Taking the PSAT

Steps Involved in Taking the PSAT


The PSAT or the Preliminary SAT is a standardized and a preparatory test to train the test-takers to take SAT. It is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) as it is an exclusive exam for the eleventh graders to compete for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) programs. Taking the PSAT is an important step before you move on to take the SAT. The PSAT measures your ability in the Critical Reading, Math and Writing Skills. It tests your knowledge in these three sections and shows how you well you can apply it in practical tests. For taking the PSAT you may need several prep courses or prep books for covering the syllabus prescribed in the three sections of the PSAT. You should also know about the method of registration, testing dates and the testing locations before you set forth for taking the PSAT. The following article discusses exactly such details of the PSAT.

What Are the Testing Dates and Locations for PSAT?

The PSAT has two testing dates in a year. The third Saturday of the month of October of each year, and its preceding Wednesday are the two PSAT testing dates. The upcoming PSAT testing dates are October 20th and October 17th, 2012. The PSAT is administered only in high schools, instead of in the traditional test centers. The high schools choose any of the two PSAT testing dates. For taking the PSAT, you should choose a high school which administers the PSAT on the date matching your desired testing date.

How Would You Register for PSAT and the Steps Followed to Take PSAT:

The process of registering for PSAT differs among the colleges. While the normal administration fee for PSAT is $14, most of the high schools include an additional fee to cover up their administration cost. You can fill up the paper PSAT registration form of your selected high school and enroll for taking the PSAT. Check a specimen copy of the registration form for PSAT, administered in the West Essex High School. You should fill up the required fields and make your payment mostly through checks. Following points are some of the steps which you should follow before taking the PSAT:

  • Complete the paper registration form for PSAT of the high school which you selected for taking the test. Make your payments through checks and register your name.

  • Start preparing for taking the PSAT by using guide books like the Barron’s PSAT 2011 edition, the Kaplan PSAT 2012 or the Official Student Guide to the PSAT. You can take prep courses offered by Barons, Kaplan, etc. Practice ample sample papers and test questions which you will find in the guide books or the prep courses.

  • You should lay extra stress on your vocabulary skills to score high in PSAT. You should know that two-third of PSAT deals with vocabulary. Hence, with a strong vocabulary, you will score high and be placed at a superior position or have a higher percentile ranking.

  • You should receive the test materials for PSAT, from the high school you have chosen for taking the PSAT.Moreover, within mid-June, you should submit all the fee-waiving requests or the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) confirmation forms. Within August, you should submit all the SSD accommodation requests to the high school you have chosen.

  • Finally, when the official work is over, you should wait till the day of PSAT administration arrives. Before the test, you must mark down the route you will follow to the testing center, which should take you to the testing center without any hindrance. On the test day, carry the required articles to the testing center like your ID proof, your admission ticket, an acceptable calculator, watch, extra batteries, backpack, light snack ,etc. You should avoid carrying scratch papers, notebooks, geometric instruments, camera, iPods, etc.

Hence, the above mentioned steps guide you through the process of taking the PSAT. You should follow them thoroughly to avoid any errors during registering for PSAT. Moreover, these steps also tell you the things you should and should not carry to the test center on the testing date. On a whole, just keep these steps in mind to make your PSAT registration process completely flawless.

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