What are PSAT & AP exams?

Now that you know what College Board is and how you can take exams majority of colleges need, let me explain the elements of the PSAT and AP exams.

AP exams are college-level tests administered by College Board. AP exams are taken in May and students receive scores in July.  These exams allow high school students to earn college credit.

What is the point of taking AP exams?

AP exams can show academic achievement and show college readiness. Therefore, allows for colleges to see if a student can handle college-level course work. 

How much are AP exams?

 The 2015- 2016 AP exam cost is $92. Due note, the cost of AP exams tend to rise every year by $1- $2. 

I cannot afford the $92 is there a reduce rate?

Yes, you can receive an AP exam fee reduction. Contact your guidance counselor for this fee reduction. For more information about how to qualify for the AP fee reduction, please see the link below:


How many AP exams can I take?

One can take as many AP exams as one desires. If you would like to take one or take eight, it is up to the individual themselves.

I want to take __#__ AP exam because that is my strongest subject but my high school does not offer the class. Can I still take the exam?

Yes, one can still take the exam without taking an AP course. AP courses are just used to better prepare students to pass such exam. Sometimes this looks great on your college application because it shows that you are trying to learn college level material beyond your mandatory high school classes.

Is it worth taking more than 1 AP exam?

Yes, it is worth it! You save money because you only have to pay a one time fee and if you study for it and do well, you do not have to take that class in college! You also save time! Many of the AP exams are used to substitute intro classes in college so when you enter college, you will have less intro classes. By taking more than one exam, on your college application, you look like a candidate that can handle college level course work. 

What is the scoring for AP exams?

Scores will be from 1-5 . The score 1 being the lowest, and score 5 being the highest. 

What Score do universities accept?

The average AP score accepted is a 3. Some schools like Harvard, Rutgers, Yale etc only accept scores of 4 or 5. 

What is the PSAT?

PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Achievement (PSAT) which is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The PSAT score shows colleges and universities that one has the academic skills to succeed.

What grade do I have to be in to take this exam?

This exam is typically taken in 10th and 11th grade. If one takes the exam in 10th grade this will just be a test trial and used as a strategy to get yourself familiarized with the type of questions and layout.  If one takes the test in 11th grade, then this is the exam that may qualify one for a scholarship. 

National Merit Scholars– Typically, the students who score the highest in the nation on the PSAT/ NMSQT exams will be named this and therefore, may qualify for scholarships. 

You want free college? TAKE THIS TEST! Some colleges actually give students full ride or full tuition scholarships for being a National Merit Scholar. 

What if I am not a good test taker?

It does not hurt to try! You never know what you are capable of until you try. Even if you do not score well on the PSAT, it is a great way to sharpen your test-taking skills and help prepare you for the questions and layout found on the SAT.  

When is the PSAT administered? 

Every year, students take this examination in the month of October. 

How much does the PSAT cost?

To take this exam, it will cost $14. 

Who should I see to take the PSAT?

You should contact your guidance counselor for further details and to sign up. If you are homeschooled, check your high school within your community. 

What will be tested on?

The PSAT was recently changed as of October 2015. Students will be tested on two sections: Math and Evidence- Based Reading and Writing.

How long is the PSAT?

This exam lasts 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Critical reading has two 25-minute sections consisting of sentence completion and passage-based reading.
  • Writing section is 30-minute long that consists of identifying sentence errors, improving sentences, and improving paragraphs.
  • Math has two 25-minute sections with multiple-choice and grid- in questions.

What should I study for the PSAT?

  • The English portion of the exam will generally consist of passage-based questions with multiple choice. Sometimes there will be charts, graphs etc, that go along with the passage.
  • The Math portion has problems ranging from algebra, geometry and a little bit of trigonometry.

How is the PSAT scored?

Each section is scored on a scale of 160- 760. 160 being the lowest and 760 being the highest score one can receive per section. Therefore, making the perfect score 1520. An incorrect answer is a deduction of 1/4 point, while 0 points are subtracted from the incorrect student-produced response. 

Princeton Review has a great layout and explanation of how the PSAT is scored. For more information about scoring please see the link below:



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