In October, all juniors and sophomores will take the Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, at no cost, 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 students 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. Students have developed these skills over many years, both in and out of school. This test doesn’t require students to recall specific facts from their classes. The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are to:

  1. Receive feedback on strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. Students can then focus their preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
  2. See how students’ performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
  3. Enter the competition for scholarships from NMSC (grade 11).
  4. Help prepare for the SAT. Students can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions they will see on the SAT.
  5. Receive information from colleges when they check “yes” to Student Search Service.