Students who take the PSAT test in their Junior Year of high school are automatically entered for National Merit Scholarship competition.

The path to NMSC is an elaborate process that spans many months. Find out what the road to National Merit Scholarship Competition looks likes

It used to be that students who made the short list as finalists in this competition would also need scores from an actual SAT test. These scores were then used to confirm their PSAT test scores for the purpose of this competition. This was never a problem for students who were stronger in the SAT and would go on to take that test. However, it was a disadvantage for ACT students, many of whom would never take the SAT test except for this requirement by the NMSC.

Starting with the Class of 2020, NMSC will now consider students’ ACT scores as confirming scores for the National Merit competition. Students will still need to take the 11th grade PSAT test but they will no longer have to take the SAT test if they proceed to the final stage of the competition, ACT test scores will suffice.

With this timely change NMSC is recognizing the wide acceptance of the ACT test and popularity across the country.