Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT & PSAT)

What is the SAT? What is its purpose?
  • The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions.
  • The SAT is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test created and administered by the College Board.
  • The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student's readiness for college, and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. 
What is the PSAT/NMSQT? What is its purpose? 
  • The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test that 11th graders (and some 10th graders) take in October. Like the SAT, it measures the knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and math students learn in the classroom—the same knowledge and skills your child needs to succeed in college and career.
  • NMSQT = National Merit Qualifying Scholarship Test 
    • By taking the PSAT/NMSQT as a junior, students may meet the requirements to enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. Additionally, the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10 connect students to another $300 million in college scholarships for students across major demographics.
Am I required to take the PSAT and/or the SAT?
  • All students in the state of Illinois must take the SAT with Essay School Day test in the spring semester of their 11th grade year. This is a grauduation requirement for students in the state of Illinois. 
  • Chicago Public Schools offers the Preliminary SAT in the Fall semesters for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. They also offer the PSAT in the Spring semester for 9th and 10th grade students. This is for students to practice and experience the SAT before they take the exam when their scores will be shared with colleges. 
How can I prepare for the SAT or PSAT? 
  • Khan Academy SAT Practice. A free, online, and personalized learning platform for students to practice the SAT and improve on their strengths and areas of growth. 
Students with testing accommodations 
  • If you have an IEP/504 that INCLUDES testing accommodations throughout the school year, you can qualify to apply for testing accommodations with CollegeBoard. 
  • IF you are approved for testing accommodations through CollegeBoard, those accommodations will apply for the student's entire high school career. The accommodations will be available for PSAT, SAT and AP testing. 
  • Students that are approved for testing accommodations through CollegeBoard have the right to waive their accommodations for their PSAT/SAT if they do not wish to use them. Please reach out to Mrs. Pinedo-Pimentel for more details.