Important Info about PSAT Test Pattern

What Is the PSAT?

The PSAT or the Preliminary SAT is a competitive and rigorous assessment of test takers in three different measures, namely the critical reading, math and writing skills. These three measures also form the three sections of the PSAT. In this PSAT info, we shall discuss about the three sections, question types and question pattern of the PSAT. The PSAT is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) and in this PSAT info we shall read about the prospects of academic scholarships for the test-takers of the eleventh grade. The PSAT is conducted on the third Saturday of each year and its preceding Wednesday. Hence, if you abide by this PSAT info, you will get to learn a lot about the PSAT.

The PSAT is conducted in high schools on any of the two test dates for PSAT. The normal fee for taking PSAT is $14. In order to cover up the administrative cost, the PSAT fee might be increased by the high schools conducting PSAT. Let’s start putting forward the other PSAT info in details.

What Are the Sections of PSAT?

Let’s now discuss, in this PSAT info, about the subject-matter covered in the three sections of PSAT, namely the Critical Reading, the Math and the Writing Skills.

  • Critical Reading: this section of the PSAT measures your ability to read and interpret correctly. It checks your logical reasoning and assesses you on this ground. It contains questions such as:
    • Sentence Completion Questions: which simply judges test-takers’ ability to interpret the logic of an idea through a very complicated sentence. A sentence would be given with one or two blanks in it. There will be options containing the word/s which best fill up the given blanks.
    • Passage-Based Questions: this section only checks test-taker’s ability to read and infer from given passages. There might be more than one passage given. You will have to answer the questions, which would be based on the passage/s.

  • Math: in this section, a test-taker’s basic concepts on numbers and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and measurements and simple data interpretation statistics and probability sums are measured. There are two types of questions, which are given from this section. They are:
    • Multiple-Choice Questions: this type of question contains the sum, followed by five options out of which, you need to choose the one which you feel is the correct one.
    • Student-Produced Responses: now this type of question does not contain any options whatsoever. A test-taker must enter his answer in a special grid, as provided in the question paper. A test-taker must provide the exact answer, which may be a fraction, a decimal or a whole number

  • Writing Skills: this section contains questions in which the test-taker have to point out the grammatical mistakes in the questions and hence display his skills in correct usage of Standard Written English and distinguishing errors in sentence structure. The following points shows the types of questions:
    • Identifying Sentence Error: the students are required to point out any or no errors of a given sentence.
    • Improving Sentence: in this type, a student is required to replace an underlined part of a given sentence with one of the options, which best replaces the underlined part.
    • Improving Paragraph: the students are asked to make changes to or develop a paragraph’s principle idea, consistency or the structure. It involves a student’s understanding of English language and its exact usage.

The Pattern of PSAT:

This PSAT info would be incomplete if we do not discuss the pattern of the PSAT. The PSAT is administered for 2 hours and 10 minutes, including 35 minutes of administrative responsibilities. The Critical Reading and the Math sections, each lasts for twenty-five minutes while the Writing Skills section is for thirty minutes.

There are five sections in the PSAT. Two twenty-five minute sections each for Critical Reading and Math sections and one thirty minute section for Writing Skills. The Critical Reading section contains 48 questions (13 Sentence Completion + 35 Critical Reading questions). The Math section contains 38 questions (28 multiple-choice + 10 student-produced questions). Finally, the Writing Skills contains 39 questions (14 identifying sentence error + 20 improving sentence + 5 improving paragraph questions)

The above discussion on PSAT info provides an overview of the whole PSAT test. It gives you the basic information regarding the test and guides you through the test structure and pattern. For more details, you must visit the College Board website, the official website for PSAT.

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