Public schools are required to notify homeschoolers about the availability of the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test). They are also required to administer the test to homeschool students who desire to take it.
Most students take the PSAT during their junior year in high school. The PSAT is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning TestTM. It also gives students an opportunity to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs.
The PSAT is administered each October. If your student would like to take the test this fall, contact your local high school well in advance to register for the test. Registration deadlines may vary from district to district. Online registration is NOT available. The test may also be available at some private schools.
The PSAT number for Virginia homeschoolers is 994799.
Some schools districts have questioned administering the PSAT to students under religious exemption. The Department of Education has indicated there is nothing to prevent a school from administering the test to religiously exempt students.
The PSAT covers critical reading skills, math reasoning skills, and writing skills.
It does not require students to recall specific facts from classes. The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are:
- to receive feedback on strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study;
- to see how the student’s performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college;
- to enter the competition for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (grade 11);
- to become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions the student will see on the SAT;
- to receive information from colleges when you check “yes” to Student Search Services.
Most students take the SAT Reasoning Test during their junior and senior years, although students can take it earlier. It can be taken multiple times during the same year. The SAT measures the critical thinking skills students will need for academic success at the college level. It assesses analytical and problem solving skills. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800, with two writing subscores for multiple-choice and the essay.
The SAT is scheduled six or more times each year beginning in October. Registration is required approximately 30 days prior to each scheduled testing date. Late fees are assessed for late registration. Students can register by mail, by phone, or on-line at http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/reg.html. The fee is approximately $43; however, a waiver can be requested.
The homeschool number for the SAT for ALL homeschoolers is 970000.
AP (Advanced Placement) tests are administered in May of each year at public high schools and some private schools. College credit may be awarded based on AP test results. AP courses will help students develop study habits necessary for college level work and study subjects in greater depth and detail.
There are 33 courses and exams covering 22 subject areas. With a strong interest in the subject you plan to study and a willingness to work hard, a student can get a head start on college level work.
Arrangements should be made for testing with a high school or private school no later than March 1.
*Free reviews and practice tests for the SAT and PSAT tests, as well as many other tests, are available at http://www.testprepreview.com/.