A One-Stop Shop for PSAT Information 2020


Sophomore Shawn Chansipaeng displays two commonly owned calculators that are accepted by the College Board. On the left, Chansipaeng holds the TI-84 Plus CE calculator, and on the right, he has the TI-30XS Multiview in hand. Photo by Sarah Treusch

Student registration for the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) opened Aug. 12 and closes Sept. 27. The exam will be held on Oct. 14, and for students not taking the PSAT, that day will be an online learning day. Additional information will be released closer to the date.  For all non-sophomore students taking the PSAT, the registration fee is $23. Freshman and juniors should register online here. Registrations that are not paid by Oct. 2 will be canceled, and the student’s exam book will not be purchased. Therefore, they will not be able to take the exam

All sophomores are required to take the PSAT. Therefore, students in the tenth grade will not have to register themselves as NFHS will register for them. Freshman and juniors, who want to take the PSAT, must have a parent and/or guardian register them. After the deadline, Sep. 27, NFHS will not give any refunds to freshmen and juniors. In order to pay online, a parent will need to pay via a credit card or debit card. 

Why would a junior want to take the PSAT? Students in eleventh grade can enter the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) competition. More information on the competition can be found here. The winner is given a sum of money for college. It can also serve as a good last bit of practice before the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). 

Why would a freshman want to take the PSAT? Freshmen will receive feedback on what they are doing correctly and incorrectly in order to be successful in the future taking the SAT as a junior or senior. The PSAT can only be taken once a year. 

The total time allotted for the PSAT is two hours and 45 minutes. The PSAT will be held from 8 a.m. until noon. The test is separated into two main sections: English language arts and mathematics. Each of those sections are divided into two categories each. English language arts is divided into reading and writing, and mathematics’ two sections are calculator and no calculator. 

Students are given 60 minutes for reading; writing is 35 minutes; the no calculator section is 25 minutes; with the calculator is 45 minutes. 


Visit this website, in order to figure out if your calculator is approved to take the PSAT. 

Take a look at this website, for a list of what to and what not to bring to your PSAT.

A few good resources to study include the issued practice test in the given booklets –which will be handed out sometime in Raidertime– Khan Academy, and the online practice problems issued by the College Board. 

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding this year’s PSAT, message Dr. Nikki Thomas via her email [email protected]. She can also be contacted for information on financial assistance.