PSAT Administration Day sets stage for National Merit Scholarships

Thousands of HISD freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will take the first step toward earning a National Merit Scholarship on Oct. 14, when they take the PSAT during the school day at their respective campuses.

The PSAT measures college readiness, and is offered to HISD students free of charge on the district’s PSAT Administration Day. Students will take the exam in the morning for up to three hours. The test includes sections on math, critical reading, and writing.

“It might be tempting to think that the PSAT stands for ‘Practice’ SAT, but it’s actually the preliminary SAT,” said Jharrett Bryantt with the HISD College Readiness Department. “It’s an exam given to HISD students in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades. What’s important about it is it’s the exam that qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship.”

The district offers students assistance to prepare for the PSAT. The PrepMe course is offered online through Naviance, an online tool available to every student in grades 6–12 to design high school plans, review academic progress, and explore colleges.

“The PrepMe platform is an online course that’s given to all students in the district,” added Bryantt. “It’s actually an adaptive course, where based on a diagnostic you take at the beginning of the class, it customizes a study plan for you.”

Students who score in the 99 percentile range on the PSAT may qualify for a National Merit Scholarship, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Many colleges, including the University of Houston, offer full-tuition scholarships to National Merit Scholars.