The Preliminary SAT, also known as the PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), is a preparatory version of the SAT exam. Not used to determine college admissions; intended to help students prepare for the SAT. Same format as the SAT, but shorter – a test of verbal and mathematical reasoning.
- Students can only take the PSAT once per year, and most students take the test in both 10th and 11th grade.
- If a student earns a high score on the PSAT his/her junior year, he/she could qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship.
- Testing skills in reading, writing, and math, the PSAT is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. Unlike the SAT, the highest score possible on the PSAT is 1520.
- (CounselorTalk 12/09/22): Score Report Demo and PSAT Score Report Lesson Plan
PSAT/NMSQT Upcoming Deadlines provided by IDOE on 8/19/22: Schools should monitor upcoming deadlines using the milestones for the fall PSAT/NMSQT paper-and-pencil administration in October.
- Schools must designate a Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Coordinator to request accommodations in SSD Online by Wednesday, August 24.
- The first deadline for bulk registration for schools registered for the PSAT/NMSQT is Thursday, August 25. Labels will arrive in the second week of September.
- Material orders for school-level paper test materials via College Board’s Test Ordering System (TOS) will close on Wednesday, September 14.
- Contact College Board or IDOE’s Office of Student Assessment with any questions.
- Q: What are benchmark scores for PSAT?
- A: [College Board] Page 2 has what they consider college readiness benchmarks https://
- A: The IDOE guidance on SAT is here https://www.doe.in.gov/
- A: [College Board] Page 2 has what they consider college readiness benchmarks https://
- Q: Does anyone know if it is still allowed to administer the PSAT with a flexible start time due to school delays, etc.?
- Q: My principal has asked me to reach out to other schools in regards to what your non-PSAT testers are doing on test day. We are testing all 10th and 11th graders. What creative ideas are you utilizing for your non-testers on PSAT day?
- A: Our Seniors will be released. They can do a virtual or in person college visit which they will turn in the paperwork for, or they can just be virtual that day and complete their classwork for their attendance. Our freshman will operate their regular schedule. We have just divided our staff into “teachers” and “proctors” for the day.
- A: I can’t really help with 9th graders because we test ours. But, for seniors, we sent out a permission slip letting them choose from taking a college visit day, participating in a job shadow, participating in a community service activity, or spending the day working on the Common App and filling out scholarships. Then, if students need service-based or work-based learning for grad pathways, we send them with forms to complete that component on that day.
- A: We are having our 9th and 12th grade students do e-learning and not come in the building at all. That way, we have more teachers to proctor the PSAT and more rooms to be able to social distance.
- A: We’re currently using a hybrid schedule, so our students are used to working from home which makes our PSAT day plan doable. We’re testing all sophomores, juniors, and some selected freshmen so only those groups will be in the building. Our seniors have the option of doing college visits (on campus or virtually), job shadowing, or working at their job if they have one. The remaining freshmen will be doing a NearPod lesson involving college and career exploration and accessing our Naviance program that our office is creating for them. We, too, would normally have a career exploration field trip planned for our freshmen, but that’s a no-go for us, too.
- A: Virtual day for 9 and 12
- A: We test our freshmen. Our sister school does the PSAT 9 and we do the PreACT 8/9. Fees are part of book rental. Seniors have several options. In the past they used the day for college visits/ shadowing which won’t work this year. This year seniors can do ASVAB, SAT during the school day or virtual learning (with assignments/ articles but no zooming with teachers as teachers will be testing).
- A: Last year we allowed our seniors a bonus college visit/job shadowing day.
- Q: For those who are all virtual, part virtual, or do not have all your kids physically at school on this year’s PSAT days, how are you administering the PSAT and to which students?
- A: We have 830 students and 110 of them are virtual. We will invite the virtual students to come to school on PSAT day if they would like to, but we are not requiring it. We are spacing them out 3 feet apart at rectangular tables in our cafeteria and gym.
- A: We are a hybrid school so half our students do not attend each day. Our plan is for all testers to attend physically that day and assign them testing rooms based on their assigned day to try to keep contacts consistent with their day.
- A: We are still giving it to all 10s and 11s. I don’t know if we’ve said remote learners (those that opted in to remote learning) can or can’t come, but I assume we’ll have a spot for them if they come and if they don’t then they won’t take it. I think that’s the only wrinkle we need to figure out, but otherwise it’s a somewhat normal PSAT testing day. We are talking about our 9s and 12s having a remote learning day for both grades to free up staff to test so we can have smaller rooms.
- A: We are in person, so I don’t know that this will be a help to you. At this time, we have no plans to administer the test virtually. If our “choice” virtual students would like to take the test, they will be given the option to come to the school that day during testing time. Otherwise, they will miss it.
- A: It’s my understanding we can test on different dates (I need to dig into how that works), but we are hoping to test half on Wed 10/14 and the other half on Thurs 10/29
Our district is in school with 20% of our students working virtually. We will be administering the PSAT to all in-school 10th grade students, and have given the option to the 10th graders working from home. They can elect to come in to take the PSAT but do not have to. The same is true for all juniors, we have given them the option to choose.
- A: I am awaiting a reply from my admin. I had the same question when PSAT ordering. I assume, since we have the option for students to return at the 9 weeks, that I will order tests for everyone. Maybe I will contact those e-learners and ask if they plan to return to in-person.
- A: We’re offering it to all sophomores, juniors, and selected freshmen with the understanding that they have to be in the building that day even if they are a “virtual” student. Right now, we’re on a hybrid schedule so we can have students in the building. Hope this helps!
- We are totally virtual right now, and I don’t think we will go back to brick and mortar until next year. The plan is to go back in October, but it’s uncertain.
- For school year 2020-2021, Indiana will continue to fund PSAT for grades 10 and 11 student in public or accredited nonpublic schools. (See hyperlink for official confirmation that you can use as documentation.) For school year 2021-2022, it’s likely that Indiana will continue to fund PSAT for grades 10 and 11 in the Fall as we have in the past, but that must be confirmed by legislators in the upcoming legislative session before we can count on those funds. From Mary Williams, IDOE (June 2020)
- UPDATE: The exact test window for grade 11 SAT participation for Spring 2022 is not yet determined. Accountability test windows are set by the Indiana State Board of Education each year, and we anticipate that test windows for school year 2021-2022 will likely become available around January 2021. Funds for PSAT/NMSQT testing are set aside by the Indiana state budget bill every two years. This budget bill is under review during the Spring 2021 Legislative Session, and so changes could potentially be made to those funds during that time. That being said, I have not heard of any legislature wanting to make changes to the PSAT/NMSQT program; however, we will need to wait until April 2021 (the end of the legislative session) prior to confirming that funds have been set aside for this purpose again. (Mary Williams, IDOE, August 2020)
- Funding for Fall 2020 PSAT Administration – IDOE Memo (April 10, 2020)
- Testing logistics for PSAT – from Counselor Talk subscribers (October 2019)
- June 2019 PSAT Memo from IDOE-Funding
- Accommodations for PSAT/SAT
- Question: Any high school counselors know who is responsible for making sure an IEP student receives their accommodations on the SAT and/or ACT? (Counselor Talk, January 2019)
- Because our school is small, the counselors apply for the accommodations through SAT/ACT. The special ed dept works with us to tell us which students plan to take the tests.
- I am a small school and do apply for accommodations.
- I am at a huge school (Carmel High School) and we are responsible for submitting all the accommodations requests. We have really tried to streamline it by having the paperwork signed during the freshman case conferences so that the students will be approved for accommodations when they take the PSAT sophomore year. I’m attaching the packet that parents have to fill out to request accommodations. This has really helped us in this process.
- At the high school level the special education department should be responsible for this. In my opinion school counselors shouldn’t be responsible for requesting accommodations and proctoring these exams.
- Which students do you test (Counselor Talk, September 2018) Responses
- PSAT Update 8-13-18
- State Board of Education Policy Guidance regarding the PSAT replacing the Accuplacer requirement, July 11, 2018
- PSAT Day Schedule Information and Additional Responses (responses from Counselor Talk, August & November 2017)
- If you’re running the PSAT, I’ve found it easier to unwrap the answer sheets and separate those two things out…if you just give rooms a wrapped pack of answer sheets, a lot of them will not see those and text you frantically asking where they are. They’re easily unnoticed.
- PSAT Testers from online schools (from Christina Riley, the College & Career Counselor at Connections Academy, Counselor Talk, Sept. 2017):
We do not send out letters to students telling them to [contact local schools to take the PSAT]. I just simply sent an email to students letting them know that we cannot offer the PSAT (per College Board) and if they want to take the exam, they will need to contact a local high school. Yes, the state will pay for our students if they take it at [a local public] school. We are an accredited, public school… It is up to your district if you want to allow INCA students to take the PSAT/AP with you…
- PSAT/NMSQT Fall 2022 Administration Funding
- PSAT Creating an Account Presentation: Linking Khan Academy and College Board Student Accounts (PowerPoint)
- College Board: Learn About the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10
- College Board PSAT Information for K-12 Educators
- Understanding 2017 PSAT Results
- Know Your Tests: College Entrance Exams
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