Juniors and sophomores taking Honors and Advanced Placement courses should register for the Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which is a program cosponsored by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It’s a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools. The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and 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 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.
- See how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
- Enter the competition for scholarships from NMSC (grade 11).
- Help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you
will see on the SAT.
- Receive information from colleges when you check “yes” to Student Search Service.
The Guidance Department administers the PSAT/MNSQT on a Saturday in October. It usually costs $13.00, cash only, and there are only 250 spots available. There are a limited number of fee waivers available for students with free or reduced lunch. Registration commences in the middle of September and is on a first come, first serve basis. Predominantly, the exam is taken by juniors, but Honors and Advanced Placement sophomores are encouraged to take it for experience reasons. Only juniors are eligible for the scholarship competition.