It is now time to sign up for the PSAT. Unlike the SAT which is offered several times each year, the PSAT is only offered in October so it is important to register early and begin your practice work now if you have not already.
Who Should Take the PSAT?
The PSAT should be taken by all high school juniors who plan to attend a US college or university. Even if you think you may be going to a school tat does not require the SAT, it is still a good idea to take the test. Between the beginning of junior year and when you are actually accepted into the college of your choice is actually a significant period of time. You may change your mind or the school may change its admissions policy. Definitely plan on taking a college admissions test no matter which school you think you may attend.
Other students may also take the PSAT. It is a personal decision for younger students to discuss with their parents. When discussing college testing with the families I work with, I ask them to consider different factors before deciding to test a younger student, but I do often suggest that high performing sophomores take the PSAT.
Why Is the PSAT Important?
The PSAT is important to high school juniors because there is potential scholarship money for high scores. The National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) is based on the PSAT. In fact, they often appear together, as in the PSAT/NMSQT. Placing high on the NMSQT, even if you are not selected, can make a big difference in your college application process. Higher scores on the PSAT can mean acceptance into top colleges and scholarship money.
For those not shooting for a National Merit Scholarship, such as sophomores and younger who are not eligible for the National Merit Scholarship, the PSAT is still important as a preliminary SAT. Although it is not the same as far as timing or difficulty level, it is one of the best ways to prepare to take the challenging SAT.
Where Should I Take the PSAT?
The PSAT is offered at several testing sites around the United States most of which are local high schools. Please check the College Board website to find a PSAT testing site near you. If you attend a school which does not offer the PSAT, it is especially important to go to register at a nearby high school early. While high schools are encouraged to allow all students to take the PSAT regardless of their attendance, some high schools fill up quickly and they are unable to do so.
How Do I Register for the PSAT?
You can only register for the PSAT through a guidance counselor. At this point, you cannot sign up online. Go see your guidance counselor to discuss the best place for you to take the PSAT today. The cost of the test is $14.00 so bring your ID and your check to your guidance office as soon as possible to discuss what is best for you.
When Can I Register for the PSAT?
Registration opens next week so do not delay. Speak with your guidance counselor now. Discover possible testing sites and have your PSAT registration plan in place so that you can register easily next week.