PSAT Parent Notification

Understand the purpose of high school PSAT testing

The following provides content from the division's PSAT notification letter.

Dear Parents and/or Guardians of Tenth and Eleventh Grade Students:

In Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and across the United States, students in grades 10 and 11 will take a Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) on October 16, 2019. FCPS will provide the PSAT/NMSQT to tenth and eleventh graders without cost. Only students in grade 11 are eligible to compete for the National Merit Scholarship; however, taking the PSAT/NMSQT in grade 10 provides students practice. 

The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test designed to promote college readiness while preparing students for college entrance assessments. It measures evidence-based reading, writing and language, and mathematics with a focus on reasoning skills, knowledge, and comprehension. These are all skills that are important for college and career readiness. The PSAT/NMSQT is created and managed by the College Board, the same organization responsible for SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) tests. 

Additional information about PSAT/NMSQT test content can be found at the following webpage: The total time for the PSAT/NMSQT is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and students with disabilities with testing accommodations may require additional time. When school begins, we will provide families with more information about the schedule for PSAT Day and how to opt-out of the PSAT/NMSQT pre-survey, if desired. 

Taking the PSAT/NMSQT test in tenth and eleventh grades helps to prepare students for success with the SAT college entrance test. All students who complete the PSAT/NMSQT will receive an individual score report, providing feedback based on their responses to the test questions. This will be helpful to tenth graders in preparing to take the PSAT/NMSQT again in eleventh grade and students preparing to take the SAT. Students will have access to Khan Academy's ( free online test preparation, which is customized based on their PSAT/NMSQT scores. 

Tenth and eleventh grade students with disabilities who have testing accommodations documented in a 504 Plan or an individualized education program (IEP) may be eligible for testing accommodations on the PSAT/NMSQT. Your input and consent are necessary by August 15, 2019, for the school to submit a testing accommodation request before the College Board deadline. If you feel your student may need PSAT/NMSQT testing accommodations, please review the additional information and forms enclosed with this notification. 

I encourage you to discuss this testing with your chlid. Students may prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT by visiting the College Board website (, getting a good night's sleep prior to the test, and eating breakfast the morning of the test. If you have questions about PSAT/NMSQT testing at our school, please contact us at ______________________. Best wishes to you and your child. 











View pdf translations of the PSAT letter and enclosures

See more testing notifications

Find out more.

Understand rights for PSAT pre-survey opt-out.

Read the policy on pre-survey opt-outs.