The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), is an optional standardized test you will take in high school. Most students will assume that it is just to get yourself ready and see how you would do if and when you take the SAT, which is a test almost every student will be required to take when applying for college.

Though it is true that the PSAT prepares you for the SAT, it also does a number of other things that will help you later in life. Whether you score well or not, it is recommended that every student take the PSAT at least a year before having to take the SAT. The only time the PSAT is administered is in the fall, typically mid-October, so you don’t want to miss the deadline. You’ll also want to study well in advance of the test date so that you know what you are getting yourself into. Here’s why the test matters.

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