PSAT stands for Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test, is also known by the name National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. PSAT is usually taken by high school students seeking scholarships for college in their junior year. The scholarship offered in this test is $2,500 from the National Merit Corporations. PSAT is not a criterion to enter into any college/university because for that you need to take the SAT. But PSAT has its own benefits and thus, it is taken by more than 50 thousand students.
The first benefit is that it can get you a good scholarship and a letter of commendation from Nation Merit Scholarship Corporations. It will help you financially to pay tuition fees, hostel fees, or however you want to use it. While the top qualifiers will get direct scholarships from National Merit Scholarship Corporations, the others can get scholarships after submitting their high school records, and letters of recommendation from their teachers.
The second benefit is the similarities between the SAT and PSAT. The SAT and PSAT have a similar syllabus and there is just a marginal difference between the marking scheme. The time given for tests has just a difference of 15 minutes. PSAT gives 15 minutes lesser than SAT.
What does this mean? This means that while preparing for the SAT, you are also preparing for PSAT. And because the PSAT is conducted before the SAT, it can be viewed as a trial test for the SAT. Based upon the scores of PSAT, you can judge yourself and tighten your strength on required subjects. Another difference between PSAT and SAT is the essay writing part. In PSAT, you don’t have to write an essay, the reason you are given 15 minutes lesser.
- The fee for PSAT is paid by the school so you don’t have to worry about that. PSAT is a scholarship exam while the SAT is an entrance exam that can get you admission to the college of your dreams.
- It looks good on your college application form that you have taken PSAT and have gotten a scholarship under that. It will definitely make your chances of getting accepted stronger.
- Your school counselor usually knows when the next PSAT has to be conducted. It is usually conducted in the month of October every year. Contact the school counselor for further details.
- The duration for SAT is 3 hours and PSAT is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Both the exams test the student on critical thinking and writing skills that includes mathematics, logical reasoning, and English.
- The Maximum marks one can score is 1520 and has 2 sections: Math and evidence-based writing.
- Math has further two sections, out of which one allows the use of a calculator. The good thing is you can use a calculator for 45 minutes Math section (the longer one). The other section accounts for 25 minutes only.
- Evidence-based writing is further divided into two parts accounting for 60 and 35 minutes. The evidence-based reading test includes passages from different subjects like literature, history, science, social science, etc. The general English writing test is about general English grammar rules and conventions. And the maximum score you can get is 380 for each section.
The PSAT can be given by students in both 10th and 11th grade. We recommend you to try to give both times. It will at the very least serve as a check for the level you are at. If you have any queries/ questions regarding PSAT or any other test in general, you can always contact Vnaya. We will be more than happy to assist you and further guide you.
At Vnaya, we provide the best online education. If you want to succeed in PSAT, SAT, or ACT, we have courses available that can ready you for the entrance exams and scholarship tests. Because the SAT and PSAT are very similar, you don’t need to enroll separately, a single course can help you succeed. Our experts at Vnaya will not only help you get better scores but will also give you guidance for the future.