History of the PSAT
The PSAT, or Preliminary SAT, has a history that dates back to the early 1950s. The College Board, a non-profit organization that administers standardized tests like the SAT, developed the PSAT as a way to help students prepare for the SAT.
Initially, the PSAT was called the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) and was designed to identify students who had the potential to become National Merit Scholars. The National Merit Scholarship Program is a competition for high school students that awards scholarships based on academic achievement and other factors.
Over time, the PSAT has evolved to become more closely aligned with the SAT. Today, the PSAT is designed to assess the same skills and knowledge as the SAT, but in a slightly shorter and easier format. Students who take the PSAT receive a score report that shows how they performed on each section of the test, as well as information about areas where they may need to improve.
The PSAT is administered each fall to high school students in the United States, typically in their sophomore or junior year. Students who score in the top 1% of PSAT test-takers are eligible to compete for National Merit Scholarships. In addition, the PSAT can help students prepare for the SAT and identify areas where they may need to improve their skills and knowledge.
REASONS FOR TAKING THE PSAT/NMSQT – National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)
- You can get results which could tell you what you need to study for the SAT.
- You can then focus your preparation in those areas.
- You can see how your score relates to other students applying to college.
- You can familiarize yourself with standardized testing and with the kinds of questions you’ll see on the SAT.
- RESULTS from the PSAT will give you and your counselor a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses. If you took your 10th grade PSAT, did you do better this time? What do you need to work on before you take your first SAT?
- BOOKS for PREP? What book should I use to study for the PSAT? There are a few PSAT study guides out there, but the best way is to study old PSAT tests–especially the one offered by your school/what you get in the mail from the College Board.
Q: WHY SHOULD I TAKE THE PSAT?
This test is important because it’s good practice for the actual SAT and you could receive a National Merit Scholarship (scholarship given from the NMSC).
Q: HOW DO I TAKE THE PSAT?
Your school should register you, but just in case, in September make sure you’re registered for the October PSAT. You can prepare by using old PSAT or SAT exams.
Q: What is the PSAT?
A: The PSAT, or Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, is a standardized test administered by the College Board. It is designed to help prepare students for the SAT and is also used as the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Q: Who should take the PSAT?
A: The PSAT is typically taken by high school students in their sophomore or junior year. It is recommended for students who plan to take the SAT, as it can help them identify areas where they need to improve and develop strategies for the SAT.
Q: When is the PSAT offered?
A: The PSAT is offered in the fall of each year. The exact date can vary, but it is usually in October.
Q: How is the PSAT scored?
A: The PSAT is scored on a scale of 320-1520. There is no penalty for guessing, so it is recommended that students answer every question.
Q: What is the National Merit Scholarship Program?
A: The National Merit Scholarship Program is a scholarship competition for high school students in the United States. Students who score in the top 1% on the PSAT are eligible to compete for National Merit Scholarships.
Q: How can I prepare for the PSAT?
A: There are many ways to prepare for the PSAT, including taking practice tests, reviewing content areas that you need to improve, and developing test-taking strategies. The College Board also offers official PSAT study materials.
Q: Do colleges see PSAT scores?
A: No, PSAT scores are not typically seen by colleges. However, high PSAT scores can indicate potential for success on the SAT and may lead to eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Q: How long is the PSAT?
A: The PSAT is 2 hours and 45 minutes long.
Q: What is on the PSAT?
A: The PSAT includes sections on reading, writing and language, and math. The math section includes both calculator and non-calculator portions. There is also an optional essay section, which is not included in the overall score.
Q: How much does it cost to take the PSAT?
A: The cost of the PSAT varies by location and school. Students should check with their school to find out the cost.
Q: Can I take the PSAT more than once?
A: Yes, students can take the PSAT multiple times. However, it is usually only offered once a year, so students will need to wait until the next testing cycle to retake it.
Q: Do I need to register for the PSAT?
A: Yes, students typically need to register for the PSAT through their school. The school will provide information on how to register and when the test will be administered.
Q: Is the PSAT the same as the SAT?
A: No, the PSAT is a shorter and slightly easier version of the SAT. It is designed to help students prepare for the SAT and to identify potential National Merit Scholars.
Q: Can I use a calculator on the PSAT?
A: Yes, calculators are allowed on part of the PSAT math section. However, there is also a non-calculator portion of the math section.
Q: Can I take the PSAT if I’m homeschooled?
A: Yes, homeschooled students can take the PSAT. They should check with their local high school or school district to find out how to register.
Q: Can I take the PSAT if I’m an international student?
A: Yes, international students can take the PSAT. They should check with the College Board to find out how to register and where the test will be administered.