What is the PSAT?

The PSAT test  is a two-hour timed test given once a year in October. Many of our own students will take the PSAT to prepare them for the SAT test they take during their senior year.  The PSAT Test is also used as part of the criteria for college admissions and to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

What is on the test?

The PSAT has separate sections of math and verbal sections with a third section that tests the student in English grammar. Each of the tested sections are scored on a scale of 20 to 80 and these scores are calculated to create the National Merit Scholarship selection list.

When is the best time to take the PSAT?

Many of the Heritage Academy students will take the PSAT test during their junior year. Some will opt to take the PSAT test during their sophomore year to see what the test will be like, though only the scores from the test taken during their junior year will count towards the National Merit Scholarship competition.

So why should I take the test?

The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are:(Osfa.la.gov, 2019)

  • To receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. You can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.

  • To see how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.

  • To enter the competition for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (grade 11).

  • To help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT.

  • To receive information from colleges when you check “yes” to Student Search Service.

All of our PSAT test spots were filled this year, so we are working on finding larger testing spaces to accommodate all of those interested in taking it here on campus. We are hoping to double the amount of scholars we can test next October!

Article submitted by Bryant Herrera, College Advisor at Heritage Academy Laveen.


Heritage Academy students have been ranked in the Top 20 in the State of Arizona for performance on their SAT test scores for many years. Passionate teachers plus academic preparation, combined with proper test prep contributes to our students’ performance on the SAT.

ref: Osfa.la.gov. (2019). LOSFA – About PSAT/NMSQT. [online] Available at: https://www.osfa.la.gov/PSAT.htm [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019].