The Preliminary SAT(PSAT) is jointly offered by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. It offers the dual opportunities of preparing for the SAT, and the chance for US-based students to win a scholarship for further studies. The PSAT closely resembles the new SAT, which was first administered in March, 2016. However, it is a shorter test, with a duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes. The PSAT is a multiple choice questions based test.

The PSAT measures a student’s skills in two core areas: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math. It is is composed of three sections - Reading, Writing, and Math.

The PSAT is scored on a scaled between 320 and 1520. A student can therefore score on a range from 160 to 760 for Math and 160 to 760 for Reading and Writing. In addition the PSAT score also provides subscores for Math, Reading, and Writing and Language. These subscores range between 8 and 38.

The structure of the PSAT is as follows:

Section Sub-Section Total Testing Time & Breakdown Number of Questions Content/Skills Covered
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing Reading 60 minutes 47 reading and vocabulary in context
Writing 35 mintues 44 grammar and usage
Math 70 minutes;
1 45-minute calculator-optional section and
1 25-minute no-calculator section
47 heart of algebra, problem solving & data analysis, passport to advanced math, additional topics (geometry, trigonometry and pre-calculus)

For more information on True North's PSAT courses click here.

For a more detailed comparison of the PSAT with the SAT click here. 

For further details about the PSAT click here. 

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