Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a co-sponsored program by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).
PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It’s a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT I: Reasoning Test and SAT II: Writing Test. It also gives you a chance to qualify for National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s (NMSC) scholarship programs.
The PSAT/NMSQT measures
- verbal reasoning skills
- critical reading skills
- math problem-solving skills
- writing skills
You have developed these skills over many years, both in and out of school. This test doesn’t require you to recall specific facts from your classes.
The Most Common Reasons for Taking the PSAT/NMSQT
- To receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. You can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
- To see how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
- To enter the competition for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
- To help prepare for SAT Program tests. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT I: Reasoning Test and the multiple-choice section of the SAT II: Writing Test.
- To receive information from colleges when you check “yes” to Student Search Service.
You should definitely take the PSAT/NMSQT in your junior year. Many students benefit from also taking it earlier, typically in their sophomore year. If you take it earlier, recognize that the PSAT/NMSQT is a junior-level test, so don’t get discouraged if your score is low. Your score will usually increase as your years of study increase.
Ordering & Exam Fee
Check with the finance office where your student attends. There is a limited number of tests ordered. Online registration for the PSAT/NMSQT is not available.
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updated Sept. 2017