PSAT Information

October 28, 2020 - Reminders for Tomorrow's test

  • The forecast tomorrow is rain in the morning. Please dress appropriately – you may want to have a coat and an umbrella.
  • Doors will not open until 7:45 AM, no matter how many students are waiting and how much it is raining.  Students must then undergo a temperature check and a verbal health questionnaire before they can be allowed into the building.  These are FCPS requirements. We cannot allow students inside without the appropriate precautionary measures, regardless of what the weather is doing in the morning.
  • You were sent an email on Monday, October 26 with your entrance and room assignment.  To allow for optimum check-in procedures, please report to the entrance you were assigned.
  • Bring a mask, a picture ID, #2 pencils (not mechanical pencils), and a calculator.  Because of precautionary measures, none of these items will be provided for you.
  • Walk-ins will not be permitted per FCPS and Fairfax County Health Department policy.
  • For standard testers, the test should end approximately 12:15 PM. However, times may vary due to social distancing protocols.


  • As a reminder, if your student has experienced any possible COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last ten (10) days, or if in the last 14 days has been in close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, please do not send your student to school to take the PSAT. A student who does not take the PSAT/NMSQT because of illness, emergency, or other extenuating circumstance but meets all other requirements may still be able to enter the National Merit Scholarship Program. Please visit the NMSC Resources page for information about alternate entry using SAT scores.


October 23, 2020 - Pre-Survey Opt Out

On the PSAT/NMSQT, students will see a voluntary pre-survey that asks questions about a variety of topics. Parents/guardians may opt out of this pre-survey for their student. Parents/guardians may view the pre-survey questions and access further information about this option on the SAT and PSAT Pre-Survey Opt-Out Policy webpage at  

If you choose to opt your student out of the pre-survey, please notify  Chris Bird at by Wednesday, October 28, 2020, and include your child’s full legal name and FCPS ID number in the email. Please be sure your student knows they should not answer the pre-survey questions at the beginning of the test.

Your student will receive their room and entrance assignment via email on Monday, October 26.

As a reminder, FCPS sites cannot accept walk-ins on the day of the exam due to health and safety protocols. If you have questions about the PSAT/NMSQT administration, please contact Chris Bird, PSAT Coordinator. 


October 14, 2020 - PSAT Updates

All communication regarding the PSAT/ NMSQT Exam at South County High School will be through juniors' accounts, so it is imperative that juniors check those accounts early and often. We will release information pertinent to testing throughout this window regarding safety protocols, testing room locations, arrival and departure protocols, etc. so that you successfully gain entrance to the building for your test.

If you have questions regarding the PSAT Test itself, you can access the PSAT Student Guide here for details. 

Planning for PSAT  - What to Bring

Required Materials

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

  • Student ID – a method of identification including a picture. Examples include:
    • School Picture ID- last year's school ID is acceptable
    • Driver’s License with Picture
    • Passport
  • You do NOT need a testing ticket for this test.
  • Mask -
    • Masks are required to be worn at all times. Please refer to the  FCPS SAT, ACT, and PSAT Health & Safety Protocols page if you have further questions.
    • Students must provide their own mask, and it will be inspected prior to testing.
    • In compliance with FCPS regulation 2109, students may remove masks temporarily to drink or eat, when they are appropriately distanced.
    • Per FCPS regulation 2109, 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- do NOT bring bring mechanical pencils or pens – pencils will NOT be available on Test day
  • Emergency contact information  - this is simply a piece of paper with your name and a contact phone number in case of emergency (since many of us don’t have phone numbers memorized in this technological era anymore)

Permitted Materials

Students are permitted to bring the following 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 - Schools will not provide calculators on the day of testing.
  • Food/water - May be taken into the exam room but must remain underneath the desk while the exam is underway and may be accessed outside of the testing room only during breaks, unless a specific accommodation allows otherwise

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 building 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
    • Recommendation: do not bring your electronic device into the building!!!

PSAT Test Day - October 29 - Arrival and Check-In

  • Report to SCHS promptly at 7:45 AM
  • Students may park anywhere in the senior parking lot.
  • Students may be dropped off at the Kiss' n' Ride outside entrance 12.
  • You will receive your room and entrance assignment via email on Monday, October 26. 
  • Once you report to your testing site and your appropriate entrance, you will have to answer health survey questions, perform a temperature check, perform a mask check, and present your picture ID. 
  • You will be turned away if you are not wearing a mask that meets FCPS guidelines, if you register a temperature of 100.4o F or higher, or if you try to enter the testing site with materials that are not approved for testing.
  • Walk-ins will not be permitted. Only students who completed the Intent to Test form will be allowed to test.
  • Grab and go breakfasts will be available in the Cafeteria.  In order to maintain a sterile testing environment, food cannot be eaten in the testing room.  Please eat in the hallways before the test and during approved testing breaks. 

Maintain social distancing once you are in the classroom within your testing site. Keep your mask on during testing at all times, even during breaks. There may even be limitations on restroom use due to social distancing requirements. 

Testing Schedule

The times provided in this visual are approximations, depending on the actual time students have been checked in and are in their testing rooms. Students with approved College Board accommodations will have a different testing schedule, which has been emailed to them via their account.


Test Section


Testers reporting to testing sites

7:45 – 8:15 (30 min)


Pre-Administration/Student Info

8:15 – 9:00 (45 min)


Section 1: Reading

9:00 – 10:00 (60 min)


5-Minute Break

10:00 – 10:05


Section 2: Writing & Language

10:05 – 10:40 (35 min)


Section 3: Math (No Calculator)

10:40 – 11:05 (25 min)


5-Minute Break

11:05 – 11:10


Section 4: Math (Calculator)

11:10 – 11:55 (45 min)


Collect Materials

11:55 – 12:10 (15 min)



September 29, 2020

From:              South County High School

Sent to:          All Eleventh Grade Students and Families of Eleventh Grade Students

Subject:          PSAT/NMSQT Intent to Participate


On Thursday, October 29, South County High School eleventh graders will have the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT. FCPS will cover the cost for any eleventh grade student to take this test. 

To help the school prepare for testing, families are asked to complete the form below by Friday, October 9. This form asks about participation in the test, the need or bus transportation, and interest in free breakfast or lunch on the day of the test. Note: your student must complete the form via their account.

South County HS: PSAT/NMSQT Intent to Participate Form

A translated version of the form content may be found on the PSAT/NMSQT Intent webpage ( Due to health and safety protocols, FCPS sites cannot accept walk-ins on the day of the exam.  

General information about the PSAT/NMSQT test format is available on the College Board webpage ( Thursday, October 29 has been designated for asynchronous learning in FCPS high schools, so students who choose to take the PSAT/NMSQT will not miss synchronous learning time with their teachers.

For students who want to practice the SAT from the comfort of their own homes, College Board has several SAT Practice tests available on their website.

We will share more details about test day schedules and bus transportation in the coming weeks. FCPS health and safety protocols for PSAT/NMSQT administration are available online ( 

If you have questions about the PSAT/NMSQT administration at South County High School, please contact Chris Bird at 703-446-1643 or @email



PSAT Accommodations for Grade 11 Students 

This October, South County High School eleventh graders will have the opportunity to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). General information about the test is available on the PSAT testing update webpage, and we will share more specifics about PSAT testing in September. Final testing decisions will be based on health department guidance.

Because the PSAT is operated by the College Board, students with disabilities may only access testing accommodations that have been approved by College Board. If you have a student with disabilities in eleventh grade this school year who may need a new College Board testing accommodation, please review the PSAT accommodations information and return your input and consent to us by Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

Any current 11th graders who submitted requests through the College Board for accommodations for their PSAT or AP exams as 10th graders will not need to submit a request to renew their accommodations. Once requested and approved, accommodations remain in place for all College Board testing. 

If you have questions about PSAT accommodations, contact Telia Johnson at @email . When returning accommodation input and consent forms (Enclosures 2 and 3), deliver to: @email