PSAT: Is It Worth It?


Albany Muria

It is never too early to prepare for a test that will determine your future!

Albany Muria, Editor

When it comes to standardized testing, the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) is often avoided because it is thought of as disadvantageous. What most do not know is the fact that the PSAT can provide students with plenty of benefits, including qualification for a National Merit Scholarship (NMS) and solid preparation for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).

In the long run, taking the PSAT and performing well will help you financially.  Two years in advance, National Merit Scholarship winners are chosen based individuals’ PSAT scores. As a result, it is extremely important to try your best, especially if you want to obtain money for college. A student can receive up to $2,500 in scholarship money from The College Board, depending on the type of scholarship earned.

Some students, however, think that the PSAT serves no purpose. When thinking about it holistically, achieving a 21o is a goal many do not think they can reach, making the NMS almost unattainable for most. Also, since most high school students end up taking the SAT during their senior year, many do not see the necessity of preparing two or three years in advance.

“Even though I think the PSAT is completely worth it, at the same time, it makes me wonder if it is worth preparing for a test that is 3 years away this early,” freshman Scarlett Rivas said.

The PSAT provides an opportunity for individuals to familiarize themselves with SAT content, which helps just like knowing the format of a test before taking it. This not only reduces students’ anxieties when taking the real SAT – it also allows them to take the test with more confidence. It is never too early to start preparing for the SAT. Research by the College Board shows that students in U.S. schools who take the PSAT/NMSQT as sophomores score 189 points higher than those who do not.

“What’s nice about the PSAT is that it gives students an idea of what the SAT feels like. It is also no easier than the SAT – just shorter. It serves as a good indicator of how the students would perform in comparison to their peers. Another nice thing about the test is that you get your answer sheets back, so you can see your strengths and weaknesses. I would highly encourage everyone to take it, just because it is a way of measuring where you are at a certain point in the test-taking career,” English teacher and SAT tutor Dr. Payne said.

If given the chance, every freshman and sophomore should take the PSAT. It is never too early to start preparing for the SAT, as it will probably determine your possibilities and financial aid opportunities for college. Get ready for this year’s PSAT on Oct. 15, and be prepared to do your best!

PSAT Infographic