In addition to being great practice for the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is the test used to qualify select junior students to compete for National Merit Scholarships.
Juniors who take the PSAT are automatically entered in the National Merit Scholarship competition. If your PSAT score is high enough for you to qualify, you will be designated as either a Commended or Semifinalist student. The top 1.25 percent of test takers become National Merit Semifinalists, and the next 3 percent are Commended students and receive an honorary certificate.
The Semifinalists are announced in September of senior year and are given about a month to complete an application, which includes a counselor recommendation, and write an essay. About 90 percent of Semifinalists become Finalists, and the highest scorers receive a $2,500 scholarship.
Many colleges also provide additional scholarships based on National Merit status.
Are you hoping to earn scholarship money by taking the PSAT? We have the PSAT practice resources you need to earn a top score, including study material, PSAT strategies, and full-length practice tests.