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The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a test that allows students to practice for the SAT I.  This test measures skills in the following areas: reading, writing and language, and math.  It also gives students the opportunity to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs for junior students. 



Reasons to take the PSAT/NMSQT:

  • Learn what your strengths and weaknesses are for skills necessary for college study—you can then focus your preparation
  • Compare your score with those of others applying to college
  • Enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarship competition (11th grade testers, only)
  • Practice for the SAT I test--familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions you'll see
  • Receive information from colleges when you take advantage of the Student Search Service


We recommend that you take the PSAT/NMSQT as a sophomore (at the earliest) or as a junior.  If you take it as a sophomore, don't be discouraged if your scores are lower than you had expected.  Remember--this is a junior level test. 


Students will need to register to take the PSAT at Southwest.  PSAT Registration typically happens at Southwest during the school day in late September.  The PSAT test date is typically in late October.


The PSAT and SAT have recently undergone some changes. For more information about the current PSAT and the pre-2015 SAT, see the College Board's website.