Why the PSAT / PreACT Shouldn’t be Overlooked

Even if you’re not thinking too seriously about college during your junior year of high school, it’s definitely starting to be on your mind. However, that doesn’t mean you should be overlooking the PSAT or the PreACT. Here’s why you should be taking either one or both:

You Could Qualify for Scholarships

Did you know that taking your PSAT in your Junior year can qualify you for a scholarship? It’s actually specifically designed for scholarships! You can become eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Your scores are sent to the organization in charge of the PSAT. Your results may earn you scholarships for your college career if you score high enough. About 2,500 finalists are granted $2,500 scholarships each year.

Make sure you take the PSAT in Junior year! That is the only year you will qualify for the scholarship. If you do it too late (senior year) or too early (sophomore year), you can’t be entered. You will know if you won the scholarship in your senior year. Be prepared to study ahead of time for the PSAT though if you are aiming for this award!

PSAT and PreACT scores may also be needed for other or local scholarships, so make sure to ask your school for more information.


There’s no better practice than taking close to the real thing when it comes to your SAT or ACTs. You’ll be able to experience the feeling of taking either one while seeing just how well you’d do without studying, practice, or prior experience.

This practice will also help show you your weakest areas and what you should spend the next year on. If you’re not sure which test you’re going to take during your senior year, it may be in your favor to take both pre exams to get an idea of the two.

Takes the Stress Off

If you head into the SAT or ACT without any prior experience, it could be a bit more stressful for you. If you take the PSAT or PreACT, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you head into the official, serious thing. It’s an invaluable experience that you shouldn’t pass up.

Pacing is something that gets students when they take the official test, especially if they didn’t practice or study. You’ll be able to see exactly how much time you have for each section in a real session, rather than just timing yourself. If you’re slow on a particular subject, this practice time will give you the chance to speed up your responses and work.

Taking these practice exams can also tell you which you do better on, the SAT or ACT, letting you prepare for your strengths.

Taking the PSAT or PreACT gives you invaluable experience when it comes to your college entrance exams. Not only is it irreplaceable practice, but you could qualify for scholarships! Together with taking the stress off and giving you the experience, this is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up on. Ask your guidance counselor or English teacher about when your school or another local district will host either exam.

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