PSAT Information

PSAT Information

PSAT Testing Information

The PSAT is a practice examination for the college entrance exam known as the SAT Reasoning Test. It measures critical thinking skills that are important for success in college, including critical reading, math problem-solving and writing skills. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT enables our students to get feedback about critical academic skills, seek information from colleges, enter scholarship competitions, practice for the SAT Reasoning Test, and initiate the college-planning process. 

Herndon High School is hosting the PSAT/NMSQT for 11th graders on Thursday, October 29, 2020. Before the PSAT Day, registered students will receive a message through their FCPS Google school email account ( This message will contain important information about the PSAT Day. Only registered students are allowed to enter the building. No walk-in or on-site registrations will be permitted. Registration is closed as of Friday, October 9, 2020. For any further questions, please contact our Assessment Coach, Alisa Shreve (@email).

The PSAT/NMSQT is normally 2 hours and 55 minutes long, not including the pre-administration portion of the morning. However, students with College Board-approved extended time will test longer. Students testing with standard time should be done around 12:00-12:30pm. Students testing with 50% extended time should be done around 1:30pm. Students testing with 100% extended time should be done around 3:00pm.

General information about the PSAT/NMSQT test format is available on the College Board webpage. October 29 has been designated for asynchronous learning, so students will not miss synchronous learning time with their teachers.

An online student guide is available. Students are encouraged to read the guide to become familiar with the PSAT/NMSQT before the test date.

Required Materials

Students must bring the following materials with them on the day of the exam, which are required to take the assessment. 

  • picture ID
  • Mask
    • Masks are required to be worn at all times.
    • Students must provide their own mask, and it will be inspected prior to testing.
    • Per FCPS regulation, any individual seeking exemption from the mask due to a medical condition, shall produce to school officials the written statement of his or her physician confirming that not wearing a mask is medically necessary.
  • No. 2 pencils and erasers
    • No mechanical pencils
    • No pens

Permitted Materials

  • Hand sanitizers and/or wipes
    • May be taken into the exam room but must remain underneath the desk while the exam is underway
  • Approved calculator and extra batteries
    • Calculators will not be provided by the school. Students cannot share their calculator with other test takers. Students are encouraged to bring extra batteries with them as batteries will not be provided on the PSAT Day.
  • Food/water
  • May be taken into the exam room but must remain underneath the desk while the exam is underway and may be accessed only during breaks, unless a specific accommodation allows otherwise. Students are asked to eat their snacks in the hallway during breaks. We request that snacks are peanut-free.
  • Lightweight jacket (in the event, the testing room is chilly)

Prohibited Materials

Students are prohibited to use the following materials in the testing room and during breaks:

  • Use of electronic devices is prohibited from the time the student is admitted to the testing room until they are dismissed at the end of the test, including break times. Specifically:
    • Students may not handle or access a cell phone or electronic device at any time in the testing room or during break times. This includes smart watches, fitness bands, and any other devices with recording, internet, or communication capabilities.
    • All devices, including cell phones and wearable devices, must be turned off and placed out of sight.

Check-In Procedure

Students will be asked to enter a specific door on this testing date. The doors will open at 7:45am and close at 8:15am. Please be on time. This information was emailed to students through their FCPS Google school email account ( During the check-in procedure, students are asked to show their picture ID and to verbally complete the Health Screen Questionnaire. Students will not be permitted into the school if any of the responses are ‘YES’. Students will also have their temperature checked. Students will not be permitted to enter the building if their temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher.

Parents/guardians are not be permitted in the building and should remain in their cars. Only students who are taking an exam may wait in the check-in line.  Multiple staff members are assigned a door entrance to assist with monitoring of social distancing. 

We also ask that testers and families dropping students off do not socialize in the parking lot or in the building. At all times, social distancing needs to be practiced on the school property as well as mask wearing.


Grab-n-go breakfast and lunch will be provided for free to all students.  Students, who plan to eat breakfast in the morning, are encouraged to come to the school early so they will have time to finish their breakfast before the test begins. Lunch will be available after the students have completed their test.


If students indicated that FCPS transportation is needed, those students will receive their bus stop information a few days before the test date. Please be at the designated bus stop on time.


Parents have the option to opt their child out of the pre-survey. In this case, those students will be asked to sit quietly while other students complete the pre-survey.

Again, please contact Ms. Shreve (@email) with any questions.