Practice for the SAT While Applying to Scholarships!

As a student, we know you’re a pro at multitasking. Juggling your time with school, homework, studying, and extracurricular activities can be a challenge, especially when you also want to make time for relaxation and fun. Add college preparations to the mix, and you’re one busy student. CFNC is here to help, and this time, we have the perfect multi-tasking opportunity for your busy schedule: The PSAT/NMSQT.

For those of you who don’t know what that jumble of letters means, let’s break it down:

The PSAT is the Preliminary SAT. In other words, this test is your chance to test yourself and your ability to do well on the real SAT later in high school. This test is a practice test, meaning it will have no effect on your ability to get into your dream school, or any school for that matter. Most students take the PSAT in their sophomore or junior years of high school, however, younger students can take the test as well. Your scores are not seen by college admissions officers; they are seen only by you, your school district, the National Merit Scholarship Program, and with whomever else you choose to share them.

The NMSQT is a mouthful of letters that stands for National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The PSAT and the NMSQT are the same test. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT are automatically screened for the National Merit Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. Students who do well on this test have the chance to win scholarship money for college.

As you may have already guessed, the PSAT/NMSQT is a pretty sweet deal for students. In addition to the National Merit Scholarship Program, students who opt-in to the Student Search Service on test day will have the opportunity to earn scholarships through other programs as well. The full list of scholarship opportunities can be found here.

To recap, taking the PSAT/NMSQT is the ultimate multitasking opportunity. By taking the test, you get to:

  1. Practice for the SAT, a very important test for students planning on attending college.
  2. Be automatically screened for the National Merit Scholarship Program, which awards recognition and scholarships for high-scoring students.
  3. Have a chance at additional scholarship opportunities, just for taking the test.

Worst case scenario, you get some valuable practice for the SAT. Best case? You get an awesome scholarship to help pay for college. The PSAT/NMSQT is a win-win for busy students. Learn more about the test here, and take advantage of all the great resources for high school students on