The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) has several purposes. It provides practice for the SAT; acts as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program competitions and the National Achievment Scholarship Program for Black students; offers insight, through comprehensive reports, into students’ readiness for college; and helps identify students for Advanced Placement Program (AP) courses. When students take the PSAT/NMSQT they are asked if they would like certain information sent to colleges, universities, and scholarship programs that request it from the College Board. This is the function of the Student Search Service.
The PSAT/NMSQT measures:
- Critical reading, math reasoning, and writing skills.
- Knowledge and skills developed through years of study in a wide range of courses as well as through experiences outside the classroom. Although the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT are not directly related to specific high school curriculum, they are developed to reflect the kinds of academic experiences that teachers consider important.
- Critical reading and mathematical reasoning abilities, plus writing skills – all important for successful academic performance in college. The test assesses the ability to reason with facts and concepts rather than the ability to recall and recite them. The PSAT/NMSQT focuses on the critical thinking skills that educators emphasize.
The PSAT/NMSQT is a school-based test and is given once a year in October. Score reports are sent to the high schools and distributed to students in December.
For more information on the PSAT/NMSQT contact the counseling office or visit www.collegeboard.com.