The PSAT is Changing
The PSAT is undergoing significant changes that will affect the class of 2025 (rising juniors) and beyond:
Digital adaptive format
The new digital test will be adaptive, which changes the level of question difficulty for subsequent questions based on a student's performance. The test will not adapt question by question, but based on performance in the first half of the exam (Module 1), an algorithm will determine what the second half will include.
Though it's digital, it is not taken at home. Tests will continue to be offered during the school day or over the weekend, under proctored test conditions. But now, students can bring their own laptop or tablet, use a school-issued device, or borrow a device provided by the College Board.
Additionally, the digital test is designed to ensure that students won't lose their work in the event of a broadband issue or power outage.
Shortened test day
The length of the exam will be reduced from three hours to two. Questions are also going to be more concise on the verbal section. For instance, lengthy reading passages have been replaced with shorter versions. Only one question, rather than multiple, will be tied to each reading.
Authorized use of calculators
The current PSAT divides the math section into two parts: a non-calculator and a calculator portion. But as part of the recent changes, a calculator is now allowed for the entire math segment. Students can either bring their own graphing calculator or use one that's embedded into the exam.
Expedited score results
Rather than waiting weeks to get results, students will receive score reports from the digital tests in a matter of days.
More Than A Score
Since the inception of the SAT almost 100 years ago, test scores have been a strong determinant of college admission. Over the past decade, roughly half of U.S colleges and universities have adopted a 'test-optional' policy, in an attempt to more holistically assess student achievement and merit. But despite the lack of requirement, most students who apply to competitive test-optional schools will submit SAT or ACT scores. Not surprisingly, students with impressive scores are accepted at significantly higher rates over those who do not submit.
What is meant by test-optional?
Test-optional simply means a college considers an application complete without test scores. It does not necessarily mean the application is on equal footing with the others. Academic rigor is optional; submitting robust test scores is optional. Being student body president is optional. But optional does not mean without impact.
The websites of most test-optional schools promise that students who do not submit scores will 'receive full consideration' in admissions. No doubt they will. However, school policy also typically notes that those who do not send scores 'will have one less credential to be considered by the Admission Committee.' And the numbers speak for themselves. Colleges and universities have clear data reflecting the admit rate for students who submit scores and for those who don't. The second number is invariably lower.
To that end, our course rigorously prepares students for the PSAT/SAT and ACT, but with the understanding that test scores are a piece of your total package. Woven into our program are other equally important components.
Our Essay Advisory assists students in the design of their Personal Statement/College Application Essay. A strong and revealing personal statement is often the defining factor in school acceptance. Personal consult is available at no additional fee.
Courses are taught by certified high school math and English teachers, or professionals in related fields who have scored in the top 1% of the exam. All have been chosen for their ability to effectively communicate subject matter and test strategy, leading to significant score-raising results for our students.
The goal of test preparation is to gain advantage as a test taker. In addition to a thorough subject matter review, test preparation exposes the pattern and trappings of the questions and answer choices, so as not to be taken by surprise. Students who prepare for an exam learn time-saving techniques, discover how to spot incorrect answers with ease, build stamina, and are generally more relaxed, poised, and in command of the material on test day.
Educational Services Center is now in its 46th year of effectively training students in how to answer SAT test questions correctly.
Your Score Goals
Students who are fully engaged in each session and complete all assignments, typically increase 100-150 points on the SAT, and 3-4 points on the ACT. Students who fall short of their score goal, or simply feel they could use a refresher before their next exam, may return for additional practice test and review sessions at no additional cost. Call our office to schedule.
ABOUT THE PSAT
The Preliminary SAT, also known as the PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), is a preparatory version of the SAT exam. It is 15 minutes shorter, but the content is the same.
Functionally, they're different because the SAT can be used for college admissions, while the PSAT cannot, and the PSAT can be used to put you in the running for a National Merit scholarship, whereas the SAT cannot.
PSAT PREP COURSE
PSAT Prep Course $529
A comprehensive course, fully preparing students for the SAT exam ($479 if registered by Aug. 31, 2023).
Courses consist of 18 hours of instruction divided equally between math and verbal, plus two 3-hour practice exams. All instruction is IN-PERSON in the classroom, exams are proctored live online.
Average class size: 10-15 students. Price includes all books and lesson materials.
EXTENDED ENROLLMENT FOR JUNIORS WITH COUPON CODE
PSAT prep course with 2 full-length PSAT practice exams fall: $395
SAT prep course with 2 full-length practice SAT exams spring: $250
Total cost extended enrollment: $645
Extended enrollment is a discounted package registration. No refunds (entire nor partial) will be issued once the first class occurs. Registrants must contact our office to indicate preferred group the following semester.
ACT WEEKEND INTENSIVES
ACT Intensive $125
ACT intensives are held VIRTUALLY in preparation for the July, September, October and December ACT. Students enrolled in our SAT course may add the ACT intensive for an additional $40. (Cost of ACT Intensive alone is $125.)
Each ACT intensive includes an ACT practice exam on Friday 4:30-7:30 PM, with all-day Saturday review:
Verbal 10-11:30 AM, Science 12:00-1:30 PM, Math 2:30- 4:00 PM, with a post-review follow-up 7:00-8:00 PM.
Early Registration Discount:
$50 deducted for all summer/fall registrations received by Aug. 31, 2023. The discount reduces tuition to just $479, price includes all lesson materials, taxes & fees.
Sibling Discount:10% discount for siblings who register together for the same semester.
WEEKEND PRACTICE TESTS
All courses include practice exams proctored live online via Zoom. Exams are held on the weekends indicated in each schedule. These exams are given a thorough review and scoring in the class following each exam.
Detailed exam date and time information, along with login and instructions, will be sent to all students once the course is underway.
A student may make up an absence by attending the same session number at another location, usually during the same week. Students may also make-up a class through ESC's virtual course option. Before attending a make-up class, please call or e-mail us to confirm the schedule.
SCHEDULE CHANGES & WEATHER-RELATED CLOSINGS
It is the student's responsibility to check our website's alerts section for any cancellations or change in schedule due to weather-related closings. No calls will be made from our office.
It is the sole responsibility of the student and his/her family to register for the PSAT test. You may do so by contacting your guidance counselor.
RISK-FREE REFUND POLICY
Tuition is fully refundable until the start date of the course. Although we cannot issue refunds after the first class occurs, we offer flexibility with postponement to the next semester should withdrawal from the course become necessary.