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The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test


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The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a two hour test given on two dates in October of each year. Like the SAT, it tests verbal and math skills. All of the questions on the PSAT are taken from previous SATs.

This test is:

1) A practice test for the SAT;

2) A tool for guidance counselors to help students plan for college; and

3) A qualifying test for the scholarship awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the National Hispanic Scholar Award program.

PSAT:  Provides practice for the SAT test required by a majority of colleges for admission.  The PSAT measures critical reading, verbal reasoning, writing skills and math problem-solving skills.  Eleventh grade scores will be used to compete for National Merit Scholarships.

Who tests:  All 9th, 10th and 11th graders, unless the students registers for opt-out.

Materials:  Students should bring two-#2 pencils, calculator (optional- the math test is designed such that a calculator is not necessary)

Registration:  Back-to-School packets contained a registration for all 9th and 11th grades.  Tenth graders only need to register if they are opting out.  Registrations must be returned by Friday, September 29.  There will be a registration table at the entrance to Guidance at Back-to-School Night, September 28.

Practice materials will be distributed on Monday, October 2, to all 11th grade students during their 7th period class.  All 9th and 10th grade students will receive PSAT reading/writing practice either Thursday, October 12, or Friday, October 13, during their English class.  They will receive PSAT math practice either Monday, October 16, or Tuesday, October 17, during their math class, at the end of which they will be given the practice material to take home.

Cost:  The fee for all 9th and 11th grades is $15; make a check payable to McLean HS-PSAT.  FCPS pays the registration fee for all tenth grade students. 


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