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OKC school district to offer free PSAT, SAT exams

Thousands of students in the Oklahoma City school district can take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) for free on Oct. 28.

The district, which paid for 2,800 sophomores and juniors to take the PSAT  in the spring, has expanded the program to include eighth- and ninth-graders.

In all, nearly 8,500 students will be offered the test at each middle school and high school in the district. The same students can also take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for fee.

"This will give students and staff invaluable information on what our students need to do to be college ready," Superintendent Rob Neu said in a statement provided by the district. "This is a fantastic opportunity for our students."

The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test is a standardized test that assesses critical reading, math and writing skills needed for college. It prepares students for college admissions tests like the SAT and ACT, and the aptitude test is the qualifying test for National Merit Scholarships.

Additionally, the PSAT is a good indicator of a student's ability to succeed in Advanced Placement courses.

Of the 2,800 students who took the test in the spring,  489 earned exemptions from End of Instruction exams while 240 qualified for Advanced Placement coursework, according to the district.

The district is expected to pay about $205,000 to administer the exams.

In August, the state Education Department launched a pilot program that will pay for every high school junior in Oklahoma to take the ACT — the state's primary college entrance exam — for free.

Tim Willert

Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers K-12 education, including Oklahoma City Public Schools and the state Education Department. Before that he covered district, federal and appellate courts in Oklahoma County. Prior... Read more ›