Dear Students,
The school has made PSAT a permanent external assessment tool, in its drive towards student success securing admission to college. Consequently, we wish to inform you that:
1.      PSAT 8/9 is being offered by college-board (An organization that creates SAT)
2.      PSAT 8/9 is the best way to check if you are on track for the SAT and for college.The PSAT 8/9 is highly relevant to your future success and focuses on theskills and knowledge at the heart of education. It measures:

  •  What you learn in school.
  • What you need to succeed in college

3.      You shall be registered totake PSAT 8/9 annually at JIS Campus. This test is only done once in a year and it is compulsory to all JIS students.4.      PSAT 8/9 tests your skills in Math and English but draws information from Science and Social studies too.
5.      You can prepare for PSAT 8/9 by practicing on Khan academy ( https://www.khanacademy.org/) your Math and /or English teacher hascreated a class for you to join and practice.
THIS IS WHAT IS INSIDE THE TEST:
Math Section of the TestThe Math Test covers arange of math practices, with an emphasis on problem solving, modeling, using tools strategically, and using algebraic structure.
It’s About the Real World Instead of testing youon every math topic there is, the PSAT 8/9 asks you to use the math that you ’llrely on most in all sorts of situations. Questions on the Math Test are designed to mirror the problem solving and modeling you ’ll do in:
  • College math, science, and social science courses
  • The jobs that you hold
  • Your personal life
For instance, to answer some questions you ’ll need to use one or two steps — because in the real world a single calculation is rarely enough to get the job done.Quick Facts
  • Most math questions will be multiple choice, but some — called grid-ins — ask you to come up with the answer rather than select the answer.
  • The Math Test is divided into two portions: Math Test – Calculator and Math Test – No Calculator.
  • Some parts of the test include several questions about a single scenario.
Focus The Math Test willfocus in depth on two of the areas of math that play the biggest role in a widerange of college majors and careers:There will also besome Passport to Advanced Math questions; these requirethe manipulation of complex equations.Math Test Measures Fluency The Math Test is a chance to show that you:
  • Carry out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and strategically.
  • Solve problems quickly by identifying and using the most efficient solution approaches. This might involve solving a problem by inspection, finding a shortcut, or reorganizing the information you’ve been given.
Conceptual Understanding You’ll demonstrate your grasp of math concepts, operations, and relations. For instance, you might be asked to make connections between properties of linear equations, their graphs,and the contexts they represent.ApplicationsThese real-world problems ask you to analyze a situation, determine the essential elements required to solve the problem, represent the problem mathematically, and carryout a solution.

Calculator

 UseCalculators areimportant tools, and to succeed after high school, you’ll need to know how —and when — to use them. In the Math Test – Calculator portion of the test,you’ll be able to focus on complex modeling and reasoning because yourcalculator can save you time.However, thecalculator is, like any tool, only as smart as the person using it. The MathTest includes some questions where it’s better not to use a calculator, eventhough you’re allowed to. In these cases, students who make use of structure ortheir ability to reason will probably finish before students who use acalculator.

The Math Test –No Calculator portion of the test makes it easier to assess your fluencyin math and your understanding of some math concepts. It also testswell-learned technique and number sense.

Grid-InQuestionsAlthough most of thequestions on the Math Test are multiple choice,18 percent are student-producedresponse questions, also known as grid-ins. Instead of choosing a correctanswer from a list of options, you’ll need to solve problems and enter youranswers in the grids provided on the answer sheet.

  • Unless a problem indicates otherwise, answers can be entered on the grid as a decimal or a fraction.
  • Fractions like do not need to be reduced to their lowest terms.
  • All mixed numbers need to be converted to improper fractions before being recorded in the grid.
  • If the answer is a repeating decimal, students must grid the most accurate value the grid will accommodate.
Below is a sample of the instructions students will see on the test.

Writing and Language Section of the TestThe Writing andLanguage Test asks you to be an editor and improve passages that were writtenespecially for the test — and that include deliberate errors.It’s About theEverydayWhen you take theWriting and Language Test, you’ll do three things that people do all the timewhen they write and edit:

  1. Read the questions carefully write out your answers.
  2. Find mistakes and weaknesses.
  3. Fix them.
The good news: You dothese things every time you proofread your own schoolwork or workshop essayswith a friend.It’s the practicalskills you use to spot and correct problems — the things you’ve been learningin high school and the thingsyou’ll need to succeed in college — that the testmeasures.

Quick Facts

  • All questions are multiple choice and based on passages.
  • Some passages are accompanied by informational graphics, such as tables, graphs, and charts — but no math is required.
  • Prior topic knowledge is never tested.
  • The Writing and Language Test is part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
What theWriting and Language Test Is LikeTo answer somequestions, you’ll need to look closely at a single sentence. Others requirereading the entire piece and interpreting a graphic. For instance, you might beasked to choose a sentence that corrects a misinterpretation of a scientificchart.What theWriting and Language Test MeasuresQuestions on theWriting and Language Test measure a range of skills.

Command ofEvidenceQuestions that testcommand of evidence ask you to improve the way passages develop information andideas. For instance, you might choose an answer that sharpens an argumentativeclaim or adds a relevant supporting detail.Words inContextSome questions ask youto improve word choice. You’ll need to choose the best words to use based onthe text surrounding them. Your goal will be to make a passage more precise orconcise, or to improve syntax, style, or tone.Analysis inHistory/Social Studies and in ScienceYou’ll be asked toread passages about topics in history, social studies, and science with acritical eye and make editorial decisions that improve them.Expression ofIdeasSome questions askabout a passage’s organization and its impact. For instance, you will be askedwhich words or structural changes improve how well it makes its point and howwell its sentences and paragraphs work together. StandardEnglish ConventionsThis is about thebuilding blocks of writing: sentence structure, usage, and punctuation. You’llbe asked to change words, clauses, sentences, and punctuation. Some topicscovered include verb tense, parallel construction, subject-verb agreement, andcomma use.Reading Section of the TestThe Reading Test willask you questions that are a lot like ones you’ll experience in a lively,thoughtful, evidence-based discussion.It’s About theEverydayThe Reading Testfocuses on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education: the stuff you’vebeen learning in high school, the stuff you’ll need to succeed in college. It’sabout how you take in, think about, and use information. And guess what? You’vebeen doing that for years.It’s not about howwell you memorize facts and definitions, so you won’t need to use flashcards orinsider tricks or spend all night cramming. QuickFacts

  • All Reading Test questions are multiple choice and based on passages.
  • Some passages are paired with other passages.
  • Informational graphics, such as tables, graphs, and charts, accompany some passages— but no math is required.
  • Prior topic-specific knowledge is never tested.
  • The Reading Test is part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
What theReading Test Is LikeWhen you take theReading Test, you’ll read passages and interpret informational graphics. Thenyou’ll use what you’ve read to answer questions.What You’llReadTo succeed in collegeand career, you’ll need to apply reading skills in all sorts of subjects. Notcoincidentally, you’ll also need those skills to do well on the Reading Test.The Reading Testalways includes
  • One passage from a classic or contemporary work of U.S. or world literature.
  • One passage or a pair of passages from either a U.S. founding document or a text in the great global conversation they inspired. The U.S. Constitution or a speech by Nelson Mandela, for example.
  • A selection about economics, psychology, sociology, or some other social science.
  • Two science passages (or one passage and one passage pair) that examine foundational concepts and developments in Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics.
What theReading Test MeasuresA lot more goes intoreading than you might realize — and the Reading Test measures a range ofreading skills.Command ofEvidenceSome questions ask youto:
  • Find evidence in a passage (or pair of passages) that best supports the answer to a previous question or serves as the basis for a reasonable conclusion.
  • Identify how authors use evidence to support their claims.
  • Find a relationship between an informational graphic and the passage it’s paired with.
Words inContextMany questions focuson important, widely used words and phrases that you’ll find in texts in manydifferent subjects. The words are ones that you’ll use in college and theworkplace long after test day.The PSAT 8/9 focuseson your ability to:
  • Use context clues in a passage to figure out which meaning of a word or phrase is being used.
  • Decide how an author’s word choice shapes meaning, style, and tone.
Analysis inHistory/Social Studies and in ScienceThe Reading Testincludes passages in the fields of history, social studies, and science. You’llbe asked questions that require you to draw on the reading skills needed mostto succeed in those subjects. For instance, you might read about an experimentthen see questions that ask you to:
  • Examine hypotheses.
  • Interpret data.
  • Consider implications.
Answers are based only on the information in the passage.Source: College-board As I mentioned in our meeting, your preparation for college starts now. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. You can do it by email (replying to this email) or see your coordinator at School.

All the best, 
James Siambi

Assistant  Director 
Jeddah International School
E-mail: 
james@jischool.org
Cell: + 966 559531509
Phone: +966 12 6065700 (ext 103)
Fax: + 966 12 6065600
Skype:Jamessiambi
www.jischool.org

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