PSAT Test Pattern, PSAT Information

Overview of PSAT:

The PSAT is the abbreviation of Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test and NMSQT is the abbreviation of National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is in reality the similar test. Frequently you will notice this written as the PSAT/NMSQT, which is how we will refer to them on this description. At many times the significance of the PSAT/NMSQT is underplayed, however becoming a National Merit Finalist is a great manner to set you separately in the college admission procedure. What people do not frequently tell you is that there are plentiful scholarships are accessible for National Merit Finalists and most of the schools even give National Merit Finalist students a 100 percent scholarship to cover tuition fee, room and board, and even a remuneration - this could be value as much as $100,000 over the 4-years of college for which you encompass this scholarship. Don't take the PSAT/NMSQT carelessly, as it could turn into a $100,000 scholarship for you!

What do you mean by PSAT or NMSQT?

The PSAT or NMSQT is a standardized test governed by high schools all around the country, and any sophomore (tenth grader) or junior (eleventh grader) who would like to acquire the test can do so in the fall of the school year. The PSAT/NMSQT mainly serves two rationales:

1) The PSAT/NMSQT is a practice for the authentic SAT, which most of the students will necessitate taking in order to apply for college. This practice for SAT is helpful for both juniors and sophomores.

2) The PSAT/NMSQT is employed as the base for qualification in the esteemed National Merit Scholarship Program in a student's junior year. The students who take part in the PSAT/NMSQT all through their sophomore year will not be qualified for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Three bases your PSAT Score Matters:

There are many high school students who are well known with the SAT and use up significant time getting prepared for the examination. But, before facing for the SAT, most of the students will take part in Preliminary SAT or PSAT which is as well a standardized test co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

A lot of individuals take this exam devoid of doing something to get ready. Unluckily, such students suppose that the exam is merely a practice session which does not encompass any authentic value as college admissions officers don't make use of the score to review applications.

Though it is right that the score is not a factor similar to the ACT or SAT in admissions decisions, an excellent performance on the PSAT is still important. The three very imperative reasons your score matters are as follows:

1) Scores can escort to National Merit Scholarships: The National Merit Scholarship Corporation on behalf of these scores qualify semi-finalists who are then considered for National Merit Scholarship competition. Identification by the National Merit program offers a financial award and can frequently be leveraged to secure extra scholarships.

The finalists can become qualified for corporate scholarships and numerous colleges and universities offer scholarship. In many scenarios, these scholarships cover the entire tuition fee.

2) Excellent scores can specify performance on the SAT: The PSAT is a great manner to make acquainted yourself with the structure, content and procedure of taking the SAT and acquire a sense of how you will perform on the real exam. Your score can represent you which subjects you might not be principally strong in, in spite of of your grades in allied classes.

Your overall performance at PSAT will authorize you with the information you necessitate to design an SAT study plan which will assist you in earning your best probable score.

3) Doing good can endow with a big confidence boost up: Test nervousness and a fear of the unidentified can encompass a negative impact on students taking the SAT for the first time. Though, if you have already done well on the PSAT, you will be at a divergent benefit.

Moreover, the PSAT is a tool which most of the colleges and universities employ to recognize students they think might make a good addition to their student body and who might be worthy of scholarships. Such scores are a mode for colleges to be choosier in their recruitment procedure, and having schools articulate interest in you and employ you to apply can as well boost confidence.

PSAT/NMSQT Structure:

The PSAT/NMSQT tests encompass the similar general areas similar to that of the SAT:

  • Critical reading skills
  • Math problem-solving skills
  • Writing skills

Critical Reading:

  • 2 sections, 25 minutes each
  • 48 questions, all multiple choices: 13 Sentence completions and 35 Critical reading questions.


  • 2 sections, 25 minutes each
  • 38 questions, 28 multiple choice and 10 student formed response or grid-in answers.

A calculator is permitted (that is, four function calculators, scientific calculators and graphing calculators other than that of TI-92 are all right).


  • 1 section, 30 minutes
  • 39 questions, all multiple choices: 14 Identifying sentence errors, 20 Improving sentences and 5 improving paragraph questions.

What is the way to scored in the PSAT?

The PSAT multiple-choice segments are graded as given: Take the number of right answers in a section and subtract a quarter (1/4) points for every wrong answer. No points are subtracted for passing or skipping a question. This number is termed as a raw score. The raw score is transformed to a scaled score, which is a value among 20 and 80. The students will obtain individual scores in Critical Reading, Math and Writing and can add them altogether for a combined. To approximate a SAT score from a PSAT score, just add a zero to the end so that the 20 to 80 PSAT score cascades in the 200 to 800 range.

On test day you must make sure to carry:

1) As a minimum of two pencils.

2) A permitted calculator: Any four functions, scientific or graphing calculator, though you must confirm when you get your registration materials (in which you will be sent a list of permitted calculators).

3) An ID proof: If you encompass a driver's license this will be fine, if not carry your school ID. Keep in mind to make sure that the ID consists of your picture on it.

4) A water bottle and finger foods like a plastic bag of grapes to snack on all through breaks between segments.

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