On October 15 and 18, high school students across the country will be sitting for the PSAT. Many people consider it a “practice test” since colleges won’t consider your PSAT scores for admission and don’t spend much time worrying about it.
But the PSAT counts for more than you would think. Here are three major benefits the PSAT offers:
- Shows you the money. Yes, your score on the PSAT can qualify you for scholarships. The most well-known and prestigious one is the National Merit Scholar. In fact, you might often see the PSAT referred to as the PSAT/NMSQT – the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test – because they are one and the same. Qualifying as a National Merit Scholar boosts your application and visibility – and scholarships. But even if you don’t qualify as a National Merit Scholar, a great score on your PSAT can earn you scholarship funds and offers from colleges that want to recruit the cream of the crop. (Note: only 11th graders’ scores are considered for scholarships and recognition.)
- Offers a roadmap for studying. Since the PSAT mirrors the format and subject matter of the SAT, it gives valuable feedback on how you will do on the SAT, which does matter – a lot – for college admissions. When you sit for the test, you’ll get information on how to access My College QuickStartTM, which offers an interactive score report, a customized testing plan with hundreds of test questions, a personality test, suggestions for compatible majors and careers, and a starter list of colleges based on your home state and the majors that interest you. You’ll also see how you stack up against others across the country.
- Gives you a head start on college searching. Make sure to “opt in” for College Connection. You’ll receive free information about admissions, financial aid, available scholarships and more from colleges. It’s a great vehicle for introducing yourself to potential colleges as you begin to hone your search.
The PSAT is your best study preparation for the SAT. The best advice is to take it in 10th grade to see what you should focus on as you prepare to retake it for an official score in 11th grade.
Wondering how to ace the PSAT? Become familiar with the test and its format by reviewing the guide and taking the practice test. And of course, our tutors are available 24/7 to help you with the test prep you need to do your best – and earn those scholarships!