PSAT's: What You Need to Know


It's that time of year. The nights are cooler, the mums are blooming, the leaves are falling and high school sophomores and juniors are getting ready to take PSAT's. So what are these tests and why are they important? So glad you asked...here are the basics:

  • PSAT's, or Practice SAT's are just that- a dress rehearsal for SAT's. They have been proven to be a good indicator of future SAT scores.
  • High school juniors can qualify for National Merit Scholarship Awards based on their junior year PSAT scores..
  • For 2012, PSAT's will be administered on either October 17 or October 20. The exam is only administered through high schools.
  • PSAT's are 2 hours and 10 minutes in length. The test measures reading (in two 25 minute sections) , math (in two 25 minute sections) and writing (one 30 minute section).
We're often asked if students should practice for this practice test. The best preparation for PSAT's is to take challenging school courses. That said, knowing a bit about the format of the test and looking at some practice questions before-hand can't hurt. The College Board offers some tips and practice questions.

The bottom line is that the PSAT's are a great practice test for sophomores and a good way for juniors to qualify for National Merit Scholarship programs.