PSAT Information

PSAT Testing Information (JUNIORS only)

The PSAT is a practice examination for the college entrance exam known as the SAT Reasoning Test. The tests measures critical thinking skills that are important for success in college, including critical reading, math problem-solving and writing skills. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT provides students with feedback regarding critical academic skills, information from colleges, scholarship opportunities, practice for the SAT Reasoning Test, and college-planning support.

PSAT Registration

Due to COVID 19 safety protocols and school planning, 11th grade students interested in taking the PSAT were required to register for the test by Friday, October 9.  This information was emailed directly to all Junior parents and students. We are unable to accept late registrations and will not accept walk-ins on the day of the exam.  

  • Due to health and safety protocols, FCPS sites cannot accept walk-ins on the day of the exam.  

TJHSST Applicants:  9th grade students applying to TJHSST may also register for the October 29th PSAT for a fee of $20.00.  (A MySchoolBucks link will be provided to TJHSST applicants to pay the $20.00 exam fee.)  We will be contacting the counselor of any 9th grade student who registers for the PSAT to verify TJHSST intent.

If you have questions about the PSAT/NMSQT registration at McLean High School, please contact Sara Wheeler (@email

2020 PSAT/NMSQT Student Guide

The PSAT/NMSQT Student Guide has pertinent information for testing, tips, and a practice test:

PSAT Day:  Infographic

The PSAT Day infographic has detailed information about communication regarding testing, College Board information, what to expect on test day, test day procedures, as well as useful links for PSAT test preparation.

PSAT Day FAQs

Q.  When/where is the PSAT test?

  • The PSAT will be administered on October 29, 2020 at McLean HS to 11th grade students who  registered for the test.  Check-in will begin at 7:45 am. Doors will close at 8:15.
  • This day will be an asynchronous school day for all high school students. Students who registered for the test by the October 9th deadline will be notified of their testing room assignment and door entrance assignment by email (fcpsschools.net accounts).  Encourage your child to check for updates through their school email.

Q.  Do I have to register to take this test with College Board?

  • Students were required to register for the PSAT by October 9th via the FCPS "PSAT Intent to Participate Form" sent to all McLean HS juniors and parents via email.  Students who successfully registered for the school-day SAT, received a confirmation email sent to their FCPS Gmail account.  Student should NOT register for the test via College Board.

Q.  How long is the test?

  • The SAT School Day is normally 2 hours, 55 minutes long; however, students with College Board-approved extended time will test longer. Students testing with standard time should be done around 12:00. Students testing with 50% extended time should be done at approximately 1:30.

Q.  What should my student bring to school for the PSAT? Please note: We are not able to loan out pencils or calculators to students due to health concerns.

  • A mask that must be worn the entire time they are in the building.
  • Two or more No. 2 pencils- not mechanical
  • Graphing Calculator
  • Water and snacks. Snacks may be consumed during breaks. We request that snacks are peanut-free and carried in a clear Ziplock bag.
  • Personal Hand Sanitizer (not required)

Q. What is prohibited from testing?

  • You are not permitted to bring any electronic “smart” device such as a cell phone or wearable technology like a Smart Watch or Fitbit. Please leave these items in your car/home.

Q. Is food permitted?

  • Fairfax County will be providing a grab and go breakfast and lunch option for all students.  Snacks are allowed to be eaten during scheduled breaks. We request that snacks are peanut-free and carried in a clear Ziplock bag.

Q. Where should students park?  

  • Students should park in the lot closest to their assigned entrance.  

Q.  I said “yes” for school transportation. How do I know what time the bus will pick me up?

  • If you indicated that you will need FCPS transportation, you will be hearing soon from the FCPS Transportation Services Department.

Q.  How can my student prepare for the PSAT?

  • The PSAT Student Guide (which includes a practice test) is linked above.  

Q.  What procedures are being followed to safety of students?

  • SAT, ACT, and PSAT Health and Safety Protocols – Please read the information provided on this site. This page gives you information about how the procedures are being followed at schools to ensure safety of students and staff.
  • Testers will also be receiving an email through their fcpsschools.net accounts regarding the check-in process, entrance and testing room assignments, and what to bring (and what not to bring).
  • Parents/guardians are not permitted in the building and should remain in their cars. Only students who are actually taking an exam may wait in the check-in line.
  • We also ask that testers and families dropping students off do not socialize in the parking lot or in the building. Social distancing needs to be practiced at all times on the school property as well as mask wearing.

Q.  How can my student apply for testing accommodations for the SAT?

Q.  When will my student receive PSAT scores?

  • Scores for the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT will be available in early January.  Students will be able to view scores via College Board’s website at https://studentscores.collegeboard.org/home using their student ID or access code. Access codes will be emailed to student fcpsschools.net Gmail accounts prior to the score release date. Students who do not currently have a College Board online account will need to create one to view scores. Please see the College Board video tutorial for help accessing scores.  

    • Helping Students Who Can't Access Their Scores:  After students log in to their College Board account, they should click "Add Scores". In the "Matching Tool", it is essential that the College Board account information matches what students entered on their PSAT answer sheet. For example, if a student bubbled "Elizabeth" on her PSAT answer sheet and created her College Board account using the name "Beth", her scores will not load. If students need to change their name, they must call College Board Customer Service at 1 (866) 630-9305. All other changes can be made right in their account. It is also important that students choose the correct test name and test year.  All students should choose the 2020 as the test year (they took the exam in October 2020). If still unable to populate the score, the student will be prompted to indicate which test they're missing and enter the access code to assist the match. Students should check their fcpsschools.net Gmail account for their access codes, or email Sara Wheeler sewheeler@fcps.edu.

Q.  I have a question that is not listed above – who should I contact?