at the questions at the end of the reading in language tests because you know there there are easier questions that you might they're questions that you might find easier questions that you might find more challenging and in order to maximize your score you're going to want to get all the the easier ones for you and the more medium ones for you correct and not get hung up on a question that's really you finding really challenging earlier on in the test so for the reading test you know as Dave said you don't want to linger really long on any one question but you know if you're really getting stuck it's not a bad idea to move on and see if the next question yeah and maybe in the background your mind will be kind of bubbling away on the question that you have trouble getting and then you come back to it and your brain it's sort of something shifted in your head boom you know how to do it um your fingers crossed some things like that happening so there's a couple more questions here that are kind of quickies let's see if I take the PSAT in 10th and 11th grade which one counts towards the NMS QT and other scholarships so you'll be taking the psat/nmsqt and you'll know that that's what you're taking if you're taking it on October 19 15 second if you're taking PSAT 10 that's the one that's not affiliated with a National Merit and that is usually given in the spring so that that's one way to okay so if you take it as a 10th grader it is not an MS cutie it might be some school offer to tutors but let's say if you're thinking in the spring then it's probably PSAT 10 okay and when do the results for the psat/nmsqt come out there was okay and they're released too directly to the student or to the schools so you'll get it's likely that your school will go over your score with you and you'll get to see your report and that just reminds me another benefit of taking psat/nmsqt s you'll get information on AP potential and what that means is you'll see on your score report which AP tests you are likely to be successful and based on your psat/nmsqt oh great so you're just providing tons of information about like recommendations for what you you're doing great in and what you should keep on working towards and and then that partnered with official SAT practice will help you really focus on the areas where you need the most work celebrate your strengths by taking an AP yes let's see this just in students get your PSAT results online no that's an exciting new thing that's great so psat/nmsqt results will come straight to you okay in past years you know some schools kind of waited to have conversations with students and then they release them a couple weeks later or sometimes even after the new year and but that's that's all in the past you're gonna get you're gonna get your results great okay is there a guessing penalty on the PSAT good question there is not so I'm PSEG and and also as a team there is no penalty for guessing so it's if you there's no reason to skip a question anymore yes sir if you're trying to figure out time management wise you're not sure about a question you should leave nothing blank right and because there's no penalty because the old format of the test there was a quarter point deduction for any question you got wrong and and it was confusing because people had ideas about it like when do I guess and there are different theories about the bets yeah um how much of the PSAT is math how long is that math section so the psat/nmsqt is okay and this one has a number of points about it but then what what is the difference between the old and new of PSAT and SAT s for the there's a few differences I think probably if you're really interested in the differences you could go to SAT org and there's some links that show let's do comparison studies but if you haven't taken the old living then now no but I mean there are a couple big ones the PSA is no longer required that's gonna thinking let's go okay good so there's no essay on the PSAT but the essays one of the big difference is the new format SAT is that there is the essay as a separate thing is not included in your score it's a different set of scoring things and yeah check out if you're interested in researching it there's plenty of information on the web and even just on on official SAT practice there's a whole section on what's what's new what's different and on that safety org okay um and I think that's that's it I think we have answered pretty much answered all your questions about how okay so one question here how does my PSAT help with practicing for SAT so into really just sitting and taking focusing I can't use my phone no you can't use your can I just have it on my desk right now can I have it like on underneath my chair no can I check it in the breaks yeah you can at all you'd be like you you'll have your scores canceled if you even take it out during a break so I know in a long time so it's a great way just to practice that took practice you know doing a multiple-choice test for that long so you get the real test day experience that's one great way that it helps you practice the other great way is that once you take psat/nmsqt and you link your Khan Academy account with your College Board account all the information from the psat/nmsqt what you answer correctly what you did in your scores that will get filtered into official SAT practice and that will inform your personalized practice so then you'll get to see where you do well and which areas you might want to focus on as you prepare for a 18 great well anything else you good thank you so much for coming Beth sang thank you for taking the time to - Thank You Sergio this thing it's such a pleasure to be here I've heard so much about it for years Here I am it's super exciting to meet you and to be here and it's so great to be sharing all this information with all of you out there so so thanks again for watching and we'll see you next time thank you everybody all right I'm gonna turn something off now