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High School Sophomore - Retake SAT or take PSAT?


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Dd just got her SAT scores back and she did very well.  Would it be best for her to retake the SAT in her sophomore year to prep for the PSAT (hoping for National Merit) in her junior year and maybe boost her score or should she take the PSAT even though it doesn't count?

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If she did well on the SAT, there is no need to retake the SAT or take the 10th PSAT. I will prep but with the intention of taking the PSAT in 11th and the SAT in 11th for admissions.

 

Thanks.  She's only 14 and I didn't expect her to do as well as she did so I didn't have her do the writing portion.  I want her to take it again and do the writing and hope that she can increase her score a little bit more as well.  I just don't know if taking the PSAT as a sophomore will be useful if she's already done well on the SAT and might take it again.  

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She is going to have to retake the SAT any way if she makes NMSF. The confirming score to make NMF has to be taken after the junior year PSAT, so unless you want her to take 3 SATs, I would wait until spring of junior year for another SAT and do another PSAT junior year.

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She is going to have to retake the SAT any way if she makes NMSF. The confirming score to make NMF has to be taken after the junior year PSAT, so unless you want her to take 3 SATs, I would wait until spring of junior year for another SAT and do another PSAT junior year.

 

Oh, I didn't know how that works.  Thanks!  

 

So, would you have her bother with the PSAT as a sophomore or just wait until she's a junior?  

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She is going to have to retake the SAT any way if she makes NMSF. The confirming score to make NMF has to be taken after the junior year PSAT, so unless you want her to take 3 SATs, I would wait until spring of junior year for another SAT and do another PSAT junior year.

Has the policy recently changed?  I think you used to be able to use sophomore year SAT scores, but I am not sure about freshman year scores.

Edited by snowbeltmom
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She is going to have to retake the SAT any way if she makes NMSF. The confirming score to make NMF has to be taken after the junior year PSAT,

 

Do you have a source for the bolded?

I could not find anything on the NM page that stipulates this restriction. It just says "take the SAT® and earn scores that confirm the PSAT/NMSQT performance that resulted in Semifinalist standing"

http://nationalmerit.imodules.com/s/1758/images/gid2/editor_documents/student_guide.pdf?no_cookie=1

 

It didn't say the SAT has to be after the PSAT.

 

 

Edited by regentrude
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Oh, I didn't know how that works.  Thanks!  

 

So, would you have her bother with the PSAT as a sophomore or just wait until she's a junior?  

 

There is a wider window than that for confirming SAT scores.

 

For the 2017 scholarship cycle (which was for students graduating in 2017, who took the qualifing PSAT in fall 2015 as juniors), they accepted scores for SATs taken "between October 2014 and December 2016."  (From the Instructions for Semifinalists.)  So that would have been any SAT from fall of sophomore year through the last test they accepted from December of senior year.

 

[Also, this included the period of time in which the revised SAT was released.  For this cycle they accepted either the old or the revised SAT as confirming PSAT performance.  I would anticipate a similar acceptance of both tests for the graduating class of 2018, then only one test for the class of 2019 as the old test would fall outside this window.]

 

 

 

Reasons why you might choose the PSAT over the SAT could include timing (weekday, shorter test vs longer Saturday test), lower cost, and familiarization with the setting for the junior year PSAT.

 

Reasons why you might choose SAT over PSAT might include use of the SAT score for state annual homeschool reporting, application for summer programs or college applications; inclusion of the writing section; and ease of registration (online for SAT vs through individual school for PSAT).

 

FWIW, we found having a solid SAT score in hand by late fall of junior year was helpful for applying to competitive summer programs like service academy summer leadership seminars.  The applications for some of these programs opened before Christmas.  Getting the SAT out of the way earlier also left test dates open for doing SAT Subject Tests, which were a little more challenging to schedule.  Some of the tests DS wanted were not offered at every test date (ex. Latin was only offered twice a year).

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Reasons why you might choose the PSAT over the SAT could include timing (weekday, shorter test vs longer Saturday test), lower cost, and familiarization with the setting for the junior year PSAT.

 

Reasons why you might choose SAT over PSAT might include use of the SAT score for state annual homeschool reporting, application for summer programs or college applications; inclusion of the writing section; and ease of registration (online for SAT vs through individual school for PSAT).

 

 

:iagree: 

I just wanted to point out to the OP that her state will accept the PSAT for the annual state testing if OP chooses the testing route to fulfill the yearly state requirement.

 

Because my older kids were taking the PSAT, I had my youngest take the PSAT when she was in middle school instead of the SAT because it was more convenient for me.  CTY accepted her PSAT scores in lieu of an SAT scores.

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So, would you have her bother with the PSAT as a sophomore or just wait until she's a junior?  

You should have her take it as a sophomore.  Here are some reasons why:

 

1)  It's perhaps the only opportunity she will have to take the PSAT in the same environment as the official test.

2)  She will get exposure to TWO additional official College Board PSAT tests: the real one and the practice one they give out for signing up.

3)  At $15, it's the cheapest standardized test you can take.

 

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It looks like there has long been a two-year window, beginning a year before the PSAT, for a NMSQT confirming SAT score, e.g.

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/328771-question-about-national-merit/?p=3374259 "Take the current SAT® and earn scores that confirm your 2009 PSAT/NMSQT performance. You must take (or have taken) a national administration of the SAT between October 2008 and December 2010."

Edited by wapiti
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I wonder if in future years the window will narrow once the class year in question never sat both versions of the SAT?

 

(Don't have the relevant dates in front of me so I'm not sure when that would be.)

I don't think so.  The large window was in place long before the new version of the SAT was released.  

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I guess I'm just surprised that they wouldn't want the funds generated by requiring a test after the PSAT.  I could see them accepting alternatives as they phased in the new version.

But the money generated by additional testing wouldn't go to the National Merit Corp; the extra money would go to the College Board.

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