The PSAT/NMSQT test (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a practice test for the SAT2 test. Although this standardized test is optional, high school juniors must take the PSAT/NMSQT test if they want to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship.
This 2 hour and 45 minute test covers the following:
- Evidence Based Reading
- Writing and Language
Most test questions are multiple choice, although the math section includes some open-answer questions.
Check for PSAT/NMSQT study materials at your local library or bookstore. Here are some other ways to prepare:
- Receive free personalized proactive questions and help through The College board and Khan Academy
- Review sample test questions.
Think you're ready for the real thing?
The PSAT/NMSQT test is generally offered twice in the Fall—your guidance counselor will know the specific dates. You must sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT test through your school. The test fee is usually less than $20, but it can vary by location.
Scores to Aim For
Your total PSAT/NMSQT score can range from 60 to 240 (20 to 80 for each section). To qualify for a National Merit Scholarship, you generally need over 200 (although this cutoff can change from year to year).
Keep in mind that the PSAT/NMSQT test is a practice test. Schools rarely look at your PSAT/NMSQT scores, and PSAT/NMSQT scores are not a requirement for admissions.
Don't worry if you didn't score as well as you would have liked. You still have time to prepare for the SAT test.
Want to Know More?
- Visit the PSAT/NMSQT website for full details.
- Study for the PSAT/NMSQT test using these online flashcards from Dictionary.com.
- Think you have what it takes to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship? Find out.
1PSAT/NMSQT is a registered trademark of the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which were not involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.
2SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.