The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) tests will be given at Assumption High School on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. If you are interested in taking the PSAT tests, please register by Tuesday, October 1, 2019 by paying the $17 registration fee in Student Services and pick up a PSAT Guide. (Checks can be made out to Assumption High School)
WHAT IS THE PSAT?
The PSAT is a two-hour test given once a year in October. Many students take the PSAT, not only as preparation to take the SAT, which is widely used as a criterion for college admissions, but also to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
As with the SAT, the PSAT has separate math and verbal sections and a third section testing English grammar. Each subject is scored on a scale of 20 to 80 and these scores are combined to create the National Merit Scholarship selection index.
Though it is only the scores from the PSAT taken in your junior year that are considered for the National Merit Scholarship competition, some students will take the PSAT when they are sophomores to get a feel for the test.
This scholarship competition awards approximately 8,200 scholarships annually. The selection process starts with the choosing of National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists and Commended Scholars. Cutoffs vary from state to state but typically Semi-Finalists score in the top one percent of students in their state and Commended Scholars between the top one to four percent. Most of the approximately 16,000 Semi-Finalists become Finalists, and half of those ultimately receive National Merit Scholarships.
The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are:
- 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 (grade 11).
- To help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT.
- To receive information from colleges when you check “yes” to Student Search Service.
For more information on the PSAT/MNSQT test, visit their website at www.collegeboard.org/psat.