What is the PSAT?

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. It also gives students a chance to qualify for National Merit Scholarship Corporation's (NMSC) scholarship programs. The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills.

There are many reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT. The first reason is likely to prepare for the SAT. Students will see what kind of questions and directions they will face. But they can also receive feedback on their strengths and weaknesses in skills necessary for college studies. Learning particular strengths and weaknesses can help a student focus on specific areas that require more practice or attention. Students are able to compare their performance with that of others, as well and they will be given the option to receive information from colleges should they desire.   

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Updated: February 2014