What the PSAT/NMSQT® and Fighter Pilots Have in Common

Vector image illustration of graduation cap and scholarship in laptop

I grew up near a Marine Corps air station, so I’ve known a lot of pilots in my life — men and women who serve admirably in one of the military’s most difficult occupations.

And I’ve noticed there is something these heroic tacticians of the sky and high school test-takers in the classroom have in common.

You see, I never knew a pilot who flew a mission on his or her first day on the job. No flight instructor ever bellowed, “Welcome to flight school. We’re going to skip the practice and just see what you’re made of!” That would be lunacy, resulting in catastrophic results.

Instead, pilots go through hours and hours of practice in a flight simulator – a training device used to prepare them for the real thing.

This is where commonality comes in . . .

The PSAT has several benefits for high school students, but the most obvious is that it provides practice for the real thing . . . the SAT.

When students ask me, “Why should I take the PSAT?” the answer is simple: The PSAT/NMSQT is your flight simulator for the SAT.

Before you climb into the SAT cockpit your junior and/or senior year, the PSAT affords you the opportunity to practice for the SAT – to experience the types of questions you’ll face in the same type of environment you’ll face them.

It’s the difference between learning to fly in a simulator or learning to fly in the air. No need to crash and burn on test day; the PSAT will prepare you for a successful SAT mission.

There is another benefit to taking the PSAT/NMSQT . . .

A high score on your PSAT/NMSQT (taken in your junior year) can help pay for college.

That’s right, a high PSAT/NMSQT score makes you eligible for National Merit recognition and scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Program.

This is precisely why many students start practicing for the PSAT as early as their freshman year!

Students who practice for their PSAT are benefiting in two ways:

  1. They are increasing their chances of landing a large college scholarship
  2. They are inadvertently beginning to prepare for the actual SAT even though it is a year or two away

Preparing for the PSAT is the test-taker’s way of moving to the front of the line, the head of the class, and college prep rarefied air. There really is no downside.

If you’re looking for the best PSAT test prep available, we have built an online PSAT practice test that simulates the PSAT, and therefore, the soon-to-come SAT. Our full-length PSAT practice test comes with the detailed explanations UWorld is known for, giving students concise information on why an answer is right or wrong.

And the best thing about our PSAT/NMSQT practice test? It’s FREE.

Click here to check out your free online PSAT practice test today. With study, dedication and proper PSAT guidance, your future is bright and the sky’s the limit!

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