Students in grades 10 and 11 are eligible to sign up with their high school to take the in-school PSAT that is administered in October. Check with your school to find out on which of these two dates they will administer the test and make sure a test is ordered for you.
The PSAT, a.k.a Preliminary SAT, is a standardized test administered by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. In the U.S., PSAT scores are used to determine eligibility for scholarships. The PSAT is used as a practice for the SAT, is sometimes useful as part of your application to selective summer programs, and can get you on the mailing list for many U.S. colleges and universities. PSAT scores are not reported to universities or used for college admission.
The PSAT is 170 minutes in length and has three sections: Critical Reading, Math and Writing. Each section is scored on a scale from 20 to 80 with the maximum score being 240 as compared to 2400 on the SAT which is a longer test (4 hours). Your school might charge a nominal fee (approximately $15 per student) for administering the test.
The following items are what you need to have with you on the PSAT test date:
- Two pencils and an eraser
- An approved calculator (for the math sections)
- Your driver’s license or other approved picture ID
- A bottle of water