Next month, 3.5 million students are expected to take the PSAT/NMSQT

On October 10, 3.5 million students from around the nation will be taking the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, also known as the PSAT. The PSAT gives students an opportunity to both– experience a standardized test as well as assess the student’s knowledge on how he or she will perform on the SAT.

Performing well on the PSAT can also qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship, a highly competitive award given out to only 16,000 students. Students who qualify may receive Letters of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation– or better yet, become a National Merit Semifinalist. Becoming a National Merit Semifinalist is difficult, qualifiers must score [at least] in the top 99% of their state, and even then, becoming a Semifinalist isn’t definite.  Half of these National Merit Semifinalists can win scholarships ranging from $2,500 to even larger awards coming from colleges around the nation that wish to lure top-scorers.

Due to the amount of preparation teachers have done, some Semifinalists may even come from within the district! Since the second week of school, teachers have been preparing students for the upcoming PSAT using a wide variety of tactics. These tactics have included doing practice PSATs in-class, giving students PSAT booklets to work and study with, as well as teaching students helpful strategies.

Once the day comes, students will be expected to come to school on October 10 and take the PSAT. The PSAT will have two sections: one for Math and the second for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. In total, the duration of the PSAT will take approximately two hours and 45 minutes [or less] to finish. Klein ISD will be entirely paying the fee of the PSAT so students will be taking the test free of charge. And if students are astute enough, maybe they’ll earn a scholarship– or scholarships.