About the SAT

The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. It is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test administered by the College Board.  

The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student's readiness for university, and provide universities with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. University admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. How important SAT scores are in the college application process varies from school to school. 

Overall, the higher you score on the SAT and/or ACT, the more options for attending and paying for college will be available to you.

QSI Astana is an official SAT testing site.

About the PSAT Test

The PSAT/NMSQT is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The PSAT is a great primer for the SAT, usually taken by Secondary 1 and 2 students, but it’s more than just a trial run. PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships. More than 3.4 million high school students (mostly juniors and sophomores) take this nationwide, multiple-choice test every year. 

What is the PSAT and why is it important?

The PSAT won’t count towards your university admissions applications, but it is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship. Some of the highest scoring students may win scholarship money, so while you shouldn’t stress out about the PSAT, you certainly shouldn’t ignore it either. Use the PSAT as practice for the SAT and ACT and an important guidepost on your university admissions journey.

More information can be found at collegeboard.org.