The PSAT test dates of 2015 have come and gone, but they are not forgotten - especially for students aiming to become National Merit Finalists. This guide will go over the exact PSAT test dates in 2015, as well as discuss how test-takers can make the most of their PSAT score reports today.
If you’re looking for future PSAT test dates, then check out this guide instead. If you’re in the right spot, then read on to learn about how the PSAT testing schedule works for participating students.
What to Know About PSAT Test Dates
Unlike many other standardized tests, like the SAT or ACT, you don’t choose when you take the PSAT. Instead, your high school registers juniors and chooses the test date from two options in October. If you’re a ninth or tenth grader who wants to take the PSAT, then you have to ask your school counselor to sign you up.
College Board gave schools two choices for test dates in 2015, a primary and an alternate. Both test dates fell on a weekday, on a Wednesday to be exact. Most schools administered the PSAT on the primary test date.
Below are the exact dates for the primary and alternate testing dates for the PSAT in 2015.
PSAT Test Dates in 2015
Schools administered the PSAT on one of these two test dates in 2015.
- Primary test date: October 14, 2015
- Alternate test date: October 28, 2015
Most schools held the PSAT on October 14, 2015. The only exception would be if the school had a scheduling conflict that day and had to go with the alternate test date. Once students took the PSAT, they waited a few months to get back their scores.
For juniors, October is the month of pumpkins, pie, and the PSAT.
When Did 2015 PSAT Scores Come Out?
Scores from the 2015 PSAT came out on January 7th, 2016. On that date, students could sign into their College Board accounts and view their score reports.
Counselors actually had access to the scores one day earlier, on January 6. In addition to online score reports, students got paper score reports around January 29.
For students who took the PSAT in 2015 or who will be taking it in the future, why are PSAT scores important?
Why Are PSAT Scores Important?
PSAT scores are important for two main reasons. First, they give you essential feedback about your skills as a test-taker, and you can use that feedback to prepare for the SAT.
Secondly, PSAT score reports tell any juniors who took the test whether or not they will qualify for National Merit distinction and scholarships. Let’s take a closer look at both of these functions of your PSAT scores.
1. Practice and Feedback for the SAT
The PSAT and SAT are very similar tests, so your score report on the PSAT can help you figure out how to improve for the SAT. Both tests have Reading, Writing and Language, and math sections. The main difference is that the PSAT doesn’t have an essay section.
Your PSAT score report will give you detailed feedback on your performance. You should take time to look at your results and pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. If you struggled on the math section, for instance, then you can focus especially on math as you get ready for the SAT. By figuring out where you lost points, you can make efforts to get those kinds of questions right for next time.
Your score report can also prompt you to reflect on the test-taking experience. Did you find yourself running out of time? Would you benefit from trying new test-taking strategies, like process of elimination on vocabulary questions?
If you took the PSAT in 2015 and are still planning to take the SAT, you should carefully consider your PSAT score report and use it to design your SAT prep plan.
Your PSAT score report gives you useful feedback on your skills as a test-taker. You can use that insight as you get ready for the SAT.
2. National Merit Distinctions and Scholarships
If you took the PSAT as a junior, then you’re in the running for National Merit distinction and scholarships. The top 3% to 4% of scorers were named Commended Scholars, while students who score in the top 1% were named Semifinalists and could move on to become Finalists and win scholarship money.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation hasn’t released its exact state-by-state cutoffs yet, but we can estimate the cutoffs based on data from past years. About a year after they took the PSAT in 2015, about 16,000 students across the country found out if they achieved Semifinalist status.
If you were one of those students who took the PSAT in October 2015, how can you make the most of your PSAT score report now?
Make the Most of Your PSAT Score Report
If you’re still planning to take the SAT, then your PSAT score report can help you design a study plan. Look closely at the sections where you excelled and the sections where you could use some improvement. Think about what skills you can work on to get better as a test-taker, whether you need to review specific concepts or practice time management.
As you study for the SAT, try to identify and target your weak areas. Gather lots of practice questions, time yourself, and score your practice tests. Continue to measure your progress with your practice test score reports, just as you did with your PSAT score report.
By taking time to analyze your PSAT and SAT practice test score reports, you can root out your weak areas and gauge your progress as you work toward your target SAT scores.
In closing, let’s go over the key points you should remember about the PSAT in 2015, how it was administered, and how you can make the most of your PSAT score report now.
Use your PSAT score report to target your weak areas and improve for the next test you take.
PSAT in 2015: Key Takeaways
Most schools administered the PSAT on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. Juniors automatically took the test and competed for National Merit distinction. Younger students could also request to take the test, and they could use the experience as practice for the junior year PSAT and the SAT.
If you took the test in 2015, then you got your scores online on January 7th. Whether you’re competing for National Merit or prepping for the SAT, you can gain valuable insight from your PSAT score report. Take time to analyze your performance, figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and reflect on the experience to get ready for the SAT.
Did you take the PSAT as a younger student in 2015? If you're aiming for top scores when you take the test as a junior, check out this full guide to getting a perfect score on the PSAT.
Have you started taking steps to apply to college? For a full overview of the entire college application process, check out this comprehensive guide.
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Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.