SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

When Is the PSAT? 2017 PSAT Test Dates

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 13, 2015 1:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

 

feature_PSATtestdates.jpg

If you’re coming up on your sophomore or junior year, you’re probably wondering when you’ll be taking the PSAT and how you should prepare. In this article, I’ll tell you when the PSAT is offered this year, how to get ready, and how this relates to your future plans for the SAT.

 

2017 PSAT Test Dates

The PSAT will be offered in October 2017 to 10th and 11th graders. There are three possible PSAT test dates this year:

  • Primary: Wednesday, Oct. 11
  • Alternate: Wednesday, Oct. 25
  • Saturday: Oct. 14

The PSAT is administered by each high school on an individual basis (rather than at designated test centers like the SAT). This means that high schools get to decide which date to offer to students.

The College Board recommends that schools choose October 11th for administering the PSAT. October 14th is the Saturday option and October 25 is a secondary date that schools might use in circumstances where they can’t hold the test on the 11th. You will have to take the test on the date offered at your school.

 

How Should You Prepare for the PSAT?

The PSAT was redesigned in 2015 to accord with the 2016 redesign of the SAT. Here are some practice materials to help you prepare for the PSAT. Read this article to get more information about practice tests you can use and this article for an overview of the changes to the PSAT. 

Since the PSAT test date is at the beginning of the school year in October, you will have the summer to prepare for the test. Preparing for the PSAT shouldn’t be as intense as for the real SAT, but if you’re looking to potentially get high enough scores to be eligible for a National Merit Scholarship, you should think about doing some studying.

Take a practice test and see how you fare—then you can focus on improving in any weak subject areas.

For the PSAT, one of the best things you can do to prepare is just pay attention in your classes and do some challenging outside reading. Developing your logical reasoning and reading comprehension skills as well as basic math knowledge will be key to doing well on this test and on the real SAT.

Learning these things over time organically will make them stick in your brain much better. You’ll find that skills that were once difficult become second-nature with accumulated practice. This is much better than cramming right before the test, which might help a little but won’t give you the same level of confidence.

 

body_flood.jpgDon't let your brain get too overwhelmed.

 

How Much Time Do You Have Before the Real SAT?

If you take the PSAT in 2017, you will be a sophomore or a junior. Depending on which grade you're in now, you might have more or less time between the PSAT and the SAT.

 

For Sophomores

It depends on how early you want to get started with taking the SAT. You could decide to take it in the spring of 2017 to become familiar with the test format and have plenty of time to study based on your weak areas before retaking. You could also wait until your junior fall to take it for the first time, if you are hoping to avoid a retake and want to get some studying in over the summer.

You may have up to a year between the PSAT and the first time you take the SAT, depending on your preferences about when you want to get started and how many times you plan on taking the test. Generally we recommend taking the SAT for the first time your junior fall. If you decide to wait until then, you’ll still have plenty of time to improve your scores!

 

For Juniors

If you’re taking the PSAT as a junior, you have less time before the SAT. It can be advantageous to take the PSAT as a junior, however, because you will have learned more material in school by then and will have a more solid grasp on all the concepts that are tested.

A couple of months between the PSAT and the SAT should be enough time to study and achieve a modest bump in your scores. If you don’t do as well as you hoped, you can take the SAT again in fall os your senior year. 

 

body_halloween.jpg
October 8th theme: A Very Special Spooky Scary SAT Test Date

 

Predicted Future PSAT Dates in 2018, 2019, and 2020

If you’re a sophomore or younger, you might be wondering when the PSAT is offered in future years. Based on past dates, here are some predictions about when the PSAT will be held in 2018, 2019, and 2020:

Year

Regular Date

Alternative Date

Saturday Date

2018

Wednesday, October 10

Wednesday, October 24

Saturday, October 13

2019

Wednesday, October 9

Wednesday, October 23

Saturday, October 12

2020

Wednesday, October 7

Wednesday, October 21

Saturday, October 10



 

What's Next?

Do you have more questions about PSAT scores? Find out what a good PSAT score is and what your scores might mean.

If you're aiming for a top score, learn what it takes to win a National Merit Scholarship.

 

Disappointed with your scores? Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

Get eBook: 5 Tips for 160+ Points

 

Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
Samantha Lindsay
About the Author

Samantha is a blog content writer for PrepScholar. Her goal is to help students adopt a less stressful view of standardized testing and other academic challenges through her articles. Samantha is also passionate about art and graduated with honors from Dartmouth College as a Studio Art major in 2014. In high school, she earned a 2400 on the SAT, 5's on all seven of her AP tests, and was named a National Merit Scholar.



Get Free Guides to Boost Your SAT/ACT
100% Privacy. No spam ever.

You should definitely follow us on social media. You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:

Twitter and Google+



Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!