Why Would A Student Prep For the PSAT/NMSQT?

This year the PSAT/NMSQT will be administered on Wednesday, October 16th and Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at high schools across the country. Here in the Midwest people don’t get too excited about the Preliminary SAT test because we are in the land of the ACT. As a matter of fact, the SAT has planned changes to their test to become more like the ACT. The reason college bound students and their parents should want to see a better score on these October tests is because they are the initial screen for the National Merit®Scholarship Program.  What people don’t often tell you is that there are numerous scholarships available for National Merit Finalists and many schools even give National Merit Finalist students a 100% scholarship to cover tuition, room and board, and even a stipend—this could be worth as much as $100,000 over the four years of college for which you have this scholarship.

Still many people discount preparing for the PSAT based on the odds of qualifying with 1.5 million student entrants. Some 50,000 students or 3.3% with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Granted the final 8,000 students that receive the awards are a much smaller number, but you need to qualify to be considered. In addition there are an additional 1,200 students which are not finalists that receive special scholarships, some renewable for 4 years and the others are one-year awards. On the plus side doing well on the test is a money magnet for many colleges. They are very happy to offer merit financial aid to students that score well so they can advertise that they attract high scoring students to their colleges.

I do not prescribe that all students need to prep for the PSAT. I do encourage any student in the top ten percent of their class to consider prepping for the PSAT/NMSQT to increase their opportunity for scholarship awards. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state representational basis.

Since the PSAT is an abreviated SAT we offer a basic SAT prep from New American School that teaches the correct method to take the test and the process of elimination designed to increase the students ability to score higher. The course is offered in a two DVD set that includes 2 practice PSAT tests on CD. It has been our experience that a student willing to practice these techniques over a period of a few weeks will increase their initial score and feel much more comfortable when taking the test that counts this fall. For more information or to order click here.

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