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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

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Optimal timing for taking the PSAT for National Merit considerations?

Hey everyone, junior year's been a whirlwind so far, but I'm trying to plan ahead. When is the best time to take the PSAT if I'm aiming for National Merit? I want to make sure I'm not missing out on the right timeline to prep and give it my best shot.

8 months ago

Hey there! It's great that you're planning ahead for the National Merit Scholarship Program. For students aiming to qualify, the PSAT/NMSQT is usually taken in the fall of junior year. This is the official PSAT test that's used for National Merit consideration. Taking it sooner, say in your sophomore year, can be a helpful practice run, but only scores from the junior year test are used for the National Merit competition.

To maximize your preparation time, many students begin reviewing in the summer before their junior year, especially if they're balancing a heavy academic load. This allows you to spread out your study time and approach the test with confidence. Some schools also offer the PSAT 10, which is intended for sophomores and can occur in the spring. While it's not used for National Merit, it serves as an additional practice opportunity, using the same format and types of questions as the junior year PSAT/NMSQT.

Remember too that the PSAT is also great practice for the SAT. So, while you're prepping for the PSAT, you're also laying a solid foundation for future SAT exams. Good luck with your junior year and your test preparation!

8 months ago

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