The PSAT 8/9 is a test that eighth and ninth graders take during the regular school day. It’s the first test in the SAT Suite of Assessments, which also includes the PSAT 10, PSAT/NMSQT, and the SAT. All the tests in the suite measure the knowledge and skills your child is learning in school—the same knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed in college.
- The PSAT 8/9 tests your child’s reading, writing, and math skills.
- The questions on the PSAT 8/9 are grade-appropriate for eighth and ninth graders.
- PSAT 8/9 scores aren’t sent to colleges.
- Schools can choose a date between September and April to administer the PSAT 8/9. See possible PSAT 8/9 testing dates.
- Homeschooled students can request to take the PSAT 8/9 at a local school. Get more info for homeschooled students.
- If your child needs testing accommodations, they don’t need official approval by the College Board. Learn more about PSAT 8/9 testing accommodations.
- The PSAT 8/9 doesn’t qualify students for the National Merit® Scholarship Program.
- Your child’s school may cover the cost of taking the PSAT 8/9. Talk to your child’s school counselor to find out.
Why Your Child Should Take the PSAT 8/9
The PSAT 8/9 gives you, your child, and their teachers valuable information about your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses while there’s still plenty of time for them to improve their skills.
Maybe your child excels in math but struggles with reading. Maybe they’re great at grammar but frustrated with fractions. Once your child takes the PSAT 8/9, their score report will pinpoint exactly what they need to work on to graduate from high school and be ready for college.
The PSAT 8/9 score report also includes a section called AP Potential, which lets your child know which Advanced Placement® (AP) courses they might be ready to take.
How to Prepare for the PSAT 8/9
Because the purpose of the PSAT 8/9 is to identify the areas students need to focus on and set a starting point for progress, your child doesn’t have to do anything special to prepare for the test.
If your child does the following three things, they’ll be ready to take the PSAT 8/9:
- Pays attention in class
- Completes their homework
- Asks for help when they need it
After the PSAT 8/9
Here are some steps your child can take after they get their PSAT 8/9 scores to stay on track for college and career success:
- Create an account on Khan Academy® and focus on improving the skills they’re learning in school. This will also help them prepare for the PSAT 10, PSAT/NMSQT, and SAT.
- Use Career Finder™ to start exploring careers that match their interests and skills.
Note: As an extra measure of privacy for younger test takers, students under the age of 13 can’t create College Board online accounts. Instead of seeing their scores online, they’ll get paper score reports sent to them in the mail.
Read More About It
Start with PSAT 8/9 and Grow with Khan Academy (.pdf ǀ 55 KB)