The PSAT, which is alternatively called NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a standardized test administered for most 9th and 10th-grade students. It is basically a ‘preliminary SAT’ exam via which students get a fair idea of the format, types of questions, content, and timeline they are going to encounter during the SAT. Besides, the PSAT also helps in qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Test Format, Structure, and Types of Questions of PSAT
Since 2015, the students are being tested on the basis of a redesigned PSAT pattern. The new format also constitutes test reasoning skills focusing more on the development of knowledge and understanding, which is important for the success of any high school student. The skill of the student is measured in two core areas in the test.
- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (The subsections are Reading and Writing & Language).
- Math (The subsections are Without a Calculator and With Calculator).
The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The structure of the PSAT is as follows:
|Section||Sub Section||Total Testing Time and Breakdown||Number of Questions||Content / Skills Covered|
|Evidence-Based Reading and Writing||Reading||60 Minutes||47||The passages on this section are taken from World or US literature, History/Social studies, Social Science and Science.|
|Evidence-Based Reading and Writing||Writing & Language||35 Minutes||44||The grammar, content, and style of the passages may contain some errors which need to be fixed through the answer choices.|
|Maths||No Calculator||25 Minutes||17||Heart of Algebra, problem-solving and data analysis; passport to advanced math and additional math topics.|
|Maths||Yes Calculator||45 Minutes||31||Heart of Algebra, problem-solving and data analysis; passport to advanced math and additional math topics.|
8 questions on the Math section require students to fill in responses; all other questions on the PSAT are multiple-choice questions with 4 answer choices per question.