On September 5, students began registering to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Students have until September 20 to register for the PSAT through Student Services.
At Leesville, approximately 200-250 register to take the PSAT each year, alongside millions of other students across United States. The test, created by the College Board, is often utilized by students to help them prepare for the SAT.
Danette Swann, Test Coordinator and Chair of Special Programs at Leesville, said in an interview via email, “I think the PSAT can be useful to students who are preparing for the SAT [because] the PSAT gives a good indication of how a student will perform on the SAT.” The format of the PSAT and SAT have nearly the same format–aside from a different scoring scale–; therefore a student who scores well on the PSAT while likely do well on the SAT as well.
Not only does the PSAT help predict future SAT scores, it can also help students learn what to study. Eric Greene, Dean of Students, said, “The good thing about taking the PSAT is that it helps you understand what you do well in and what you need to work on to prepare for the SAT, so it’s a win-win.”
The PSAT also introduces students to the typical format of standardized tests. “Research shows is that one thing that can improve your score is just being comfortable when taking the test. So, [the PSAT] is a great way to take a real test in a non-stressful environment because it doesn’t really count,” said Greene.
There are many other benefits to taking the PSAT besides practicing for the real deal. Through the PSAT, students can also qualify to receive merit scholarships.
Whether students are registering for the PSAT in order to be considered for such scholarships or just to practice, registering for the PSAT is simple. Any WCPSS student can take the PSAT for free if they have a weighted GPA of 4.2667 or higher. For those who don’t reach this threshold, the registration fee is $16. Registration is available until September 20, so be sure to register!