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, who is eligible to take the test, and make sure a test is ordered for you if your school says you are eligible to be part of the cohort taking the test.
The PSAT, a.k.a Preliminary SAT, is a standardized test designed 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, providing you with a baseline score,
- The PSAT is sometimes useful as part of your application to selective summer programs,
- The PSAT can get you on the mailing list for many U.S. colleges and universities,
- Some Canadian high schools require the test and use the PSAT for internal placement purposes.
The PSAT is 165 minutes in length and has three sections: Reading, Writing, and Math. While the total range for the SAT is 400–1600, the total range for the PSAT is 320–1520. Your school might charge a nominal fee (approximately $15 per student) for administering the test. Please note that PSAT scores are not reported to universities or used for college admission.
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