SAT Suite

The Parents Guide to PSAT 8/9

The PSAT 8/9 is a test that eighth and ninth graders take during the regular school day. It’s the first test in the SAT Suite of Assessments, which also includes the PSAT 10PSAT/NMSQT, and the SAT. All the tests in the suite measure the knowledge and skills your child is learning in school—the same knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed in college.


Fast Facts


Why Your Child Should Take the PSAT 8/9

The PSAT 8/9 gives you, your child, and their teachers valuable information about your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses while there’s still plenty of time for them to improve their skills.

Maybe your child excels in math but struggles with reading. Maybe they’re great at grammar but frustrated with fractions. Once your child takes the PSAT 8/9, their score report will pinpoint exactly what they need to work on to graduate from high school and be ready for college.

The PSAT 8/9 score report also includes a section called AP Potential, which lets your child know which Advanced Placement® (AP) courses they might be ready to take.


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How to Prepare for the PSAT 8/9

Because the purpose of the PSAT 8/9 is to identify the areas students need to focus on and set a starting point for progress, your child doesn’t have to do anything special to prepare for the test.

If your child does the following three things, they’ll be ready to take the PSAT 8/9:

  • Pays attention in class
  • Completes their homework
  • Asks for help when they need it


After the PSAT 8/9

Here are some steps your child can take after they get their PSAT 8/9 scores to stay on track for college and career success:

  1. Create an account on Khan Academy® and focus on improving the skills they’re learning in school. This will also help them prepare for the PSAT 10, PSAT/NMSQT, and SAT.
  2. Use Career Search to start exploring careers that match their interests and skills.

Due to student privacy laws, students who are under 13 cannot create an online account with College Board. Therefore, schools will need to be responsible for sharing score reports directly with students who are under 13.

Schools can either:

  • Show those students their online score report.
  • Print the score report from the K–12 Score Reporting Portal. Depending on local data privacy laws and pending parent permission, educators may choose to email the PDF of the score report to the parent.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How should my child prepare to take the PSAT 8/9?

Your child doesn’t need to study for the PSAT 8/9. The best way they can prepare is to pay attention in class and do their homework. The test is meant to assess the skills they are currently learning in school.

See what kinds of questions are on the PSAT 8/9.

How do students get their PSAT 8/9 scores?

If your child is 13 or older, they can create a free College Board online account and sign in to see their PSAT 8/9 scores at Student Score Reports.

Read the College Board’s privacy statement.

Can homeschooled students take the PSAT 8/9?

Yes. Contact schools in your area to find one that is administering the test and can accommodate your child.

Learn more about homeschoolers and College Board Tests.