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Rachel Kapelke-Dale

PSAT Test Dates

If you have siblings or friends who have taken the SAT, you might be surprised to learn that, unlike that test, the PSAT/NMSQT, which is commonly taken the year before the SAT, is given only on one date, as determined by the school administering the test in combination with the College Board.

2016 PSAT Test Date

Usually, the PSAT is offered on a Wednesday in October or November. In 2016, the dates the PSAT is offered will include Wednesday, October 19; Saturday, October 22; and Wednesday, November 2. Be careful, though: your school will pick one of these dates and have the other as a backup, so make sure you know which day the main test administration will take place by talking to your guidance counselor or the person in charge of the PSAT at your school.

PSAT for International Students

If you’re living outside of the United States, you may still be able to find a nearby school that offers the test. The school search on the College Board website can help you figure out where to go and who to contact. Many countries have several schools in different cities offer the exam. Do it early, though: the College Board recommends making preparations at least four months in advance of the exam—that’s July (although there’s no harm in asking later if you didn’t know you could take the exam as an international student)!

PSAT for Home-Schooled Students

Like international students, students who have been home schooled should identify a local school through the College Board school search. Similarly, the College Board recommends getting in touch with the school at least four months in advance—this way, the school can be sure to have materials, like a test booklet, ready for you.

PSAT Testing with Accommodations

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, make sure you get approval from the College Board at least seven weeks before the test date. You should make sure that you talk to a guidance counselor or the person in charge of the test at your school, as well, around this date, to ensure that the requirements are met on test day.

Preparing for the PSAT Exam

A final note: because the PSAT is not offered as often as the SAT, it’s important to create your study plan with the October test date in mind. Unlike the SAT, the PSAT tends to be an exam that students take just once. It’s a significant test—after all, National Merit Scholarships ride on it—so make sure that you start preparing early! The preparation that you do now will definitely help you in the future, as you prepare for the SAT and finish your high school career.

For more help preparing for PSAT, check out these resources:

  • The New PSAT: How to Prepare
  • What Subject Areas Does the PSAT Measure?
  • And for the PSAT’s big brother, check here for everything you need to know about finding the best SAT Test Date.

    P.S. Ready to get your highest SAT score? Start here.
    About Rachel Kapelke-Dale

    Rachel is a TOEFL and SAT/ACT blogger at Magoosh. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and is currently a doctoral candidate at University College London. She has taught the TOEFL for six years, and worked with nearly 1,000 students in that time. Currently, Rachel divides her time between the US and London. When she’s not teaching or studying, she’s either riding (horses), or writing (fiction), a pair of activities that sound so similar that it confuses even native English speakers. Follow Rachel on Twitter, or learn more about her writing here!

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