PSAT for TIP’s fourth through sixth graders debuts

Saturday, October 1, 2016
A group of girls raising their hands in a lecture hall

Academically talented students often breeze through grade-level tests. But when your score is “off the charts,” it can be a challenge to interpret the results. Imagine seeing how far you can throw a ball in your living room. Sure, you can hit the wall, but you can’t tell how far beyond the wall your ball would have travelled.

Taking an above-level test is like moving the ball-throw test from your living room to a football field. You, your parents, and your teachers will be able to more precisely measure your academic ability, depth of knowledge, and educational needs across a number of subject areas.

For years, the ACT’s EXPLORE was the above-level test offered for our fourth through sixth grade talent search, but all that changed this year. Thanks to a new agreement with the College Board, TIP will now offer the PSAT 8/9 as an optional, above-grade level assessment for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders who are enrolled in our talent search for younger students.

About the PSAT 8/9

The PSAT 8/9 was developed by the College Board for to support the college readiness of eighth grade students. The test focuses on what students will typically learn in high school and what they will need to succeed in college. It measures reading, writing, language, and math skills developed both in and out of school.

The PSAT 8/9 uses rights-only scoring, which awards a point for a correct answer, but makes no deduction for an incorrect answer. Blank responses have no impact on the overall score. This is the same scoring policy followed by the high school level SAT and ACT tests, which students are encouraged to take.

The information gleaned from above-level tests like the newly available PSAT 8/9 is helpful to educators and parents seeking to build an educational plan that maximizes a student’s strengths, emphasizes skills they may need to build, and provides access to appropriate advanced-learning opportunities and resources.