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09/04/2019

Is the PSAT harder than the SAT?

QUESTION
Is the PSAT harder than the SAT?
I took it a while ago, and I didn’t study or anything, and it was more difficult that I anticipated it to be. I know not considering the essays it was variably easier than the SAT but I would like to know how harder/same/easier the SAT will be and what I could do to prepare. Thanks!

ANSWER
I’ve been an SAT tutor and college advisor for 22 years, and since they changed the test in March of 2005, the PSAT has been substantially easier. On the SATs, there’s an extra year of math. In the reading section, SAT readings are longer and more boring. The vocab is harder. The grammar section (writing) is about the same, but there’s the essay to contend with.

There’s a lot you can do to prepare, including taking practice tests — and looking up the answers and figuring out what you did wrong. Reading TIME or Newsweek helps a lot in my experience. There are more suggestions on my blog. Good luck!