The expansion of free testing to eighth- and ninth-graders is in addition to the free PSAT testing already available to all eligible 10th and 11th grade students. All eligible eighth-11th grade students will take the PSAT 8/9 or PSAT/NMSQT on Oct. 19 during the school day.
"Making the PSAT available for free to our eighth and ninth grade students is a great way to get our students thinking and preparing for college at an even earlier age," said Superintendent Michael Hanson.
What is the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT/NMSQT?
The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) is a test given to eighth and ninth grade students, while the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is taken by 10th and 11th grade students. The tests prepare students for the SAT, used by colleges and universities for entrance. Both the PSAT and PSAT/NMSQT take two hours and 45 minutes to complete, and will be taken during the school day.
What are the benefits of taking the PSAT & PSAT/NMSQT?
Students who take this assessment can benefit in many ways:
- The tests serve as a midpoint "check-in" on student progress and pinpoint areas of academic development.
- Once students take the tests, the student scores generate no-cost, personalized, and focused practice by linking their scores to Khan Academy, a free online interactive tutorial.
- The scores will also generate information about which accelerated courses the student is most likely to be successful in.
- For 11th grade students only: PSAT/NMSQT scores are used to determine eligibility in the National Merit Scholarship Program, which recognizes and awards scholarships to the highest scorers nationwide.
Fresno Unified's goal is that all students who take the PSAT 8/9 or PSAT/NMSQT build their skills in areas identified for support. Teachers will have access to the student scores to provide supports for students in the classroom. Another exciting opportunity for students is the 24-hour tutoring support through Kahn Academy. All students who take the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT/NMSQT will receive free academic support online from Khan Academy in all academic areas that is personalized to the needs of each individual student. Khan Academy will also provide detailed feedback to students on their progress and performance as they complete their online practice. Students can access Khan Academy anytime and anywhere they have internet access.
PSAT and SAT Dates
Oct. 19: PSAT offered at schools for all eligible eighth- and ninth-graders
Oct. 1, Nov. 5, Dec. 3, Jan. 21, March 11, May 6 and June 3: SAT tests offered at various Fresno locations (see www.collegeboard.org)