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"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated." – R Collier

Get to Know The PSAT 

The PSAT/NMSQT is administered annually to a cohort of chosen 8th graders and high school students.

Beyond serving as a practice assessment for the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT holds a principal role in identifying a high school junior's qualification for the esteemed National Merit Scholarship Program.

The acronym "PSAT/NMSQT" signifies the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which is reserved for junior-year students. Achieving an exceptional score on the PSAT/NMSQT in one's junior year can significantly enhance the likelihood of receiving a coveted National Merit Scholarship for college.

Understanding the test: 

Test Length: PSAT 8/9: 2 hours 25 mins. & PSAT/NMSQT: 2 hours 45 mins.

 

Cost: Varies

Highest 8/9 PSAT Score:
1440 & PSAT/NMSQT: 1520

 

National Average 8/9 PSAT Score: 835 & PSAT/NMSQT: 920

 

How is the PSAT scored?

All editions of the PSAT scores are built on two sections: evidence-based reading and writing, and math. The final score is computed by a combination of the reading and writing section and the math section.

PSAT 8/9: the score range is 240-1440.

PSAT/NMSQT: The score range is 320-1520

How do I register for the SAT?

Unfortunately, not all schools automatically administer the PSAT. Find out if your school offers the test. If so, please follow their guidance.

The PSAT/NMSQT is offered once a year to selected 8th graders and high school students. 

Aside from being used by many students as a practice test for the SAT, the primary purpose of the PSAT/NMSQT is to determine a sophomore or high school junior's eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

 

Reading:

  • ​47 multiple-choice questions

  • ​60 Mins.

  • Passages or pairs of passages (literature, historical documents, social sciences, and natural sciences)

Writing & Language:

  • 44 multiple-choice questions

  • 35 minutes

  • Grammar, vocabulary in context, and editing skills

Math:

  • 44 multiple-choice questions (broken up into a 20-question ‘no calculator’ section and a 38-question ‘calculator allowed’ section)

  • 70 minutes (divided into a ‘no calculator’ section and a ‘calculator allowed’ section)

  • Algebra I and II, geometry, and some trigonometry

National Merit Scholarship Opportunities

Achieving a National Merit Scholarship is a challenging endeavor. According to 2022 numbers from the College Board, more than 2 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 in the 2021-2022 school year. However, only around 7,500 of those test-takers will be chosen to receive a National Merit Scholarship or corporate/college-sponsored merit award in 2023.

What Merit Scholarships Are Granted? Roughly 7,500 Merit Scholarships are divided among three classifications. 

  • First, is the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship with the winners decided by college admissions officers and high school counselors. This is a one-time payment of $2,500.

  • Next, there are roughly 1,000 corporate-sponsored merit and special scholarships, which are decided by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The amount and period of the award vary by individual corporate sponsors and range up to $10,000 per year.

  • Lastly, there are about 4,000 renewable college-subsidized merit scholarships. The winners are selected by the individual colleges with sums varying from $500 to $2,000 a year.

Is there Value in taking the PSAT?

      The value of the PSAT can be weighed in two ways.
       1. It is a route to one of the scholarships mentioned above.
       2. It is a test prep barometer for the SAT.

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