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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. 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 as you prepare for the SAT
  • Compare your score with those of others applying to colleges
  • Enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarship competition (11th grade testers, only)
  • Practice for the SAT test to 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. Taking it as a sophomore will best prepare you to take in junior year, the year that PSAT takers can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation competition.


Students must register to take the PSAT at Southwest. Stay tuned to weekly emails from Southwest for information about how to register for the PSAT. PSAT registration typically happens in Sept/Oct. This year the PSAT will take place during the school day on Wednesday, October 30, 2019.