About the PSAT Test

The PSAT/NMSQT is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The PSAT is a great primer for the SAT, and even the ACT, but it’s more than just a trial run. PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships. More than 3.4 million high school students (mostly juniors and sophomores) take this nationwide, multiple-choice test yearly.

What is the PSAT, and why is it important?

The PSAT won’t count towards your college admissions applications, but it is the qualifying test for the  National Merit Scholarship. Some of the highest-scoring students may win scholarship money, so while you shouldn’t stress out about the PSAT, you shouldn’t ignore it. Use the PSAT as practice for the SAT and ACT and as an important guidepost on your college admissions journey.

When is the PSAT?

The PSAT is offered nationally every year in October. Ask your school counselor when your class is scheduled to take the PSAT.

What does the PSAT test?

The PSAT has two sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.  You’ll encounter passage-based questions—sometimes accompanied by tables, graphs, and charts—and math problems drawing upon algebra, geometry, and a little trig.

How is the PSAT scored?

Each section is scored on a scale of 160–760, making a “perfect” score of 1520. There are also test scores, cross-test scores, and subscores.

SHDHS will administer the PSAT during the school day on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, in the SHDHS gym. This administration of the PSAT is optional for sophomores and is practice for the PSAT/NMSQT that they will all take as juniors next year (PSAT is used for National Merit Eligibility during junior year). For sophomores, this test is being offered for $30. Payment is due by October 1st. If you have questions about the registration process or test day logistics, email Mrs. Ali Lonneman, Test Coordinator, at [email protected].

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