Reasons to Take the PSAT

Reasons to Take the PSAT

By Tasha

It's an age-old question: is there any real reason to take the PSAT?

Hi, My name is Brandy. I think having a college advisor on Sparknotes is a great idea, mainly because it is so tough getting a hold of my guidance counselor. And when i do get a chance to meet with her, she is unable to answer all of my questions, and i have a lot of them. So here it is; Are there any other reasons for taking the PSAT besides National Merit Scholar, and SAT practice? I mean do colleges and scholarships (aside from National Merit Scholar) look at PSAT scores?


I'm a junior and I'm not sure i should sign up for the PSAT, I mean the chances of getting National Merit Scholar are astronomical, and even though i think im smart, i dont think i have a fighting chance. So if you could answer my question either in an e-mail or an article that would be great! Thanks for taking time out of your schedule and for giving us great advice.

Dear Brandy,

Thanks for visiting the site! As you say, the PSAT is used to identify National Merit finalists and semi-finalists, which is a great reason to take it. In addition, the test will give you a good indication of what the SAT will be like in terms of length and material covered. The PSAT will also clue you into your strengths and weaknesses, which is very valuable knowledge. Once you get your results, you can analyze where you fell short and tailor your SAT studying accordingly.

I’ll be honest: admissions officers rarely look at PSAT scores. But that shouldn't deter you from signing up for the test. It's good to get familiar with the SAT format, it's important to figure out what you need to study, and hey, you never know—you might wind up with a National Merit scholarship. All things considered, I think high school students should take the test.

For more information on the PSAT, go here.

Good luck!

To pose a question about college admissions, email advice@sparknotes.com.

Topics: SAT, college admissions, PSAT

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