Things to Keep in Mind for Selecting PSAT Date
An important part of taking a competitive exam is to select an appropriate date for the exam. If it’s a set date then obviously the applicant is left with no choice but to take it on the scheduled date. But, if it’s an option open to the applicant, then there are a couple of things he/she needs to keep in mind while selecting the exam date. When it comes to the PSAT, it is common knowledge that the PSAT is held twice a year, in the month of October only and applicants have the entire year to decide and plan which PSAT date they want to take the exam on.
The third Saturday of October and the preceding Wednesday are the dates on which the PSAT exam is held every year. Applicants have the open choice of picking one PSAT date and so do high-schools which conduct the exam. Registrations are not done online; instead, participating high-schools conduct the entire process of registrations, hold the exams and also disburse the results. For applicants who are considering taking the PSAT, read on to know how to pick a PSAT date and the things one should keep in mind while doing so.
Which PSAT Date Is Best for Me?
If an applicant is choosing to take the PSAT/NMSQT for securing a scholarship, then he/she must know that the entire process of taking the exam and the steps that lead to the selection of the final winners of the scholarship take about 1.5 years. For example if an applicant takes the PSAT in October 2011, the results for the final winner would only be out by March 2013 and after this the winners would be able to receive the benefits of the cash rewards won. Therefore it is crucial for an 11th grader to realise the importance of choosing a PSAT date in order to win a scholarship, in time for his college admissions. The 11th grade is the only eligible grade to apply for the NMSC programs and either of the October PSAT date should be good for an applicant.
The reason why there are two dates for the PSAT exam is very simple. In some cases, Saturday is not a favourable day for taking a test, probably for religious reasons or simply because it is the weekend. Therefore, the preceding Wednesday too has been set as PSAT date. Applicants can exercise free will and pick any one PSAT date of the two available. Dates for registration often close a month in advance so applicants should be alert about this.
Things to Remember
Many a times, students in the 9th and 10th grade also take the PSAT, but usually for the purpose of practice, as they are not eligible to win the NMSC scholarships yet. They get an entire year to decide when to take the exam, but it is important to register well in time. Usually by mid-April the registration is thrown open and the applicants need to contact their high-school for it. Online registration is not done for the PSAT, so, applicants should know this well in advance.
The registration fee for the PSAT is $14 and fee waivers are available for 11th grade students who fit the eligibility criteria under the USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines. To know more on the PSAT date, applicants can log onto the official website of the College Board.
Will the Date Affect My Results?
As mentioned earlier, for the NMSC scholarships, the process of selection is long one and if applicants want the scholarship to be effective immediately at the beginning of their first year at college, then they surely need to pick a PSAT date in their 11th grade. In case they are unable to do so and have to take it the next year, then automatically their results (if they are contended to be winners) will be effective much later. Therefore, it is crucial that an applicant carefully plans his PSAT date and prepares well so as to score well at the test.
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