As part of Duke TIP’s Talent Search, you are eligible to take the PSAT 8/9 each year. This is a great way to measure how far above grade level your talents in reading, writing, language arts, and math go. We don’t want you to stress out about taking this test: you’re simply taking the test to figure out how much you know now. That means there’s no good score or bad score… there’s just your score.
Test Taking Tips
- Wake up early, then eat a good breakfast and drink some water.
- Listen to your favorite music while you get ready. It will put you in the right mindset to feel your best and do your best.
- Be sure you know where you’re going! Double check the testing location the day before and pull up the directions before you start out.
- Double check your supplies before you leave the house. Bring snacks, wear comfortable clothes, and take a sweater, just in case the air conditioning or heating is set to freezing.
- Get to the test earlier than you have to. Get comfortable and relax before that clock starts ticking.
- Make a run to the restroom before the test starts. It will save you a trip mid-test.
- Read the directions carefully before you start the test. Ask the test monitor to clarify anything you do not understand!
- Don’t worry about how fast the other students are finishing. Work at your own pace.
- Budget your time. You don’t want to have to rush on any section. Try and plan how much time each section will require. Leave time to review answers, if you can.
- Answer the questions you know first, and give your hands a break now and then. You can always go back and answer the super hard questions if you have time at the end.
- Visualize yourself succeeding. Imagine yourself being lifted up on the shoulders of cheering eighth and ninth graders as they carry you through the halls of their school in glory for acing the test. Sound silly? Of course! A little confidence can go a long way.
Remember: your parents and teachers will use the knowledge your test scores give them to create an educational plan that challenges and engages you. So, basically, all you have to do in order to “ace” the PSAT 8/9 is… just be yourself!
For more information, watch the video “Why Take an Above-level Test?”
It’s just another learning tool
An uneasy feeling slowly emerges in your stomach, doubts flood your head, and your confidence plummets. This isn’t another quiz. It’s an above-level test.
Sounds scary, right? Maybe, but a simple change in how you look at it might banish your fears: the PSAT 8/9 is nothing more than a chance to learn more about your abilities. After all, the typical tests you take in school are probably not even all that challenging for you. They might even be too easy. That’s where a test like the PSAT 8/9 comes in. It’s not really above your level—it’s just above your grade level. So don’t shy away from it. It’s a learning opportunity. You can identify your strengths and weaknesses, and figure out what you need to work on. Always remember this: an above-level test at your age isn’t your grand finale.