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The Madison Record

Why should juniors take PSAT? Roberts explains

College-bound students may want to eliminate the word ‘waiting’ from their vocabulary list.

Students who are currently juniors in Madison high schools need to consider a standardized test for an easier path to college, college and career counselor Sheila Roberts advises.

“The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) is a multiple-choice test that measures verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities important to performing college level work,” Roberts said. She works as a counselor at Bob Jones High School.

“The PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying exam for students wishing to participate in competitions with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation,” Roberts said.

Junior must take the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT to enter the 2013 scholarship programs that the National Merit corporation conducts. “All U. S. citizens who take the PSAT/NMSQT during the proper year in high school and meet other publicized eligibility requirements may participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program,” Roberts said.

Tests and correct answers are returned to students with the score report.

The PSAT/NMSQT is given only once each year. The test will be administered on Oct. 17 at Bob Jones.

Through Oct. 12, students can register with Becky Ruhlman (BRuhlman@madisoncity.k12.al.us) at Bob Jones to pay the $14 test fee; make checks payable to Bob Jones High School.

Or, students can register and pay online at https://madisoncityal.csiepay.com/?pageid=1a71e56f-b5ba-4721-b326-3bd3580f8374. This link is available at the Bob Jones website (bjhs.madisoncity.k12.al.us).

All students will receive an information packet when they register.

Roberts said the PSAT/NMSQT offers several benefits to students:

* Assess skills in verbal reasoning, mathematical reasoning and writing.

* Learn specific suggestions on ways to improve skills.

* Compare your academic skills with those of other college-bound students.

* Practice for the SAT reasoning exam.

* Enter scholarship competitions.

* Request information from colleges that the student is interested in attending.

“Students also have the opportunity to qualify for free tuition at many colleges and a full ride at a few,” Robert said.

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