About 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 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) in the United States. Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT each year. Students register for the exam through high schools which are members of the College Board. The test is composed of four sections: two Math Sections, Critical Reading, and Writing Skills, and takes two hours and ten minutes to complete.

SectionNumber of QuestionsTime allotted
Evidence-based Reading4760 minutes
Writing and Language4435 minutes
Math4870 minutes
TOTAL139165 minutes

10 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. A calculator is permitted for the second part of the Math section.

PSAT Score Report

PSAT results are usually declared in December. You can use this score report to identify your strengths and weaknesses to prepare for the SAT. The score report includes answer keys for each section of the PSAT.

On the Math section, the key will also tell you whether the concept tested was from algebra, geometry, data analysis, or numbers and operations. You will also receive your test booklet back with your score report, so you can figure out your performance on the PSAT. This is a great way to kick start your SAT preparation!
Finally, the score report includes a percentile that allows you to see how you did in relation to other students in your grade. If your percentile is 60%, that means you scored higher than 60% of students in your grade.