Many students think of the PSAT as a practice test for the SAT, and while they may be right, the PSAT is also much more than that. There are several other benefits that students get by scoring well on this test.
What Is The PSAT?
PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test or Preliminary SAT.
The SAT is a challenging test whose scores colleges will take into consideration when assessing your college application. A poor score means you could jeopardize your application even if you excel in all other areas.
Taking the PSAT test seriously and spending time studying and preparing for it is, in fact, a great way to practice for the SAT. The structure of the PSAT is similar to that of the SAT. The way the test is scored is also similar. Answering the test gives you valuable insight into whether or not your preparation was enough. It also shows where you need to put in extra effort to perform better.
It Paves The Way For Scholarship Opportunities
Taking the PSAT is the only way you can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. If you study hard and score higher than the other students in your state, you can qualify for some really great scholarships.
The highest scorer of the PSAT in any state qualifies as a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program, which offers three types of scholarships awarded to finalists.
Some schools also set aside funds to award to National Merit Scholarship finalists. These reserved funds can be considerable, in some cases covering the entire cost of tuition and sometimes even living expenses.
With so much money on the table, it is certainly worth studying hard for the PSAT and thinking of it as more than just a practice test.
It Puts You On The Radar Of Colleges & Scholarship Boards
The PSAT and the SAT are administered by the College Board. This educational organization also offers a program called the Student Search Service or SSS. Through this program, all students who take the PSAT can share relevant information with more than 1,000 colleges and scholarship boards. These colleges and scholarship boards will track your progress and will send you an invitation to apply if you score highly in the test. This is a great way for you to hear about colleges and scholarships that you may not have considered before.
You Can Use “My College Quickstart” To Review Your Performances
All students who take the PSAT get access to My College Quickstart. This is a free resource that allows students to predict their future SAT scores using their PSAT scores. If you register for the PSAT, you can use this resource to assess your weak areas so you know where you need to focus more on the SAT. It also offers you a list of suggested majors and career choices that may be a good fit for you as well as recommended colleges based on the major you are interested in.
Of course, you can also see how your SAT scores affect your acceptance odds to every college in the country right here on College Raptor, also for free!