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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
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SAT: 720 math
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Which year's PSAT is considered for National Merit?

Does anyone have the details on which year's PSAT scores are used for the National Merit Scholarship qualification? I've heard you only have one shot at it and it has to be in your junior year—is that true? I'm trying to figure out how to plan my study schedule around this and I don't want to miss the opportunity. Any advice would be great!

7 months ago

Hi there! You're absolutely on the right track. Indeed, it's the PSAT/NMSQT taken in your junior year of high school that's used for the National Merit Scholarship Program qualification. This is typically the test administered in October, although sometimes schools have an alternate test date.

I always recommend that students start preparing for the PSAT/NMSQT in their sophomore year or the summer before their junior year. This gives plenty of time to identify strengths and weaknesses and to practice without too much pressure.

Don't feel overwhelmed—the PSAT is very similar to the SAT, so the study skills and strategies you develop while preparing will be valuable for both tests. Consider taking a practice PSAT beforehand to get familiar with the format and question types. Many high schools offer the PSAT 10 or PSAT 8/9 as practice in the earlier years, which can be helpful in gauging where you're at. Best of luck with your preparation!

7 months ago

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