- What is the PSAT?
- Benefits of Taking the PSAT
- Preparing for the PSAT
- PSAT Registration and Payment
- How to Get Your PSAT and SAT Scores
The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) is written and scored by College Board, the same company that writes and scores the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The PSAT provides sophomores and juniors with the opportunity to prepare for the official SAT in a very similar testing environment. This is a low-stakes testing opportunity. PSAT scores are not sent to colleges and are not a part of the college application process for any student.
For sophomores, the scores are for their own self-knowledge and preparation.
For juniors, the PSAT scores are for that same purpose, as well as qualifying them for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
In addition to the physical experience of taking the standardized test, each student receives personalized feedback on each section of the test and can log into a personalized planning guide based on their test results at www.collegeboard.org.
The data received also provides our teachers with detailed feedback on all students’ skills that help our faculty improve student performance and provide opportunities for all students to be successful.
Because a college entrance test (SAT and/or ACT) is a requisite of nearly every 4-year college, any student who is contemplating college would benefit from participating in the PSAT. Taking the PSAT familiarizes students with the kind of questions, the style of directions, and the physical environment of the SAT exam. It also provides students with a projected SAT score range, excellent personalized feedback, and a study plan. This is an incredibly affordable way to prepare for a college entrance exam.
For our highest performing students, the PSAT is also the way they can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition. For your tenth grader, this test provides a completely no-stakes opportunity to get acquainted with the standardized testing environment and format. It’s also a great opportunity for students who have difficulties with test-taking situations to prepare, get practice and receive personalized feedback in a safe environment, before taking the real SAT or ACT at the end of their junior year.
Each student should read their Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT booklet they will receive from our counselors in September to learn more about the exam and testing day. This guide provides useful tips, test-taking strategies, practice questions, a full PSAT practice test, etc. The test will begin at 7:45 a.m. sharp and the testing window runs 3.5 hours.
Students can also access Khan Academy for free, personalized, online SAT practice. It can be used to practice for the PSAT/NMSQT because of the close alignment of the tests.
A multi-hour test can be exhausting, so the night before the exam, please encourage your student to eat a healthy dinner and get a good night’s sleep. We encourage students to eat breakfast at home in the morning. They should come dressed in layers and comfortable, non-binding clothing.
They will also want to come for the test with their:
- school or government ID card (and must know their home address)
- several #2 pencils
- an eraser
- an approved calculator
- a bottle of water and a snack
Students will check for their room assignment by their legal last name. Phones, electronic devices (other than approved calculators), and/or earbuds/headphones must be turned off and/or stored as instructed by the exam proctor during the test.
Pending health and safety conditions, The Northshore School District is considering offering the PSAT/NMSQT exam on Tuesday January 26, 2021 during the school day. This will be an on-campus, in person, live test. This exam is optional. Current Juniors will be given priority and we will be limited to 500 exams per high school. The PSAT/NMSQT is the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. All 11th grade students who take the PSAT/NMSQT are also automatically screened for the National Merit Scholarship program. Our plan includes to offer the exam at Bothell, Inglemoor, North Creek, and Woodinville High School. Details are listed below:
- Registration for the PSAT can be done online here: www.TotalRegistration.net/PSAT/480013
- Registration window is from December 7-December 18
- NO LATE REGISTRATIONS ACCEPTED
- Cost for the exam is $17.00
- Full refunds will be given in the event we do not host the exam
- Participation is voluntary and is limited to 11th grade students in the Northshore School District. Current 10th graders will be on a lottery system if there are exam seats available.
- The test will be given Tuesday, January 26, 2021 during school hours.
- Free practice assistance available through KHAN Academy
Students access PSAT & SAT scores by signing in to their College Board account.
If a student does not yet have a College Board account, they should visit the College Board site and create their student account.
Please note parents must not create their own account for their student. If there are two accounts for the same student’s name and birthdate, neither will have access. If multiple accounts have been created for the same student with different email addresses, the College Board must be contacted to merge them.
Students who included an email address on their answer sheet will be emailed their access code from the College Board. Students who do not receive an emailed access code can still go to their College Board account, click to get their scores, and provide information to find their scores.
If students are having difficulties accessing their scores, College Board customer support can be contacted at 866-433-7728, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. – 4 p.m. PST.