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DSAT-PSAT Key Differences You Must Know

 

The Digital SAT and the PSAT, are tests offered by the College Board, a not-for-profit organization based out of the United States. The skill and knowledge tested on both these tests are more or less similar but they are not identical. Let us understand how these two tests are different.

When we say PSAT, there are different types of PSAT offered by the College Board. PSAT 8/9 is for students at 8th and 9th grade; PSAT 10 is for students at 10th grade; PSAT/NMSQT for students at 10th or 11th grade and as a preparatory for the Digital SAT.

We are going to compare the Digital SAT with PSAT/NMSQT which is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. As you all know that the Digital SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States and a few other countries and this test is now transitioning to a completely Digital test in March 2023 internationally and in the United States in 2024. The PSAT, currently a paper pencil test, will be administered digitally effective August of 2023.

PSAT prep will be a great primer for the Digital SAT preparation.

THIS BLOG INCLUDES:

1.Differences Between the Digital SAT & PSAT
2.The Purpose of taking the SAT and the PSAT is Different
3.Benefits of taking the PSAT

 

Differences Between the Digital SAT & PSAT

With the SAT now becoming a Digital test there are a lot of differences between the Digital SAT and PSAT.

Digital SAT PSAT
Test goes digital from March 2023 internationally and in the US in 2024  PSAT is currently a paper and pencil test but will be going digital in August 2023
Test will continue to be administered at a test center or school Test will continue to be administered at a test center or school 
Duration of the test is 2 hrs and 14 minutes  Duration of the test is 2 hrs and 45 minutes
Student can use his own device for the test or the device provided by college board  The test will continue to be a paper and pencil test till August 2023
The test is a multistage adaptive test  The test is a linear test 
There is no right or wrong answer as every question is weighted  There is a score for every right answer
The score range is from 400 to 1600 The score range is from 320 to 1520 
Verbal section has Reading and Writing  Verbal Section has Evidence based reading, writing and language
Reading section will have passages based on literature, social sciences, natural sciences and passages that students are familiar with in an academic set up  Reading section has passages based on literature, historical documents, social sciences, and natural sciences.

 

Reading section will not have passages from old founding documents  Reading section will continue to test historical documents
The reading passages are shorter with up to 150-200 words Reading passages will be long with up to 500-750 words
Every question will be discrete and unique to every short passage  Each passage will have more than 1 question
Reading and writing section will have multiple choice questions with 4 answer choices  Reading and writing section will have multiple choice questions with 4 answer choices 
Math section tests Algebra, Arithmetic, Data analysis, Geometry and trigonometry Math section tests Algebra, Arithmetic, Data analysis, Geometry and trigonometry
Math sections have multiple choice questions with 4 answer choices and a few Student produced responses Math sections have multiple choice questions with 4 answer choices and a few Grid ins questions
Student produced responses will not allow negative numbers  Grid ins questions allow only positive numbers 
Math section allows use of calculator throughout the section  Math section has a No calculator and No calculator section
The structure of the score report is yet to be published  The PSAT has a composite score which is the sum of Evidence based Reading and writing and the math section 

 

The report has two section scores for Evidence-based Reading and Writing and in the Math section.

Three test scores such as Reading, Writing & Language and Math test scores are reported.

The difficulty level of questions on the Digital SAT are high  The difficult level of questions on the PSAT is not as high as the Digital SAT 

Related Blog Post: How Long Does It Take to Send SAT Scores?

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The Purpose of Taking the SAT and the PSAT is Different

  • Digital SAT is used to measure the college readiness for undergrad admissions.
  • PSAT score is not used for the admission process but it acts as a great primer for the Digital SAT.
  • PSAT score is the basis for the national merit scholarship qualifying test for the US citizens.

 

Benefits of Taking the PSAT

  • Get a feel of the question types that could be expected on the Digital SAT.
  • Get familiar with the question types and formats.
  • One can directly experience the time pressure in the PSAT and can work on time management for the Digital SAT.
  • Detailed score report of PSAT is a good indicator of how students need to prepare for the Digital SAT.

 

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FAQs

Is 980 a good score for the PSAT?

Yes, but normally this is considered 980 as the average score for the PSAT.

What PSAT score is the 95th percentile?

A range of 1360-1370 PSAT score is the 95th percentile.

Which one is harder: PSAT or SAT?

The Practice SAT is given by beginners and the DSAT is a college-level entrance exam that is slightly more challenging than the PSAT. Thus, DSAT is harder than PSAT. 

Does Harvard consider PSAT scores?

Yes, Harvard also considered the PSAT scores for the application and invited students from across the USA.

What is the average score on the PSAT for the 11th graders?

The average score is between 1000-1011 for the PSAT 11th graders.

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