The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a is a standardized test administered by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) and taken by about 3.4 million high school students every year. Students register for the PSAT/NMSQT through their high schools.
The PSAT serves as a practice test for the SAT and therefore parallels its format. Composed of three sections –Math, Critical Reading, and Writing Skills- it takes two hours and ten minutes to complete. Each of the three sections is scored on a scale of 20 to 80 points, which add up to a maximum composite score of 240 points.
The PSAT/NMSQT is administered mostly to high school sophomores and juniors, and is never considered as part of the admissions decision by a college or university. Scores from the PSAT/NMSQT are used (with the permission of the student) to determine eligibility and qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Students who are named National Merit finalists and winners may be eligible for additional merit scholarships from some colleges and universities.
The PSAT may be taken in the fall of the sophomore year for practice, while the junior year administration of the test will count for National Merit consideration.
See our Calendar for testing dates.