PSAT Information

(Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test)

PSAT - Grade 11 (and some 10th) - The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) in the United States. Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT each year. [1] In 2013, 1.59 million high school sophomores and 1.55 million high school juniors took the PSAT. [2] Younger students are also eligible to take the test. The scores from the PSAT/NMSQT are used to determine eligibility and qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The PSAT is given each October. Each year, Juniors are provided the opportunity to take the PSAT in order to help them prepare for their college entrance exams. The PSAT/NMSQT is a practice test for the SAT Reasoning Test, as well as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship (see below). The results of the PSAT give the student information about his/her testing skills in the areas of Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing in two forms: 1) by percentile comparison to other juniors who took the PSAT, and 2) by providing approximate SAT test scores.

Sophomores who wish to take the PSAT for a practice exam may do so, but must pay the exam fee and notify the Guidance Office of their intent to participate in testing prior to the scheduled testing date. On-line resource:

The National Merit® Scholarship is an annual, academic competition among high school students for recognition and college scholarships. The program is conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. Achieving an exceptional score on the PSAT is the first step in the process to earning a National Merit Scholarship.

CCS 2016 PSAT Test Administration Date:
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 8-11:00 a.m., JH/SH Campus
(Arrival time is by 7:45 a.m. promptly.)

Special Notes

  • The official PSAT/NMSQT Student Guide to schools are a helpful reference tool.
  • The downloadable PSAT/NMSQT Preparation - Student Presentation is now available. Take a look at what's inside the new PSAT/NMSQT student presentation:
    • About the new PSAT/NMSQT
    • Skills tested on the new PSAT/NMSQT
    • Sample new PSAT/NMSQT questions
    • How to prepare for the new PSAT/NMSQT 

PSAT Scores

They will be available online to students beginning in early January, traditionally. To access these scores you must create a College Board account. The College Board website contains a lot of helpful college planning information, as well as testing information for the SAT, AP tests, PSAT, and CLEP tests, so please familiarize yourself with it.

Use this link to create your account: The College Board

Understanding Your PSAT Score Report

So you have your PSAT score report, but you’re not sure what all of the different numbers and colors mean; don’t worry, because we’re here to help. Below, you will find answers to common questions about the PSAT score report.

For this post, we’re going to use the sample PSAT score report provided by the College Board. Please contact us if you have any questions about your own PSAT score report.

Why there are three scores on the top of the score report and what do they mean? On the top of your score report, you will see three distinct scores: the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score, the Math Score, and the Total Score.

Read the entire post here.

Download the post as a PDF here.