11 Reasons Why You Should Take The PSAT

The PSAT is a practice version of the SAT exam. So, “P” in “PSAT” stands for “preliminary”. The PSAT offers students a chance to sharpen their skills in preparation for the actual SAT.

But it’s not just a “preliminary” , taking the PSAT has its own set of benefits for students apart from just being a trial run for the SAT. The highest scorer in this exam is eligible for scholarships.


About PSAT –

PSAT take can only be given once a year by the Student, and many students take the test in both 10th and 11th grade. As mentioned earlier, If you earn a high score on the PSAT, you could qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship—$180 million dollars in merit scholarships are awarded to students each year.

How Long is the PSAT Exam?

The PSAT take is conducted during the school day, in place of other classes. The PSAT Exam itself takes about 2 hours 15 minutes.

What are the PSAT Sections?

The PSAT Test includes four timed sections: Evidence-Based Reading, Writing and Language, Math (no calculator), and Math (calculator allowed):

Section  Time Duration
Reading & Writing 64 Min
Math 70 Min

The SAT is obviously important, but often the PSAT Exam is overlooked as a stepping stone for any student planning on giving the actual SAT Take. It is necessary for every student planning to Study Abroad to Prepare for the PSAT for many reasons. Let’s discuss a Few of them.

Related Blog Post: GRE vs. SAT: The Ultimate Showdown

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Why You Should Take The PSAT Exam –

PSAT for Practice:

  • You must have heard this phrase thousands of times from many people around you – “Practice makes a man perfect.” And it is so true. The only way you can enhance your skill at something is to Practice it enough times until it becomes second nature.
  • By the time you are ready to take the SAT Exam, PSAT will definitely prepare you with the preparatory Classes.
  • It is crucial that the student is able to test their knowledge, sign the honesty statement in the required cursive, and manage their time wisely. This practical application of SAT Preparation in the PSAT Exam is perhaps the most efficient way to prepare for the actual test.

Strategy For PSAT:

The strategies of the PSAT Exam are academic disciplines on their own. So, It is very important for students to carefully approach the test.
For example, Leaving a question blank is better than guessing as non-answers are better than wrong answers. Every PSAT Section has its own unique strategies. In the Verbal Section eliminate one answer at a time or look at the roots of words for help. Maybe, these strategies are easy to discuss in theory, but the PSAT can provide an opportunity prior to test day to try them out in a practical setting.


Awards Of Taking The PSAT Exam –

One can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT Exam. Of 50,000 students who gave the PSAT take, 34,000 received letters of commendation to include in their college applications. Of these commended students, 16,000 were selected as semi-finalists. From those students, 7,440 students were ultimately selected for National Merit Scholarships.

  • These Students will be receiving scholarships from some of the country’s most prestigious colleges. In this way, A student can actually be paid to take the PSAT Exam.
  • Though, it’s a tough mountain to climb The PSAT does give every test taker an opportunity to receive a prestigious scholarship, regardless of previous academic performance.

Related Blog Post: SAT Subject Test: Math Level 1 or 2


Training For the Actual SAT Exam –

  • The Prime reason Why to Take the PSAT Exam has less to do with the academic importance of the test but prepares students for the practical act of taking the test.
  • The Actual SAT test is three hours and forty-five minutes long in duration. It is common that junior year students may not have a habit of sitting for this long.
  • PSAT allows a student to become more comfortable and used to the setting and environment of the Actual SAT.
  • It’s quite natural to have anxiety when a student goes into the SAT exam. This anxiety can turn into confidence if the student goes in knowing what to expect.


Good Practice Of SAT At A Fair Price –

  • There are three different PSAT exams – PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and PSAT/NMSQT. As the names suggest, PSAT 8/9 is designed for students in grades 8 and 9, while PSAT 10 is meant for students in grade 10. The PSAT/NMSQT is the same assessment as the PSAT 10, but it’s not just a preliminary SAT.
  • The fees for all three PSATs are quite reasonable and much less compared to that for the real SAT. There is no good reason to miss the opportunity to take the three authentic practice tests at such a reasonable price before you take the Actual SAT.


PSAT is aligned to the School Curriculum –

  • The three PSATs taken at the PSAT 9th, 10th, and 11th grades of your school years match in gradually increasing levels of the school curriculum as you move from one grade to the next (higher) grade. That takes away the sudden pressure that someone who has not taken the PSAT is bound to feel while taking or even preparing for the SAT.
  • PSAT Score can Indicate about The SAT score –
    The PSATs and SAT are scored on slightly different scales, but the reports use a common score scale, providing consistent feedback across the PSATs and the SAT.
  • Thus, your total PSAT score is a direct indicator of your SAT score had you taken the real SAT. For example, a total PSAT score of 1250 means that, if you took the SAT on the same day, most likely you would have scored 1250 on the SAT.


PSAT Score Report – Check Where You Stand –

The PSAT Score reports show the total score, sectional scores, and the different test scores and also come with College Readiness Benchmark. Scores at or above the benchmark indicate that you are on track to be ready for college. Scores below the benchmarks serve as alarms to tell you that you need to work on your skills, but fortunately you will have time on your side. That’s the advantage of taking the PSATs.


Get AP Potential feedback from College Board by giving PSAT Exam:

  • The PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and the PSAT 8/9 can be used to explore AP potential. College Board’s “AP Potential” tool is available for free. Analysis of students’ test scores can indicate whether the students are likely to succeed in specific AP courses.
  • According to some College Board research, students who get a 3 or more on AP Exams are likely to be academically more successful in college than non-AP students.
  • The AP Potential data, although it is not the sole criterion, helps identify students likely to succeed in AP Exams and determine which AP courses to offer. By the way, the other criteria include individual student motivation and preparation, parental support, and teacher efficacy.

No one should underestimate the importance of the PSAT. Do take the PSAT – all the PSATs if possible. A high PSAT score can open doors to scholarships and boost confidence for the SAT.


Colleges and Universities May try to Recruit You:

When you sign up for the PSAT, you may choose to have limited personal information shared with colleges and scholarship providers. If you did that, be prepared with mail, email, and invitations to apply. We know, this can be pretty overwhelming, but it also provides an opportunity to learn about various schools, programs, and scholarships that you might not have considered.


Getting Familiar with The SAT Format –

PSAT is not an exact copy of its parent tests, but the questions, test formats, and scoring are similar. So, Definitely, a student will get familiar with and get used to the Format.


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What are the 3 different PSATs?

The exam comes in three forms: the PSAT 8/9, the PSAT/NMSQT, and the PSAT 10. The PSAT 10 is the same test as the PSAT/NMSQT, though students take these exams at different times of the year.

Which is better SAT or PSAT?

SAT is used to measure college readiness for undergrad admissions. PSAT score is not used for the admission process but it acts as a great primer for the SAT. PSAT score is the basis for the national merit scholarship qualifying test for US citizens.

Do Colleges look At PSAT?

College Board does not send PSAT scores to colleges. These scores are not intended to be part of college admission decisions.

How much money do you get from National Merit?

$2,500. And They are as follows: National Merit Scholarships: $2,500 toward freshman year only. Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards: These are four-year renewable awards that range from $500 to $2,000 per year.

What school has the most National Merit Scholars?

Rank University Total scholars (including college-sponsored)
1 University of Florida 270
2 University of Southern California 265
3 University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) 258

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