Laramie High School students in the tenth and eleventh grade who registered for the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) will be taking the test on Oct. 16.

Each year in the fall, this test is offered to LHS students.

The test  is recommended for students who are serious about going to college.

“It’s a test that’s offered for both sophomores and juniors. With sophomores, it’s more of like a practice test, where with juniors it becomes more of a practical test which then could set them up to be finalists for the National Merit Scholarship competition,” Lee said.

Students who would still like to register for the test should see Pam Fisher in the counseling office by the end of the week to sign up.

The PSAT takes about three hours to complete and costs $17 for each student to take.

Students will take the PSAT in the wrestling room.

Out of the 70 test packets the school receives each year for the test, 50 students have already signed up for this year’s PSAT.

The number will likely go up as students continue to sign up this week.

The layout of the test is very similar to the SAT.

The subjects tested for the two are same, however the SAT is scored on a different scale, intended to be more difficult and is slightly longer than the PSAT.

The test is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) because juniors who plan to attend college after their senior year can use their scores to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.

“If awarded, it could get you tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships, and it could also put you on the radar for major colleges,” Lee said.

Students’ scores must be above a certain mark to qualify for the scholarship.

“It does look good if we get multiple national merit scholars, and historically at Laramie High School, we do get anywhere from two to eight every year,” Lee added.

The PSAT can be helpful for students who want to prepare for tests such as the ACT because it shows them what a standardized college entrance exam looks like.

“It gives you the whole feeling from marking bubbles with a number two pencil to truly just sitting in a chair for almost four hours,” Lee said.

While the PSAT is technically a preparatory test for the SAT, LHS does not offer the SAT.

“We offer the PSAT because it opens up the National Merit Scholarship realm to students, but because most western schools/colleges look for the ACT, and because that’s one that our state pays for your junior year, we don’t really see the need to do the SAT,” Lee explained.

Because it is a preparatory test, the stakes are low.

“If you were to score terrible on it, they don’t care about those scores. Now they do care if you score really well,” said Lee.