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PSAT

The PSAT is the preliminary SAT test, which checks the US student's understanding of subjects and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as per the expertise required for higher studies in colleges. Primarily, it is a precursor to the SAT test and has three sections that include maths, Critical reading and Writing skills. The test is conducted by the College Board the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Students who take the tests can qualify for scholarships as per their scores. The test is very effective for students and a good number of practice sessions help in determining how the test can be and what course of actions students might take to crack the test with good marks. The test though does not influence a student's university admission. To sum it up, the test is a qualifying exam for scholarships as well as is the prelims for the SAT test.

Eligibility
Undergraduate students can apply.Primary reasons for opting for these tests can be -
Test Structure - the 3 sections of the PSAT are as follows -
Test duration
The total time allotted for the test is two hours and 10 minutes. Here is the lowdown of the time i.e. how the time is divided among 3 sections - Critical reading - contains 2 sections of 25 mins each; comprises of 48 questions. Math - contains 2 sections of 25 mins each with total of 38 questions. Writing - 1 section worth 30 mins; comprises of 39 questions

Test dates-
The PSAT exams are held twice in a year by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC. It provides the undergraduate students with scholarship opportunities. The exam usually is conducted in October every year.
The PSAT 2012 dates are as follows -
Candidates can select one of the above dates to sit for the PSAT. PSAT cannot be applied online. Interested candidates have to find the schools in their area which conducts PSAT and inquire about applications and the procedures. After the application gets processed and confirmed, the test materials would be sent to the High School from where the candidate has applied for the test. It is advisable to start the application process well in advance.

Candidates can visit the below link to know more about the PSAT 2012 deadline dates-
http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/psat/deadlines

For fee waiver services and other services, the below link can be accessed - http://www.collegeboard.com/school/

PSAT test fees
The cost of the test is 14$. The PSAT cost is to be paid to the school which conducts the test to complete the registration process for the test. Sometimes the school might impose additional PSAT costs as a part of the registration procedure. Schools outside of the USA, an extra 3$ is charged for delivery of the text books and manuals. The fee waiver facility is also available for 11th grade students and low income families. The PSAT fee covers various administrative costs and other expenditures.

Preparation for PSAT - tips
Students can do several practice tests to get the experience of a PSATA test and to check their understanding. They can use sample test papers from the previous years test, prep books or tutorial courses. "The Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT "is considered to be the best source to practice for this test. They can also set a timetable and strategize their routine accordingly for the test. They should also try to be familiar with the test pattern and how to encounter certain sections. Expert advice also comes in handy. Apart from everything, students need to be very thorough and focussed on the preparation.

How to crack PSAT- few tips -
Strategize smartly on how to finish the test on time, so that you also have some time to go through the answers and check for mistakes. Remember - 201 is the average cut-off marks for entering the NMSC competition and give your best to achieve over and beyond 201. Following the above tips might help you to achieve a good score.

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