The PSAT test is more than just a trial run for the SAT; there are many benefits to taking this test. Although your scores aren’t viewed by college admissions reps, the PSAT offers helpful insight into your test taking and academic abilities, as well as a potential scholarship opportunity. PSAT scores do matter for these five reasons.

Indicator of SAT scores

If you scored close to the perfect score of 1520 on the PSAT without studying, you are in good shape for the SAT. While you don’t want to completely blow off studying for the SAT, you can probably get by with a few weeks of study time as opposed to a few months.

Choose which test to take 

If you scored low on the PSAT, you may feel a little discouraged when thinking about taking the SAT. Now might be a good time to take a practice ACT test and see how you score. If you score higher on the practice test you can always skip the SAT all together and take the ACT instead.

Create a study plan

Your PSAT scores reveal which section areas you’re strong in, and which ones need some improvement. When creating an SAT study plan, you want to focus more time on your weaker academic areas as indicated by your PSAT scores.

Boost confidence

The PSAT test provides an opportunity to better understand SAT content and formatting. You can also sense how well you pace yourself in the allotted time for each section. Hopefully, this experience boosts your confidence when sitting for the SAT.

National merit scholarship

You can only qualify for the national merit scholarship if you take the PSAT. To be awarded for this scholarship, you must be a junior in high school and rank within the top 1% of PSAT scores (exact score cutoffs vary from year to year and state to state).

Keep these benefits in mind when reviewing your PSAT scores and looking ahead to the SAT.