PSAT Checklist 2022

March 1, 2022


Right now, in March, sophomores have seven months before the junior PSAT/NMSQT in October.  This information is crucial to receiving the best possible score.

Treat preparing the next few weeks for the PSAT like a part-time job. If you have already gone through the eCourse, start again.  This will solidify the information so you can apply it appropriately and internalize the strategies. If you want to raise your score but don’t own the eCourse, you can purchase it here.

It is a bragging right for many colleges to admit National Merit Scholars since it makes the school look good! Some offers you may receive are: full-ride, free tuition, free room and board, study-abroad stipends, grad school money, spending cash and more.

Crash List Course Checklist for the PSAT
  • Take the baseline test (#1) as indicated on the program if you have not done so already.
  • Do at least 1 lesson in the College Prep Genius eCourse per week with homework and quizzes for the next few weeks.
  • Juniors-Skip Lessons 11 and 12. (The “mostly omitted” essay is only on the SAT)
  • Over the summer, take at least 2 full-length tests per week. Use notes in the beginning until comfortable without them.  Accuracy before speed.
  • Download the class notes outline found in your eCourse, if you haven't yet.  
  • Remember to only practice with real tests from the College Board.

40+ Real SAT and PSAT practice tests at:

Note: You can get test booklets back from the QAS of the College Board. (This service is offered for three SATs each year.)

  • Take the August 2022 SAT.
  • Take the October 2022 SAT.
  • Take one of the October PSAT/NMSQT when it counts, in  October.
    Wednesday October 12, 2022  |  Test Day Saturday October 15, 2022  |  Alternate Test Day Wednesday October 25, 2022

Unlike the SAT and ACT exams, you can only sit this test once per year. That test is generally administered in the third week of October, on Wednesday or Saturday. If you miss that date there may be an alternate date a week or two later, but you can only take it on either sitting, not both

  • Since you have been studying for the SAT at least 8 months you should go ahead and take the November and December SATs. Remember you don’t have to send the scores anywhere and most colleges will Super Score (cherry pick) the highest scores from different sections.

For juniors, the goal is to make the senior year test optional. If you also get your desired SAT score in the junior year, the pressure is off in the senior year. Students can then still apply for early action/decision and receive those scholarships.

Rising seniors can follow the same plan but omit points (3) and (7).

Keep in mind that if you don’t quite get the desired PSAT score as a junior, full-rides are available on the SAT as well! As you study for one, you study for the other one!

Predicted PSAT scores for your state:
Understanding PSAT percentiles:
Schools that give scholarships on high PSAT scores:

Two Inside Secrets
  1. 1
    If your rising junior takes the PSAT/NMSQT and doesn’t quite get the score needed, there is another opportunity: If you child is doing a super-senior year, i.e. five years in high school, your student can take the PSAT twice for the National Merit Scholarship program. The quote is found on page 6 of the Official Student Guide:

Students who plan to take five years to complete grades 9 through 12 can participate in the National Merit Program if they take the PSAT/NMSQT in the third year of high school and again in the fourth year. These students’ Selection Index scores will not be eligible for the program until a written request for entry to the competition is approved by NMSC. The request should include the student’s name, high school name and location, year the student began high school, year the student will complete high school, and a brief explanation of the student’s educational pattern.

The official guide also offers information about cancellations for all or a specific group to test takers. The College Board allows the school or testing location to request an “alternate test date or provide other options for testing.” This information can be found on page 39 under Section 6.

  1. 2
    If your junior misses the October PSAT test dates, there is the another option. The PSAT/NMSQT is a test used for a scholarship contest in the junior year, but if you miss those dates, all is not lost. The opportunity for the PSAT alternative test date, is the Alternative Entry Testing Method. In essence, you can take the SAT, and the National Merit Corporation (NMC) will convert the score. Generally, this approach is reserved for you if you were sick or unable to attend due to extenuating circumstances. There is a specific set of actions students or parents must take to take advantage of this. It starts with contacting the NMC by April 1 of your junior year, and there’s a special code (0085) you pop in at the top of your SAT test so your test will be converted for the PSAT. A great advantage to this system is that you can take the SAT numerous times and only your highest score results (from one entire test) will be counted.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation | 1560 Sherman Avenue, Suite 200, Evanston, Illinois 60201-4897 | Phone: (847) 866-5100

For younger students, taking the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 are opportunities to get familiar with this test. This helps to lessen anxiety and gain test maturity. Once you are a junior, this test can be life changing. The is PSAT is not merely a “practice” SAT but a venue to the beginning of a debt-free college degree. 

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