How to Select PSAT Dates?
The PSAT may not get applicants into college and not performing well in it, too, will not hurt their chances of getting into their desired university, but it is a valuable tool to help them learn where exactly are the applicants faulting and check those well in time. Also, doing well in the PSAT may be a good incentive to all those candidates hoping to get a scholarship, as the PSAT is also known as NMSQT or the National Scholarship Qualifying Test. This test is sponsored by the College Board and the NMSC (National Merit Scholarship Commission) and is used as a selection tool for students in the 11th grade (only they can apply for the national scholarship program) to see which students qualify for the national scholarships. PSAT dates are only two in a year and this gives ample time for an applicant to register for it well in time.
When is the PSAT Conducted?
The PSAT is administered twice a year. Applicants should know that traditionally, PSAT dates fall on the third Saturday and the preceding Wednesday of the month of October every year. Considering there is a set formula for the PSAT dates, applicants can plan in advance and pick their desired PSAT date. Of the two PSAT dates in a year, applicants can pick only one date to appear for the PSAT.
The PSAT is not conducted in test centers, unlike the SAT. Only high-schools have the permission to conduct the PSAT and even the registration for it is not done online, it is done at the high-school where the applicant is studying (if it is a participating school to conduct the PSAT, else he/she needs to register with a high-school that is a member). Participating schools too, can pick only one out of the two PSAT dates to conduct the PSAT in a year. Dates and deadlines for the PSAT/NMSQT can be seen at the College Board website, which lists out detailed calendar dates which show when the registration dates are thrown open up to when the exam will be conducted.
How to Select PSAT Dates?
Knowing the exact PSAT dates of a year can be beneficial for an applicant if he/she is planning to aim for a scholarship that year. Every state has its own ‘Selection Index’ for eligibility towards the national scholarship programs, and applicants can prepare well in advance to score well above that mark to make them eligible for the scholarships. The registration fee is also not very high ($14) and fee-waivers too are available for students (11th graders only) who are eligible under the USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines.
The idea behind having two PSAT dates is very simple. At times, dues to certain reasons some applicants cannot test on a Saturday, it could be a religious or a personal reason. To accommodate such circumstances, the preceding Wednesday of every October is the second PSAT date. The deadlines for registration often close a month in advance and applicants are advised to pick one of the PSAT dates to take the test.
A Last Word
The College Board website, offers a world of information for the applicants to read, download and to prepare from, for their PSAT; right from what the test is all about, its sections, how to prepare for it, PSAT dates and deadlines, college scholarship aid and a lot more is available at just a click of the mouse. Those applicants who register for the PSAT/NMSQT also become eligible for a host of services online at the website. Student Search Service is one of the many tools which help colleges and universities reach out to future students. Applicants are advised to make use of these services as well as the practice material available to prepare for PSAT and SAT exams.
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