# PSAT vs. SAT: Is the PSAT Easier?

Millions of college-bound students take the SAT every year. You probably know that many colleges use the test (or the ACT) in the admissions process. But what about the PSAT? Why do you take it? Is it easier than the SAT — and what can it tell you about how you’ll do on the college admissions test?

## What are the PSAT and SAT?

The PSAT is used primarily to give students an introduction to standardized testing and practice for the SAT proper. It is also used as a qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship program (this is why it’s called the PSAT/NMSQT; NMSQT stands for “National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test”).

## Is the PSAT Easier Than the SAT?

Yes — for the most part, the PSAT is easier than the SAT. The test takes less time to complete, and the content covered is not as difficult. But remember that you’ll probably take the SAT later in school, when you’ve learned more.

The PSAT can also be a good indicator of your performance on the SAT. No matter how you do, though, you should still study for the SAT. The PSAT can also serve as a way to guide your preparation for the SAT, allowing you to pinpoint your weaker areas and focus on honing them. Check out our guides for help with your preparation, too.