Each year, secondary school students at the British International School of Washington have the chance to take the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). We caught up with BISW College Counsellor, Robert Ramey, to discuss the PSAT and the opportunities available at our school.
What is the PSAT?
The Preliminary SAT, also known as the PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), is a practice version of the SAT exam. Students can only take the PSAT once per year in October, and BISW invigilates the exam in school. Many students take the exam in both Year 11 and Year 12. The PSAT is 2 hours and 45 minutes long and tests reading, writing, and math skills. Unlike the SAT, the highest score possible on the PSAT is 1520.
When was this year's PSAT?
The PSAT was invigilated to 45 students on Tuesday, October 26, 2021.
Why is this practice test particularly important?
If students are US citizens and earn a high score on the PSAT during Year 12, they could qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship; $180 million in merit scholarships are awarded to students each year. In addition, some universities will use the PSAT results to market special programs and opportunities to prospective students.
How can people use the results of the test?
A high PSAT score can lead to a National Merit Scholarship. In addition, the PSAT score can indicate future SAT performance. Doing well on the PSAT can give students a confidence boost. BISW uses the Year 11 students' exam results as one measure of their academic aptitude in reading, writing, and mathematics.
How can students register for the test?
The BISW Counselling Office automatically registers Year 11 students. Students in Year 12 register through the BISW College Counselling Office. Students receive a PSAT Study Guide leading up to the exam date. We inform Year 11 students that they don't need to prepare in advance. However, we strongly encourage Year 12 students to prepare in advance.