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The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. BILA students take this examination in April, and high scores can lead to the offer of significant scholarships.

  • Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT each year.
  • Almost all students take the PSAT during their junior year, but many students take the PSAT when they are sophomores to get the feel of the test. However, it is only the scores from the PSAT taken in your junior year that are considered for the National Merit Scholarship competition.
  • The new PSAT is scored between 320 and 1520. It will give you two scaled scores between 160 and 760, one for Math and the other for Reading and Writing combined.


The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (American College Test) are standardized tests administered by the College Board and used to measure students' readiness for college. These exams are critical for college admissions and scholarships, so BILA students sit these examinations early in the fall of their senior year.

  • All students will take the SAT or ACT during their senior year, but you may want to have your child take the exam earlier to get experience and gauge their score. Students often retake the test, since they may report their highest scores to colleges.
  • Some schools take only the SAT or ACT, but many accept both. The tests are subtly different and your student may score better on one or the other, so talk to your student and decide your approach together.
  • The National Merit Scholarship is awarded only after students have scored similarly on the SAT.
  • SAT scores range from 680 - 1600. 1080 is considered an average score.