PSAT/NMSQT - Introduction

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a test that acts as a prelude to SAT. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain admission to college and other career planning tools.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC):

Was created in 1955 as a not-for-profit profit organization with no help from government. When taking the PSAT students are given option to enter the National Merit Scholarship Program, this can lead to college scholarships.                                                                                      

Why take the test?

 Know your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study.
  • Know your preparation level.
  • Appear for NMSC scholarships
  • Prelude to SAT test
  • Student Search Service: Receive information from colleges

When to take the test?

It is advisable that the students take PSAT/NMSQT, typically during students junior year of high school most often in the month of October. So that they receive awards the same year they leave high school and enter college.

If you have made up your mind to take up PSAT/NMSQT then the first step  towards achieving your goal is to contact your high school counselor or principal. Registration for the test is by high school rather than individual student.

Visiting the counselor will help you to find  more about the test like registration for the tests; paying test fees, test date, time, and location. Also contact your guidance office for a copy of the official student guide to the PSAT/NMSQT to help you prepare.

To enter the National Merit Program, a student must fulfill all of the following requirements. He or she must:
  1. Should be enrolled as a high school student.
  2. Should be a citizen of the United States; or be a U.S. lawful permanent resident (or have applied for permanent residence.
  3. Should take the PSAT/NMSQT in the specified year of the school irrespective of educational pattern;
  4. If you qualify as a Semifinalist or Special Scholarship candidate and you have not yet become a U.S. citizen, you will be required to send the following documentation to NMSC with your Scholarship Application:
  • A letter signed by you explaining your plans for becoming a citizen, including the date on which you expect to be eligible and will apply for U.S. citizenship, AND
  •  If   you are a U.S. lawful permanent resident, a copy of your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card); or a copy of your passport showing that you have been granted lawful permanent resident status OR
  •  If   you have applied for U.S. lawful permanent residence, a copy of Form that verifies you filed the “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
If you are unable to take the PSAT/NMSQT for some reason, you can still appear for NMSC’s competitions. Write to NMSQT administration, as soon as possible.

Mail your request to: National Merit Scholarship Corporation

Attn: Educational Services
1560 Sherman Avenue, Suite 200
Evanston, IL 60201-4897
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