PSAT : Much more on the PSAT

I’ve decided to do a special part 3 for my series of posts on the PSAT.  Friends and acquaintances who read the 2 posts I had put out earlier on the PSAT had so many questions, I thought it would be best to answer them before I go on about the exam itself. So this post is focused on answering some specific questions we were asked about the PSAT, which I hadn’t addressed before.

1. What is the fee for the PSAT ?

The total costs may vary by school, so you will need to check the fee applicable to you with your school. I do know that there is a $12 fixed charge; there may be additional charges apportioned by your school to cover their test administration charges

2. Are there any fee waivers ?

Fee waivers may be available for low-income 11th graders taking the PSAT/NMSQT or for students who are a ward of the state or are orphans. These fee waivers have to be requested by the schools (not the students). The fee waiver requests need to come in by the June deadline and any fee waiver requests coming after this deadline will be considered only on a first-come, first-served basis. There is however no fee waiver allowed for taking the PSAT 10.

3. How does one register for the PSAT ?

Your high school counselor can help you with the registration process. You cannot register directly or online, this has to be done through your high school counselor

4. Can home-schooled students take the test ?

Home-schooled students can also take the PSAT 10 or the PSAT/NMSQT. They just need to get in touch with a local school, and it is advised they start this process at least 4 months in advance of the test date. Speak to the high school counselor at the local school

5. Are there any exceptions for students with disabilities ?

The NMSC may allow students with documented disabilities certain accommodations for the PSAT/NMSQT or the PSAT 10. Available accommodations may include extended time, extended breaks, Braille test books, larger fonts, etc, as appropriate. A student applying for accommodation must have documentation of their disability like a current psycho-educational evaluation or a doctor’s report. The type of documentation needed depends on the student’s disability and the accommodations sought.

School accommodations are not automatically accepted as College Board accommodations.  A request for accommodation needs to be put up to the College Board and has to be approved by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Use of testing accommodations without the College Board approval will result in a cancellation of the PSAT score

Most students without a diagnosed disability are ineligible for accommodations through SSD. A case of a temporary condition, like a broken arm, is not considered as a disability, and students are advised to take the test at a later date when their temporary medical condition is resolved.  However, in the case of a senior taking the SAT or AP exam takers whose impairment will not be resolved by the late testing dates, some accommodations may be permitted. Students have to apply for a “Request for Temporary Assistance” directly or through their SSD coordinators. This link provides further details : https://www.collegeboard.org/students-with-disabilities/temporary-conditions

6. Why should I take the PSAT if I’m not interested in a scholarship?

The PSAT works as great practice for the SAT. So even if you do not qualify for a scholarship, or aren’t interested in one, the PSAT helps you identify areas of improvement in your academic skills. It also helps you get more comfortable with the SAT multiple choice, fixed time test system for when you actually do take the SAT test. If you have received a letter of commendation as a result of the PSAT/NMSQT, this can be listed on your college application

Do you have more information on the PSAT that does not feature here but would be useful for people to know? Please do comment and share your knowledge and experience.

As this post topic was suggested by SAT prep tutors who are listed on our websitewww.versatilekids.com, I thought it was only fair that they be acknowledged. So here’s a shout out to all parents in California, remember that Versatilekids.com has quite a comprehensive list of SAT preparation tutors available in your neighborhood. To see tutors in your area, go to https://www.versatilekids.com/kidsactivities/all-providers and select “college prep”. An experienced tutor can always add value to your child’s PSAT / SAT preparation.

In case you missed the earlier parts of my post on the PSATs,  here are some quick links :

Part 1 : Basics of PSAT

Part 2 : PSAT : Part 2 – The selection and scholarships

I’ll return shortly with part 4 of this blog post, which will be on the actual test content itself. Till then happy reading !

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