For the first time, the Tacoma Public Schools will pay for all 10th graders to take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at no cost to the student.
The school district wants to use test results to help identify more students likely to succeed in advanced courses and invite them to enroll in more rigorous classes. Taking the test as sophomores can also help prepare students for taking it again in their junior year, when they can qualify for National Merit Scholarships. Finally, the PSAT helps prepare students to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, which is often required test for college admission.
“Sophomores in Tacoma traditionally do not take the PSAT until their junior year,” Roger Chow, director of Curriculum and Instruction, said in a news release. “But, College Board statistics show that students who take the PSAT first in their sophomore year and then again in their junior year have remarkably higher scores the second time. And they are much more likely to qualify for National Merit Scholarships.”
The College Board is the adminstrator of both the PSAT and the SAT.