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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Are the PSATs actually a requirement for anything?

So I've been sweating over whether or not I need to take the PSAT. My school doesn't make it super clear if it's mandatory or just recommended. What's the real deal with the PSATs? Are they a must for college apps or just a 'nice to have'?

8 months ago

Hey there! There's no need to sweat over the PSAT — it's not required for college applications. The PSAT, or Preliminary SAT, is basically a practice test for the SAT. It's a good way to get a feel for the type of questions you'll see on the SAT and to get an idea of how you might score. Aside from practice, the main reason a student might take the PSAT seriously is to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program. To be considered for this competitive scholarship, you need to have a high score on the PSAT, usually in the top 1% of test-takers in your state. But beyond that, colleges won't see or consider your PSAT scores during the admissions process.

If you're looking to strengthen your college application, focusing on your actual SAT or ACT scores, your GPA, and your extracurricular activities would be more beneficial. So, if scholarships are a big goal for you, by all means, go for it — but if not, taking the PSAT is certainly 'nice to have' but not at all a 'must have'.

8 months ago

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