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The PSAT exam is basically an official practice exam for the SAT. It's also the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholar Program. Which is an honors program where high school Juniors can earn some scholarship money and (at certain colleges) get a free-ride. If you are not able to take the PSAT (but you are in the eleventh grade), then you can use ACT/ SAT scores to apply to the program. But you have to be a high school Junior.
There is not any huge reason to take the PSAT. You could take an old SAT and get the same benefits. Although the Merit Scholar sounds cool, the problem is that most of the scholarships require that you have parents that work at a specific company. Even the free ride is kind of dampened because it is heavily dependent on which college you go to. Many colleges don't give a free ride to Merit Scholars. And many are state public colleges. Depending on your major, you may never consider these colleges.
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