PSAT Information for Students and Families
Each year, all BDCHS students participate in the administration of the PSAT standardized assessment. The PSAT/NMSQT is an integral piece of the BDCHS Office of Student Services mission to facilitate students’ preparation to be college and career ready through building 21st Century skills. Your student is encouraged to review the important information about the assessment located at the above links. Detailed information about the assessment, including a student presentation about the PSAT, is located on the BDCHS Office of Student Services Weebly. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the PSAT and practice items prior to the test day; College Board and Khan Academy have partnered to provide support via practice questions and a full-length practice test, which are accessible here.
As students prepare for this important assessment, please encourage them to review their correct physical address (including zip code) and student ID or social security number. This information is critical for PSAT administration day.
Earning the highest possible “college readiness” score (score earned on any college entrance exam) is critical to students. College readiness scores earned are an integral piece in course scheduling at the high school level, meeting high school graduation assessment requirements, gaining acceptance into post-secondary institutions, being considered for specific college scholarships, and being provided the opportunity to schedule for certain courses at the collegiate level. Information regarding the PSAT and the benefits of participating in this assessment administration are noted below.
What is the PSAT/NMSQT?
- Comprehensive assessment program rigorously developed by experts and content specialists that measures college readiness and provides students with the tools they need to start planning for the future
- Instrument used by National Merit Scholarship Corporation as an initial screening of entrants in its annual competitions for recognition and college scholarships (typically, entrants are in their third year of high school)
- Measure of skills in three academic areas: critical reading, mathematics and writing skills
- Instrument comprehensive reviews and analyses to ensure that test questions are fair for different groups of students.
- Low-cost solution for schools and districts interested in measuring performance, improving outcomes and building a college-going culture
- Improves teaching and learning: Extensive data and reporting resources, including the Summary of Answers and Skills (SOAS) report, help educators identify skill gaps, improve instruction and monitor college readiness using the College Readiness Benchmark
- Increases participation in the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®): The online AP Potential™ tool identifies students likely to succeed in AP, helping educators expand access to rigorous courses
- Supports college and career planning: My College QuickStart™, an online, personalized college and career planning kit, helps students search for colleges, explore majors and careers, and get a personalized SAT study plan
- Prepares students for the SAT: On average, students who take the PSAT/NMSQT® score of 145 points higher on than SAT than those who do not
- Provides entry into scholarship programs: The PSAT/NMSQT provides entry into National Merit Scholarship Corporation competitions as well as other scholarship and recognition programs.
As a reminder, students are not permitted to have electronic devices in their possession during standardized assessments. It is BDCHS policy that electronic devices are not permitted in secure testing environments. The following information regarding test day activities is extracted from College Board’s PSAT informational site:
What to Bring
- Two No. 2 pencils with erasers
- An approved calculator (please click the previous link for a listing of approved calculators—students will need to bring their own approved calculator for this assessment; p picture is located at the bottom of this message noting the acceptable calculator models--this information is also available on page 32 of the Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMQST)
- Valid school- or government-issued photo ID (for students not testing at their own school and home-schooled students).
- Home-schoolers: Bring this code, too.
- Social Security number (optional)
What Not to Bring
- Any devices, including smartwatches, that can be used to record, transmit, receive or play back audio, photographic, text, or video content
- Protractors, compasses, rulers
- Highlighters, colored pens, colored pencils
- Pamphlets or papers of any kind
- Dictionaries or other books — there are no exceptions, even if English is not your first language
- Food and drinks — including bottled water — unless approved by the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities. Learn more about testing with accommodations.
During the Test You will be allowed to have only these items on your desk:
- A test book
- An answer sheet
- No. 2 pencils with erasers
- An approved calculator — during one of the math sections only
Turn Off All Electronic Devices You’ll need to turn off all electronic devices during the test and even during breaks. This includes cellphones. Be sure to turn off your watch alarm, if you have one.
Why? Test centers are serious about security and quiet, so prohibited devices — which include cellphones, tablets, and MP3 players — must be turned off and put under your desk. Better yet: Leave them at home.
Really, Really Important You will be dismissed immediately and your scores will be canceled if you use your phone or if it makes a noise — even during breaks. Your phone may also be confiscated and inspected.
Share Your Email Address If you share your email address and opt in, it’s easier for colleges, scholarship programs, and the College Board to get in touch. Find out more about connecting to colleges through the free Student Search Service®.
Source: College Board. (2018). Test Day Checklist. Retrieved August 29, 2018 from https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/taking-the-tests/test-day-checklist.