Changes to the PSAT/NMSQT Program

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 43
POLICY CODE: IK

The Maine Department of Education will no longer require, or cover the costs for, PSAT/NMSQT testing for all public school 11th graders, due to budget constraints across state government. The Department will continue to pay for (and require) PSAT/NMSQT testing for all 10th graders for the October 12, 2011 administration of the PSAT/NMSQT, using federal grant funds available from the state’s longitudinal data system grant.

We encourage school administrative units (SAUs) to continue to provide 11th grade students with the opportunity to participate in this testing. Please note that the College Board will continue to consider fee waiver requests for the PSAT/NMSQT. These waiver requests are due to the College Board by June 15.

Details from the College Board:

  • SAUs committed to providing 11th grade students with the opportunity  to participate in the October 12, 2011 PSAT/NMSQT administration must be aware that the SAU, school, or individual student will be required to pay the $14/student test fee. PSAT/NMSQT Coordinators may request fee waivers for juniors who qualify.
  • Unused test fees are waived for all Maine public schools; the more inclusive the 11th grade cohort, the more comprehensive the SAU (and school) data reports:
    • Summary of Answers and Skills (SOAS): an online report that helps improve teaching and learning by providing information about student performance on individual skills
    • AP Potential™: a web-based tool that allows educators to generate rosters of students likely to succeed in AP courses
  • MPO accommodations will no longer be available to 11th grade students.
    • Students with disabilities who meet the College Board’s eligibility criteria and submit the accommodations requests on time will be approved for their needed accommodations.
    • Accommodations requests must be submitted by August 24, 2011 for students whose documentation must be reviewed by the College Board, and by September 7, 2011 for those students whose documentation does not need College Board review.
    • More information about the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) eligibility process for all College Board programs, including when documentation is required, can be found at: http://www.collegeboard.com/ssd
  • Ongoing participation in the 2011 PSAT/NMSQT will allow your 11th grade students to continue to receive:
    • Valuable skills feedback: The feedback students receive helps identify skill gaps and provides suggestions for improving prior to the spring 2012 MHSA/SAT administration.
    • Information from colleges: Students can opt in for the Student Search Service to start receiving free admissions and financial aid information from colleges interested in them.
    • College and career planning tools: Students will have continued free access to My College QuickStart™, a personalized online college- and career-planning kit.

Should you have any questions regarding strategies for continuing an inclusive PSAT/NMSQT administration for 11th graders, please contact Mary Ellen Auriemma of the College Board’s New England regional office at mauriemma@collegeboard.org.

For questions of the Maine Department of Education, contact Dan Hupp, director of standards and assessment, at Dan.Hupp@Maine.gov or 207-624- 6827.

3 thoughts on “Changes to the PSAT/NMSQT Program

  1. I was wondering why the state opted to pay for 10th rather than 11th grade PSAT. It seems that taking the PSAT in 11th grade is not only more useful to students but also is the NMSQT (I don’t believe sophomores are eligible but I could be wrong.) I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks.

    1. Jack, a few reasons were at work, according to Wanda Monthey, the Department’s Pre-K to Adult team leader/policy director: (1) The PSAT data from October testing come back in December/January, so the diagnostic information can be used to guide interventions and additional needs for students for a year before the SAT. (2) Tests for low-income students are free in 11th grade but not 10th. (3) Students can be identified for junior-year Advanced Placement courses based in part on their sophomore-year PSAT/NMSQT performance. Feel free to contact Wanda at wanda.monthey@maine.gov or 207-624-6620 if you have further questions.

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