When Is the PSAT?

PSAT testing takes place in October, with three possible dates for schools to choose from. We lay out the test's timeline and when to expect your results.

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by Danika Miller

Updated September 15, 2022

Reviewed by Adam D. Gibbons

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When Is the PSAT?
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The PSAT is both a practice SAT and the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Each October, 10th and 11th graders can take the test through their schools. There are three national dates, and your school will decide which of those dates it will offer the test.

The exam measures college preparedness and predicts what you might score on the SAT. Each school will have its own process for registering for the PSAT. Check with your school counselor for information on signing up.

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When Do You Take the PSAT?

The PSAT is administered to high school sophomores and juniors every October, with testing only happening once per year. In 2022, the primary test day is October 12.

If offered by your school, you could alternatively take the test the following Saturday, October 15. If for some reason you are unable to attend either of these dates — or if you miss the date you're scheduled for — you may be able to take the PSAT on October 25, the alternate test day.

PSAT Test Day Date
Primary Test Day Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Saturday Test Day October 15, 2022
Alternate Test Day Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Source: College Board

Keep in mind that each school may handle these national dates differently. Some schools, for instance, may choose to test students on only the primary test date, while others may test on both the primary and alternate dates — or on all three dates!

PSAT scores are typically released online to students about eight weeks after the test. This year, they'll be released December 5-6, 2022.

Does Your School Offer the PSAT?

While many U.S. high schools offer and facilitate the PSAT, not every school does. You can ask your school administrators or counselor whether your school plans to offer the PSAT.

If your high school does not offer the test, you have the option of taking it at another school. Your counselor should help you with this process, but you can also find schools that are offering the test using the College Board's search tool.

Students register for the PSAT through their school, and each school has a different sign-up process. In the fall, your school should provide information on how to register for the test. Reach out to your guidance counselor for details, especially if you haven't heard anything by mid-September.

Schools are required to order PSAT tests by September 14, so they'll likely begin to plan and register students by that time.

Each 2022 test book costs $18, but students aren't always required to pay that fee. Your school may cover a portion or all of the cost for you. Check with your school counselor to learn whether you'll need to pay a fee.

What Happens If You Miss the PSAT?

If you miss the PSAT, you may be able to take it on the alternate test day. If you miss all test days, however, you'll have to wait until the following year to take the test. If you're a junior in high school and miss the PSAT, you'll have to find other ways to prepare for the SAT or ACT.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation chooses its scholars based on the results of the PSAT. There are alternate ways to enter the scholarship program if you miss the test, but you must have extenuating circumstances and meet all program requirements.

How Many Times Can You Take the PSAT?

Students can take the PSAT up to three times in high school. That said, you can only take the test once per year. Even if your school offers multiple test dates, you can only sign up for one date per year. Most students take the test in 11th grade, but you could take it in ninth and/or 10th grade for extra practice.

Note that only juniors who take the PSAT will be considered for a National Merit Scholarship — sophomores do not qualify.

Ninth graders who want to get a head start on SAT prep may prefer to opt for the PSAT 8/9 or PSAT 10, which are both slightly easier versions of the PSAT/NMSQT geared toward eighth, ninth, and 10th graders, respectively.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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