About The PSAT®


What is PSAT?

The PSAT is often referred to as a “preliminary SAT”, and many students take the PSAT to get started with their SAT preparation. The PSAT is a standardized test that most high schools in the United States administer to their 11th-grade students. Also, the test serves as a qualifying test for the students applying to the National Merit Scholarship Program. You might find the PSAT and SAT to be similar at times; however, the SAT asks more difficult and advanced questions and includes an optional essay.  In the PSAT, if you do not perform well on the writing section you need to work hard on the vocabulary and grammar section if you are taking the SAT. The PSAT test gives students a sense of the format, question types, content, and time limits that they will encounter on the SAT.

PSAT Format & Structure

The PSAT test format continues to test your reasoning skills and knowledge and understandings on the subjects involved. It tests your ability to determine the meaning of words in extended contexts. It tests you on two core areas, the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math, and is composed of three sections—Reading, Writing, and Math. You will be given 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete the test.

Let us find out the test structure in detail:


Reading Writing and Language Math No-Calculator Math Calculator
Order 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Time 60 mins 35 mins 25 mins 45 mins
No.  of Questions 47 44 17 31
Question Types Multiple choices Multiple choices Multiple choices, grid-ins Multiple choices, grid-ins
Topics/Skills Tested

  • Vocabulary
  • Ability to find evidence for answers in passages
  • Data interpretation
  • Ability to improve the flow and style of passages (Writing only)
  • English grammar and punctuation(Writing only)

  • Algebra (linear equations, functions, inequalities, etc.)
  • Nonlinear expressions
  • Data analysis (rates, ratios, percentages, graphs, etc.)
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Complex numbers
Scoring One Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score on a scale of 160-760 One Math score on a scale of 160-760


If you are preparing for PSAT, here are some tips to help you prepare and ace the test. The very first thing you need to do is to know the PSAT format and then you need to set your target score. Once you have decided your target score you should take some practice tests to get an idea of the actual test. After taking the practice test you must analyze your mistakes to know where you stand.

If you decide to invest in tutoring sessions or prep courses, click here.

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