The PSAT was once thought to be a miniature version of the SAT. It was over an hour shorter and had fewer questions than the SAT. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, as the PSAT has undergone numerous adjustments over the years.

The College Board, responsible for developing, maintaining, and upgrading these standardized examinations, revamped the PSAT and SAT. In fact, the entire array of tests was revamped, including:

  • The PSAT 8/9
  • The PSAT 10
  • The SAT

The first three items on the list have no direct bearing on college admission decisions. Nonetheless, they can significantly impact college prospects, which many students are unaware of. Find out if you have to take the PSAT below.

Do You Have to Take the PSAT?

When people talk about the PSAT, they typically refer to the practice SAT students take in 11th grade. The full name is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. There are actually three versions of this “pre-test” or “practice test,” and each is unique.

The PSAT 8/9 is for grades 8 and 9, and the PSAT 10 is for 10th graders. The last version of the PSAT is for juniors and is the one most people refer to when speaking of the PSAT. 

So do you have to take the PSAT? You might need to or find it beneficial. Below are four reasons why.

It Might Be Required

Most high schools require juniors to take the PSAT in the fall, and some might also require the PSAT 8/9 and the PSAT 10. Check with guidance counselors ahead of time in order to prepare accordingly.

You Might Qualify for Scholarships

The PSAT is also the qualifying test for National Merit Scholarships, which can defray the costs of your college education. In addition, college applications from National Merit Scholars students attract well-deserved attention from college admissions staff members who make admissions decisions.

You Can Discover Areas That Need Practice Before Taking the SAT

One of the best ways to boost your score on the SAT is to practice, which is precisely what taking the PSAT is really for. By taking the PSAT more than once, you can also gauge your progress from one test to another and see where you have progressed and where you still can improve. 

The College Board claims that 20 hours of practice can boost your score by 115 points!

You Can Get an Idea of What You Might Score on the SAT

The College Board has given the PSAT test scoring ranges that are equivalent to the SAT. This can help you see an estimate for your SAT score. You’ll also gain an understanding of what to expect when the time comes to take the SAT. 

Start Practicing for the PSAT Early

Give yourself the best chance of scoring as high as you deserve on the PSAT. For personalized test prep services to maximize your PSAT potential, contact Jantzi today.