The College Board is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1900 with the goal to expand access to higher education. Each year, the College Board helps more than 7 million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programmes and services in college readiness and college success. These include the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT and the Advanced Placement Program.
What is the PSAT? How does it help students?
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), is a comprehensive, standardized assessment administered at schools in October that helps prepare students for the SAT. The PSAT is an important step in a student's path to university success. It assesses subject matter and problem-solving skills in three areas: critical reading, writing, and math.

Benefits of the PSAT:

  • The PSAT Score Report provides a detailed skill breakdown and performance review, helping students identify their strength and weakness areas so that they can adopt smarter and more effective strategies while preparing for SAT and other similar tests.
  • Scores are not shared with universities, so it's a no-stress method for students to find out where they stand.
  • It is less than one-fourth of the price of the SAT, making it cost-effective.
  • Students receive free access to online college planning resources and tools.

How to Register for PSAT:
The PSAT is administered by several high schools in India in the month of October (centers can choose to administer the test on October 15 or 18 each year). If you would like to take the PSAT, contact your high school counselor or principal for information about whether your school will administer the test in 2014. The US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) also administers the test at some of its centers. For information about registering at USIEF, visit *
Tips for students
Start early - Many students who aspire to study abroad believe they need to start planning for it only in Class XII. What they don't realise, is how much time, thought, and effort it requires. One should begin the ground work as early as Class X, to gain a clear understanding of what the college application process entails, and to be prepared to deal with the pressures later on. For example, if students need to take their SAT, they shouldn't delay it till Class XII. They should do it in Class XI itself, and leave more time to focus on other parts of the application in Class XII, or give themselves the window to retake the SAT in Class XII, if a second attempt is needed.
Look beyond college rankings - There are several companies that publish rankings for universities. Some are specific to one country, while others release global rankings. It is important to understand that every ranking is based on a certain set of parameters to determine a university's standing on a wider scale. The question that students needs to ask themselves is - does the ranking give weightage to the factors that are important to me? Very often, the answer to this question might be no. And that's when students need to tread with caution. This is because the information captured in the rankings might not necessarily help you find a college that is 'best fit' for you. Another important thing to remember when looking at rankings, is just because a university is ranked high overall, doesn't mean that they rank high in the course you want to pursue. So, if you must look at rankings, focus on those that are course-specific.