The PSAT/NMSQT Presents Opportunities for Central Students

CENTRAL STUDENTS TAKE PSAT/NMSQT -- The PSAT/NMSQT is designed for sophomores and juniors and opens the doors to countless opportunities.

via College Board

CENTRAL STUDENTS TAKE PSAT/NMSQT — The PSAT/NMSQT is designed for sophomores and juniors and opens the doors to countless opportunities.

Sarah Katheron Latham, Assistant Editor

Every semester ends with dreaded End of Course exams, and most students are glad for standardized testing to be over with for some time.  However, as testing was ending several students were preparing for an optional standardized test: the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).

The test is designed for sophomores and juniors in high school based on what they should have already learned, whereas the SAT is most often taken by juniors and seniors. Official practice for these tests can be found on Khan Academy.

“It is important to me for students to take the PSAT/NMSQT because it provides students exposure to assessments some colleges look at for admission procedures. Creating the college testing environment provides students with more practice with testing.  The more practice, the less stressed students will be so they can focus on displaying their knowledge and academic skills,” explained Angie Hentz, Central’s gifted teacher who gave Central students the opportunity to take the PSAT.

The PSAT/NMSQT is not only practice for the SAT, a college entrance exam similar to the ACT, but it also qualifies students for entrance into the National Merit Scholarship Program.  The program provides many opportunities for students to be recognized for their achievements and receive various scholarships through the program, corporate sponsors, or college sponsors.

“My teacher offered extra credit for taking the test but later on I found out about the national merit. I hope that I scored well enough to receive the national merit so that I can get into good colleges,” Sydney Stone expressed, a Junior who took the PSAT.

The PSAT/NMSQT also gives students the opportunity to connect with College Board’s Student Search Service.  When students choose to be a part of this program, they are connected to colleges and scholarships that have partnered with College Board.

“The PSAT is a way for me to enter and receive scholarships for the schools I’m hoping to attend.  I felt pretty good about the test overall and thought it was simpler than the ACT I’ve taken prior… I’m hoping to see where I stand and if there are ways for me to improve so that I may be successful in my scholarship and college applications,” Junior, Zane Ferrying voiced.

For sophomores who took the PSAT, the test was a great way to practice for the PSAT that they will take next year and for the SAT later in high school.

“From their scores, students can compare results and determine areas of need for future tests. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT increases student confidence,” Hentz elaborated.

Those who were able to take the PSAT now have access to many opportunities to expand their education and confidence to take on whatever step is next for them.