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SAT-PSAT Testing

At Stevenson, students take the following SAT and PSAT exams:
  • Junior year: PSAT in the fall semester and SAT in the spring semester.
  • Sophomore year: PSAT 10 in the spring semester.
  • Freshman year: PSAT 8/9 in the spring semester.

Details on each exam are listed below.

SAT - Juniors

All Illinois high school students must take the SAT in the spring of their junior year as part of state graduation requirements. The SAT exam is the state’s college and career readiness assessment. 

• Students will automatically be registered for this exam and there will not be any additional fees to take this exam. 

• Though this SAT is a required state test for juniors, the resulting scores are official SAT scores that can be reported to colleges during the application process, if you choose. 

• Scores will be available in students’ College Board accounts 6-8 weeks after the exam. A paper copy of scores will not be mailed or distributed. 

• Stevenson’s rigorous curriculum prepares students for the SAT. There is no need to practice in advance for the exam. For those who wish to practice, or get a feel for the test, see the free resources below.

The SAT exam tests knowledge in four areas:

• Reading - Multiple choice questions will assess students’ understanding of reading fiction and nonfiction passages.

• Writing and Language - Students will identify grammatical errors in written statements in multiple choice questions.

• Math - Students will demonstrate their knowledge of linear equations, problem solving, and the manipulation of complex equations through multiple choice and short answer questions.

• Essay - Students will read and then evaluate a passage using evidence from the passage to support their answer.

For general questions about the SAT and the college application process, students should contact their counselor. Also, visit our College page for more SAT information.

For specific questions about the exam administration or about accommodations, please email or call the Teaching and Learning Division at 847-415-4200.

For more information about the SAT, including sample questions and approved calculators, please read the SAT Student Guide.

Helpful SAT Resources

General Practice Information:

SAT Practice on Khan Academy:

Daily Practice App:

Downloadable Practice Tests:

Downloadable Practice Tests for Assistive Technology:

Downloadable MP3 Practice Tests:

PSAT - Juniors

Checking Your PSAT Score

PSAT/NMSQT: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
All Stevenson High School juniors will have the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT free of charge at SHS. Sophomores who wish to take the exam will have to pay a fee.

What is the PSAT/NMSQT?
The PSAT/NMSQT is a multiple-choice assessment of verbal, mathematics, and writing skills. The test measures students’ critical thinking and reasoning skills, rather than focusing on recalling memorized, rote facts. The PSAT is an optional test that provides practice for the SAT Reasoning Test through personalized feedback of student performance with suggestions for improvement.

The SAT Reasoning Test, taken later in the junior year, can be used as a standardized test in college applications and may be helpful for students wanting to pursue admission to highly competitive colleges or universities.

The PSAT also serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Top performing juniors nationally (approximately 1%) may be eligible for money through National Merit, National Achievement, or National Hispanic Scholarship funds.

Why take the PSAT/NMSQT?
Although the PSAT/NMSQT is an optional test, juniors should thoughtfully consider taking this test because:

  • It is free practice for the SAT Reasoning Test, which is now the state and federally mandated collegiate entrance exam.

  • The PSAT will provide free, personalized, focused practice through Khan Academy to assist with SAT preparation.

  • Top performing juniors may be eligible for merit scholarships.

PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 - Sophomores and Freshmen

The PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 exams are state-required, preliminary SAT tests for sophomores and freshmen, respectively. They are designed specifically for those grade levels to assess knowledge and skill levels. The PSAT exams serve as benchmarks that allow students and teachers to identify and target areas for practice for the state-required SAT exam during junior year. The tests emphasize reasoning and logic skills rather than rote memorization of facts and figures.

When and Where Will the Tests Be Taken?
The State of Illinois determines when PSAT exams will be administered, which is typically in late winter or early spring. Students will take the test at Stevenson. Testing locations will be announced. Students with testing accommodations will be contacted separately. No registration will be necessary, and there is no fee.

Additional Online Preparation and Resources
The following sites may prove helpful as your student goes through the PSAT process:

Approved Calculators: Click here for a list of approved calculators

More information about the full-fledged SAT:

Your counselor is the best resource for any questions regarding your student’s participation in the PSAT and other collegiate exams. For questions regarding national testing at Stevenson, please email shs_testing

How to Access Your PSAT 10 or PSAT 8/9 Score

Scores are released by the College Board, and are available only through a College Board account. Students who set up an account will receive an email from the College Board with the access code needed to view scores.

If you have an existing College Board account, sign in here.

Students who do not have an account must create a College Board account.

Students who do not see their scores when logging in may need to enter an access code. Students who need help in obtaining their PSAT access code can email or go to Room 7096 and see Ms. Lukas.

The video below, prepared by Stevenson’s College Career Center, gives helpful information on understanding PSAT scores. For additional information, read the College Board’s guide, Understanding Your Scores.