PSAT Test Dates

When Should You Take the PSAT?

What Are the PSAT Test Dates?

The PSAT or the Preliminary SAT is a significant and primary exam before you take SAT and step into college. Partially sponsored by the College Board this exam is mainly conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). This exam is your first step towards the road to college courses. In every year, the PSAT test dates are kept on the third Saturday of October and the preceding Wednesday. Therefore, the PSAT test dates for the next year are October 17 and October 20, 2012. October 20 is a Saturday while October 17 is a Wednesday.

Exceptions for PSAT Test Dates:

There are many circumstances, which may disrupt the administration of the PSAT.

  • In such cases of test-day closures due to reasons like unpredictable mishaps, weather disturbances or building malfunctioning, an epidemic illness, test center authorities may stop the administration of PSAT and make suitable PSAT test dates arrangements for a later period.

  • All endeavors are made by the College Board to avoid testing on dates, having religious ceremonies. However, in case the PSAT test dates overlaps with any religious or other ceremonies, the high schools allocate different PSAT test dates for administering PSAT.

What Is the Perfect Time to Take the PSAT?

The test takers take the PSAT mostly in the fall of their junior year, i.e. in October. The PSAT makes the eleventh grade students eligible for various scholarship and financial aid programs. Not all test-takers are eligible for NMSC programs. Only those test takers from the eleventh grade can compete for the national merit scholarships. Such scholarship programs includes the:

  • National Merit Scholarship Programs
  • National Achievement Scholarship Programs
  • The National Hispanic Recognition Program

You can only take PSAT in October of each year. You can take the PSAT in the fall of your sophomore year too, i.e., in the second year of your undergraduate course. Each year 2500 students in the US gets a chance to win these scholarship programs. Therefore, taking the PSAT twice before you choose to take the SAT can be an advantageous tool.

How Would You Select Your PSAT Test Dates?

Only high schools conduct the PSAT. There are no test centers for the PSAT. Your high school should be conducting the PSAT in October, on any one of the regular PSAT test dates. You have to talk with your or other high school administrators for details about the PSAT. As there are only two test dates for each year, you can select the date, which your high school chooses. If you are barred from testing on Saturday, for religious reasons, then you can select a high school, which is conducting the PSAT on the preceding Wednesday. You can arrange a guidance counselor who will assist in your selection of PSAT test date. There is a massive list of important dates, which you must check, after selecting your test date. The list contains important registration dates and deadlines which are significant for registering for the PSAT test dates.

There are two PSAT test dates in a year and a test taker must choose the one, which is favorable. Instead of test centers, the test taker gets to choose among various high schools to take PSAT. The high schools receive the Summary of Answers and Skills (SOAS) reports and the Advanced Placement (AP) potential Access, irrespective of the PSAT test dates. There are specific articles a student can bring on the test dates and articles, which the student can avoid bringing to the test center. For detailed information click at what students should bring on the test date.

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