PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a standardized exam that opens doors for National Merit Scholarship programs if taken in the 11th grade.  We HIGHLY recommend all our 10th graders and 11th graders who are targeting NMQST to take this test. Every year many of our students qualify for this high competitive scholarship program.

Some of the questions that concern parents are:  What impact does the PSAT have on the college application process?   What kind of effort should go towards preparing for this test?

PSAT scores have no effect on a student’s candidacy for admission. In fact colleges don’t even get to see the scores.  However, if PSAT scores are competitive, then a student is entitled to national merit scholarships.  Scores from the Junior year test are considered for the NMSQT contest.

Why take the PSAT?

  • The PSAT is a good introduction to exposing students for longer, more demanding tests like the SAT or ACT. Many students have test-taking anxiety. Hence, their results on standardized test may not be in line with their in-class academic capabilities.

  • The PSAT provides firsthand practice for the SAT. Therefore, scores from this test are a powerful indicator on how students will perform on the actual SAT. It also highlights a student’s strengths and weaknesses in core topic areas, which in turn can form the basis for future test preparation.


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How best to prepare for the PSAT?

This is one time when we do not recommend rigorous preparation; a small warm-up is usually enough.  However, for students interested in the National Merit Scholarship, then a more thorough and dedicated effort is needed for preparing for this test. Contact us to discuss your PSAT/NMSQT preparation game plan>>