Guide to the PSAT Test Dates [Updated for 2020]


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The PSAT/NMSQT differs from other standardized tests like the SAT and ACT because they are administered by your high school rather than by a testing center. The schools have the ultimate decision on when the PSAT will be taken each year, but it always falls between October and November every year. We will share the PSAT test dates for 2020 as well historical dates for your own personal records. 

Preparing for the PSAT? Check out the best PSAT prep books for study!

About the PSAT

The PSAT is essentially a practice run for the SAT. It will not be used in your college admissions but can qualify you for a National Merit Scholarship. You may take the PSAT/NMSQT as early as your freshman year of high school, but only your junior-year scores will count towards the National Merit Scholarship. Read more about the PSAT vs SAT and why you should take the PSAT.

Anticipated PSAT Test Dates for 2021

  • Primary PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 13, 2021
  • Saturday PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 16, 2021
  • Alternate PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 27, 2021

Anticipated PSAT Test Dates for 2020

  • Primary PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 14, 2020
  • Saturday PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 17, 2020
  • Alternate PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 28, 2020

PSAT Test Dates for 2019

  • Primary PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 16, 2019
  • Saturday PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 19, 2019
  • Alternate PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 30, 2019

The PSAT Test Dates for 2018

  • Primary PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 10, 2018
  • Saturday PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 13, 2018
  • Alternate PSAT/NMSQT Test Day: October 24, 2018

Related: 11 Free PSAT Practice Tests 

Why are there 3 Different PSAT Test Dates?

Each year, the College Board provides high schools with 3 different dates to choose from when administering the PSAT/NMSQT. You don’t make the decision on when to take the test, but rather your school will choose between the Primary, Saturday, or Alternate PSAT/NMSQT test dates. Most schools select the Primary PSAT test date, which is always on a Wednesday and will only administer the test once for the year.

Can you Retake the PSAT?

The PSAT is administered only once by your school but it is possible to request a PSAT retake. If you miss the PSAT date at your school, you may write a letter to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) by April 1st requesting a PSAT retake. You can find more information on the PSAT retake on this official NMSC page.

Generally, the earlier you are able to mail in your request for a PSAT retake, the higher your chances of being granted a retake. If your retake is granted, the NMSC will provide you with additional information on entry requirements.

When are PSAT Scores Released?

It generally takes two months to receive your PSAT scores, meaning the PSAT scores will be released around mid-December. You will be able to see your scores online using your College Board account.

The PSAT/NMSQT is a great opportunity to practice for the SAT in a classroom setting like you will experience on the SAT or the ACT. You should consider taking the PSAT for the practice as well as the opportunity to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship! If you are planning on taking the PSAT, what study methods are you using? Feel free to let us know by commenting below!