Taking the PSAT in high school is a great way to enhance your college application, get ready for the SAT, and possibly get a scholarship. Here are the top 4 reasons the PSAT is more useful and important than you think.
1. PSAT = NMSQT
NMSQT = National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test = the potential for a serious college scholarship. The National Merit Scholarship Awards range from $500 to $5,000 a year and Special Scholarships affiliated with the National Merit Scholars program can range from a small one-time award to a full-ride for all four years depending on the scholarship. Check out the student guide here for a list of all the different corporations and organizations that offer special scholarships you may be elegible for.
2. Timing is important.
In order to qualify for National Merit Scholarships you must take the PSAT before the end of your third year in high school.
3. Putting in the time/money for PSAT prep will never be a waste.
Even if you don't qualify for a scholarship or don't do as well as you'd hoped on the PSAT, you're still prepping for the SAT that you'll have to take anyway so your investment is never wasted. The longer you spend studying for the SAT in the form of the PSAT the better you're likely to do on both tests and the better you'll look to admissions and merit based financial awards committees.
4. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you'll still learn something.
The scores you acheive on the PSAT will give you an early idea of what areas of the SAT will be the most challenging for you, allowing you to prepare more effectively.
Get all the information you could possibly need about the PSAT, National Merit Scholarships, and practice tests at the National Merit Scholarship Corporations Student Guide here.