What is the PSAT?

This "preliminary" SAT is offered nationally every October and provides students with the opportunity to take a standardized test that will familiarize them with the SAT format and provide an indication of college readiness.

When should my student take the exam?

We encourage all our students to take the PSAT in October of their junior year. Some students may elect to take the exam in their sophomore year, typically if they have completed Geometry as freshmen and/or are enrolled in Honors levels courses for English and math.

Juniors should take the PSAT again, even if they took it as sophomores, as it is only the junior year scores that are used in the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

What is the National Merit Scholarship Program?

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and college scholarships. High school juniors enter the National Merit Scholarship Program simply by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year to determine semifinalists in their program.

When and where is the PSAT held?

WHS hosts the Saturday administration of the PSAT each fall.

On test day students are expected to arrive at WHS (via the Event Entrance) between 7:30-7:45 a.m. Testing is expected to be completed between 11:15-11:45 a.m. Students must stay for the entirety of the test sessions. They cannot leave if they finish early.

All students who are registered for the exam will receive more detailed information regarding test day in early October.

How do students sign up for the test?

Sign ups for the PSAT begin at the start of the school year each September in the School Counseling Office. Detailed information about cost and deadlines will be emailed home in September and can also be found on the daily announcements throughout the sign up period.

What should my student do to prepare for the test?

The College Board suggests that the best way to prepare for the PSAT is to:

  • Take challenging courses
  • Do your homework
  • Prepare for tests and quizzes
  • Ask and answer lots of questions in school every day

When will students receive their scores?

Scores are released by the College Board in early December and the School Counseling Department hosts a follow-up information sessions during W-2 for students who took the exam. We provide an overview on how to interpret their score reports and how to use their results to prepare for future testing.

For additional information about the PSAT/NMSQT, click here.