Does the PSAT Matter? Should You Put Effort Into PSAT Preparation?

Students Taking Exam


Early in junior year (sophomore year for some students), the PSAT provides high school students a taste of standardized screening for college admissions. What is the relationship in between the PSAT and your college goals?

Key Takeaways: Does the PSAT Matter?
Colleges do not use PSAT scores when making admissions choices.
PSAT ratings are used for granting National Merit Scholarships and some private scholarships.
Your efficiency on the PSAT helps focus your study plan for the SAT.
Colleges utilize PSAT scores as part of their recruitment efforts.
Do Colleges Care About the PSAT?
The PSAT is not part of the computation that colleges use when they make their college admissions choices, and your PSAT score will not affect your admission chances one method or another. An abysmal rating on the PSAT will not have any direct impact on your chances of getting into a college.

That stated, the PSAT does have many indirect relationships with the college admissions process, so it is, in truth, an examination you should take at least somewhat seriously.

Why the PSAT Does Matter
You definitely wish to keep PSAT ratings in point of view. A low score will not be seen by colleges, so even if you don’t perform well, you haven’t hurt your chances of getting into a top college or university. That said, a strong rating on the PSAT can have substantial benefits.

The PSAT and Scholarships
Remember that the complete name of the PSAT: it is both the Practice SAT (PSAT) and the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Your ratings on the PSAT are utilized for granting many scholarships including about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships.
If you are a National Merit finalist (or sometimes even a semi-finalist or commended trainee), many corporations utilize this honor to award their own personal scholarships.
Numerous colleges guarantee extra merit scholarships to National Merit finalists.
Lots of colleges, in an effort to attract the best trainees and enhance their credibilities, provide considerable institutional grants (often even complimentary tuition) to National Merit finalists. National Merit finalists are strongly recruited by colleges.
To repeat the monetary image– the mix of a National Merit Scholarship, corporate scholarships, college scholarships, and college grants can add up to tens of thousands of dollars for strong students.
Preparation for the SAT
The material of the PSAT is quite comparable to the SAT, so the test will offer you a great indicator of your level of readiness for the SAT. If you do inadequately on the PSAT, this is an indication that you need to do some significant preparation prior to taking the SAT. Whether you take an SAT prep course or self-study, enhancing your SAT rating is a sure way to strengthen your college application.
The College Board, the business that produces the PSAT and SAT, has actually coordinated with Khan Academy to offer students with totally free, focused preparation for the SAT. Your performance on various kinds of PSAT concerns enables the College Board and Khan Academy to structure a research study strategy focused on your particular strengths and weak points.
College Recruitment
In the winter season after you take the PSAT, colleges will probably begin sending out unsolicited mail to you. While much of this mail might end up in the recycling bin, it’s useful for seeing how different colleges attempt to distinguish themselves. The college sales brochures also offer you useful information for finding out which types of schools are of the majority of interest to you, and which schools are most interested in you.
Along the very same lines, when you take the PSAT, you will produce an account with the College Board. The details in that account– including your scholastic interests, after-school activities, and, obviously, test scores– permits the College Board to provide your information to colleges who believe you would be a good match for their scholastic programs and school community.
A Final Word About the PSAT
In basic, if you’re a strong trainee, you ought to certainly take the PSAT seriously so that you are a contender for awards including National Merit Scholarships. Even if you aren’t an extraordinary trainee, the PSAT has worth as both a practice test for the SAT, and as a tool for focusing your research study for the SAT. There’s no need to stress over the PSAT– it won’t straight affect college admissions choices– however it is worth taking the test seriously.


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