When Is The PSAT Just For Practice?
My daughter is a sophomore and will take the PSAT in October. Does she need to take a prep class? We don’t want her scores to have a negative impact if she tests poorly. The PSAT is a month away and for many parents it is the first recognizable step in college planning. Then the questions begin . . .
- Does my student need to take the PSAT?
- Will these scores be sent to colleges?
- What if my student does poorly?
- Do we need a prep class?
- 9th Grade – Some schools offer the PSAT to freshman; it is just for early practice. (Usually the test is offered to freshman because the majority of the school will be taking the test, so it is easy to add more students at the same time. Don’t worry if your school doesn’t offer the PSAT for 9th graders.)
- 10th Grade –I strongly recommend ALL sophomores take the PSAT as a predictive tool for National Merit Scholarship qualification. Again, scores are only used for practice, but students who do well in 10th grade may need to study before the PSAT in 11th grade.
- 11th Grade – 95% of juniors are taking the PSAT for practice; the top 5% of test takers are attempting to qualify for National Merit Scholarships. This is the only year a student can use his or her PSAT results to qualify for the National Merit program.
- 12th Grade – I have families ask about taking the PSAT senior year. Don’t bother. Seniors need to take the SAT in the fall and can find a full-length practice test on the College Board website.