Juniors are required to sit for the PSAT, and only a junior can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. However, your freshman or sophomore student is strongly encouraged to take the test. Taking the test during the freshman or sophomore years will not count against the student, rather, it will give your student practice and information regarding strengths, weakness and areas where improvement is needed. The PSAT offers exposure to the SAT test format and content. The PSAT is only given once a year in October.


The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It’s a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT®. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools.

The PSAT/NMSQT measures:

  • Critical reading skills
  • Math problem-solving skills
  • Writing skills

My College QuickStart is an online college and career planning kit available free of charge to all students who take the PSAT/NMSQT. It is personalized based on your test performance and is a valuable part of your PSAT/NMSQT experience. You will need a College Board website account and the access code printed on your PSAT/NMSQT paper score report.