Myth: The PSAT Is Just A “Practice” SAT

Is the PSAT just a practice test for the SAT?

Flickr user Kennedy Library

Many automatically presume that the ‘P’ in PSAT stands for ‘Practice’. Unfortunately, this misconception about the PSAT being a practice test can prevent you from qualifying for a few valuable benefits.

Take a look at what exactly the PSAT is and why you should take it more seriously than you would a practice test.

Facts About The PSAT

  • The purpose of the PSAT is not just to give students a mandatory practice test so they have a better idea of how prepared they are for the actual SAT.
  • However, the PSAT can serve as a great look into what the SAT will be like, and give students valuable experience
  • The PSAT is a test that is used to qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship.
  • Taking the PSAT is the only way students can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.
  • Students take the PSAT during their junior year and the scores on the test are used to determine the National Merit Semifinalists.
  • The highest PSAT scorer in each state qualifies as a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
  • Many colleges reserve substantial funds specifically to be awarded to National Merit Scholarship finalists. In some cases, these funds cover the full tuition.
  • An outstanding score on the PSAT can put you on the radar of several colleges and scholarship boards.

More Than a Practice Test

With so much at stake, it would be a serious mistake to approach the PSAT as just a practice test. Studying hard for this test can, in fact, pave the way for some serious financial rewards.

Check out how your ACT / SAT scores affect your acceptance odds with College Raptor’s free match tool!

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