The PSAT is only offered once a year, and this year it is on October 14th. You need to register IMMEDIATELY if you want to take advantage of this low-cost test. This test may meet the requirements for your state annual assessment - it certainly fulfills our obligations in Washington State.
To register for the test, call your local public or private high school TODAY. Tell them you are a homeschooler, and find out if you can take the exam at that school. It's easy to call - you may need to run into the school and pay them the small fee (usually about $15 total with the school fee and test fee.) Here is more information about the PSAT Homeschooled Students and the PSAT
But should you take your child to take the PSAT if you don't think they are ready?
"Hi Lee, Would you recommend having my son take the PSAT even if I know he is not ready for it? I'm wondering if it would be good for him to take it just so he get's a good idea of what to expect on the SAT, but I don't want to damage his (college entrance/potential scholarships)reputation if he doesn't do well on it. Thank for your help!" ~ Joyce
If your child is in 11th grade, I would have them take it for sure, to get needed practice for taking the big SAT test. For 10th grade, I don't think it's necessary at all - and it will only be helpful if your child has enough math to score well and/or may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.
If your child is in 9th grade, then I don't recommend taking the PSAT unless your child is advanced in math or you need to take an inexpensive assessment test to meet your state requirements. The PSAT is a very
inexpensive test, and I know sometimes parents need to watch every dollar. If your child is in 9th grade, and really isn't ready for it, then please explain to him that he may not score well, and that you are only giving him this test to meet requirements. I just don't want a kid to get frustrated by taking the test before they are ready, and then developing a test aversion that affects their testing abilities in the future. Or to put it simply; don't set them up to fail. I know that in some homeschool communities taking the PSAT as a 9th grader is common, but I encourage you to investigate that option before following the crowd.
In any case, taking the PSAT can't do you any harm at college admission, it can only make things better if he scores exceptionally high. But taking the PSAT can hurt your child if they do SO poorly that they get all freaked out about tests in general. If they get really scared because they took the PSAT too early and they aren't ready for it, then they may even score lower on the SAT because of test anxiety.
For more information on the PSAT, please read my article:
Take the PSAT for Fun and Profit
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