4 days ago
Admissions Advice

Does the PSAT really matter?

Hello Everyone~

Most of y'all should be taking the college board SAT/PSAT tomorrow Oct. 13 (at least for Texas students, I'm not sure about everyone else though). So, I'm taking my PSAT tomorrow and I was just curious but do they REALLY matter? I know the SAT is super important and opens many scholarship pathways but what about the PSAT? What does it do for me? Aside from letting me know where I stand and how to improve from thereon.

@celiaoleary283 days ago

The PSAT is good because it gives you a feel for what the SAT is like. and honestly they’re not much different. Seeing where you can improve will help you tremendously on the SAT. So no the PSAT doesn’t really matter but it gives u a feel for the real thing.

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 days ago

It's a very big deal if you are not from a wealthy family because besides the opportunity to qualify for the actual $2500 cash award for being a National Merit Scholar, many great colleges in the US give either full rides, free tuition, or 1/2 tuition scholarships.

Some would argue that it is just as big of a deal as the SAT or even more so because of the upside toward paying for your 4 years of college.

In Texas, if you are an NMS, these colleges participate in acknowledging your accomplishment:

1. Abilene Christian University and Baylor University offer scholarships to cover the cost of tuition only. Students would still pay for fees, room, and board.

2. the University of Dallas also provides a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition only, but this scholarship is limited to 20 students.

3. Texas A&M University offers a scholarship worth $33,000 overall four years (less than the cost of tuition).

4. University of Houston‘s scholarship covers the cost of tuition and fees, plus provides $1,000 for research and $2,000 for study abroad.

5. UT Dallas provides a scholarship to cover full tuition and fees, plus $28,000 in stipends for other expenses (room and board or study abroad). Students are also guaranteed admission to the honors program.

6. Texas Tech University provides a scholarship to cover the entire cost of attendance (tuition, fees, plus room and board).

Other notable programs:

USC- 1/2 Tuition Scholarship (minimum)

Auburn University– Full tution and on-campus housing for first year

University of Alabama– Full tution, one year of housing, + $17,000 stipend

University of Arizona– for residents- $72,000 + $1,500 for study abroad

For non-residents- Scholarship between $44,000 and $92,000 depending on GPA and test scores

You have missed the full opportunity to prep and study for the PSAT as an 11th grader, but for all you 9th and 10th graders reading this, please consider grabbing a PSAT test booklet from your HS Counselor of buying a test prep book and reviewing it over the summer.

4 days ago

Unless you are planning on qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship, the test is just a practice. The PSAT does just what you described--since you are in 10th grade you can't qualify for the national merit yet. Just treat it as a way to practice taking college admission tests!

Hope this helped! :)

4 days ago

Hi! The PSAT isn't a super big deal unless you are a great test taker. The PSAT will determine if you are eligible for the National Merit Scholarship, which will award you money towards college. However, this is only for 11th-grade students, so this is truly just a great practice run for you! Treat it as the opportunity to get to know the format of the test. Don't worry about studying, but take it seriously to see how much work you might have to do if you would like to qualify for national merit next year. I hope this helps! :)


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