What is the PSAT/NMQST?
The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) or The National Merit Qualifying Scholarship Test (NMSQT) is a test that helps students practice for the SAT. The test also enables students to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs. The test is 2 hours and 10 minute in duration and includes the following sections - Critical Reading, Writing, and Math. The Writing section does not include an essay.

Why Take the PSAT?
The most common reasons a student takes the PSAT/NMSQT are to:

  • Receives feedback on their strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. Students can then focus their preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
  • See how their performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
  • Enter the competition for scholarships from NMSC (grade 11).
  • Help prepare for the SAT by becoming familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions they will see on the SAT.
  • Receive information from colleges when they check "yes" to Student Search Service.

When is the PSAT given?
The PSAT is usually given once a year in the fall around October.

How do I register?
To register for the PSAT, students should contact the school's Guidance Department for the test. Online registration for the PSAT/NMSQT is not available.

How much does it cost?
To take the PSAT, there is a $12 charge. A school can charge an additional fee to cover administrative costs. The actual cost can vary each year.

How long does it take to get the student's scores back?
Score reports are mailed to the student's high school in December. Each school makes its own decisions on how and when to distribute the scores. Scores are not available via phone or online.

Additional Information
For more information visit the College Board website.
 For more information contact the School Counseling Center (Guidance).