The PSAT/NMSQT will be administered across America on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2002 from 8 to (approximately) 11 a.m.  Students will be encouraged to arrive by 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. at their testing location. 

Again, you will have to register in the high school guidance office if you want any of your children to sit for this exam. There is no charge for the exam, but they have to know that your home-schooled child wants to take the exam.  They won’t come looking for Johnny or Suzie to sign them up.  (Isn’t that ironic. Here’s a situation where the school district might actually do a service for home schoolers, and that’s when they ignore you.)  Registrations can be done during regular daytime hours up through Wednesday, Oct. 16.  (At least that’s the information we received from the local school district where we checked this out.) 

There also may be a local Christian school that can administer the test, so you might want to check around about that. If you’re interested, do your homework and contact your local high school guidance office to see what your school requires you to do to register your child(ren) for this exam. 

Just remember, even though multiple ages can take the exam, the only year that qualifies for the scholarships awarded by the NMSQT portion of the exam are students who are in their third year of a four-year high school program.  This is “regardless of grade classification or educational pattern,” as the NMSP Web site says. 

For those who are looking for ways to make ends meet for college, this qualifying examination may be the ticket. 
 
David and Laurie Callihan are authors of "The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School: A Parent’s Guide for Preparing Home School Students for College or Career," and the brand new "Christian Homeschool Daily Planner" (with their Grand Plan built right in).  Learn more at www.davidandlaurie.com.

Editor’s Note: I just received the following information in a short e-newsletter from the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (www.scaihs.org) and thought it was worth passing along. –Zan Tyler, Senior Education Editor for Crosswalk.com
 
Attention Juniors:

If you are considering attending college after graduation, you should take a PSAT in October.  You can arrange this through a local private or public school … The PSAT is important because it gives a student practice before taking the SAT and is used to determine eligibility for The National Merit Scholarship. 
 
If you are unable to make arrangements to take the PSAT, there is an alternate process to determine eligibility for The National Merit Scholarship:
1.  Write the National Merit Scholarship Corporation a letter explaining that as a home schooler, you were unable to find somewhere to take the PSAT and requesting alternate entry materials.
2.  Sometime in late October or early November, you should receive a packet including instructions on how to proceed.  (You will need to take the SAT I and SAT II writing test on two different test dates and have the test score reports sent to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.)
3.  After requesting alternate entry materials, if you have not received them by the end of November, you should inquire for these materials again.
4.  Contact information for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation: the address is 1560 Sherman Avenue, Suite 200, Evanston, Illinois 60201-4897, and the phone number is (847) 866-5100.
 
HSLDA has just notified us that, according to their Web site, the College Board has a policy that strongly urges public schools to allow home-school students to take the PSAT at the school.  If you would like to look into this further, please see these Web sites:  www.collegeboard.com or www.HSLDA.org.”