PSAT: Is it worth it?

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I attended a public high school in Illinois back in the 80s. We took the PSAT in October and then the ACT in April. That was it.

We live in a different world.

Unfortunately, the PSAT has become an unnecessary SAT gimmick that makes them a lot of money.

The PSAT is tied to national merit scholarships but that only applies to the top ½ of the top 1% of students in the country. That’s the equivalent of a 34+ on the ACT.

Therefore, the PSAT score does not help 99.5% of the students.

Some students like the extra standardized test practice since it is given during the school day. However, college-bound students tend to take harder classes, especially their junior year, so they need to determine if missing a half day of school is worth it.

Taking the PSAT also does not necessarily replace getting a head start on the ACT, which is going to have a much greater impact on academic scholarships for most students.

If a student has already taken the ACT and achieved a 32 or higher, then I would encourage them to take the PSAT because they may have a shot at becoming a national merit scholar.

If a student has not achieved a 32 or has not taken the ACT yet, then they may want to consider not doing the PSAT, stay in their classes that day, and start preparing for the December ACT test.

The Re-Designed SAT