Take the PSAT

What Is the Pattern of PSAT?

PSAT is quite an essential test for the students aiming at taking the SAT. It is the abbreviation for Preliminary SAT. It is administered by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation in the USA in order to judge the students who are eligible for the scholarships they provide. Many high school students take the PSAT to enter this scholarship competition which is organized as part of the National Merit Scholarship Program. However, many students take the PSAT to estimate their abilities as part of their SAT preparation. Students as young as the sixth graders take the PSAT considering it a first-hand practice test for SAT.

What Is the Pattern of PSAT?

PSAT is very much analogous to the SAT considering the test sections saving the syllabi. Like the SAT, PSAT also consists of three test sections. They are the Math section, the Critical Reading section and the Writing Skills section. So, in order for you to take the PSAT and score high, you must be very much competent in all the above mentioned sections. The PSAT is of two-hours and ten-minute duration.

Further, the PSAT test sections will be divided into timed sub-sections. You would have two twenty-five minute timed Critical Reading sub-sections, two twenty-five minute timed Math sub-sections, one thirty-minute timed Writing Skills sub-section. Except for ten questions in the Math section, all the questions throughout the PSAT test paper consist of multiple choice questions. All the multiple choice questions carry negative marking i.e. a wrong answer attempted by you will deduct one-fourth of the mark allotted to that particular question. Hence, while you take the PSAT, it is very important that you be not only fast but also be accurate and precise.

Test Sections’ Question Types

The Math section of the PSAT consists of questions which require your basic knowledge of numbers and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and measurement, data analysis and probability to be answered. All the questions are asked based upon the lower level mathematics unlike the SAT which has questions asked from higher level mathematics concepts which are covered in the syllabus of high school seniors. The Critical Reading section of the PSAT consists of questions related to sentence completion and passage based reading. The Writing Skills section of the PSAT consists of identifying errors in sentences, improving sentences and paragraphs. For a detailed information regarding the PSAT test paper and the question types you can refer to the following links:



How to Take the PSAT?

You can take the PSAT by registering with the College Board. Unlike SAT, you cannot register for the PSAT online. You can register for the PSAT only through your high school provided that your high school is a member of the College Board. Or else, you can register for the PSAT at any high school which offers PSAT in your local community. For more information regarding the PSAT registration, you can visit the following link:


Test Dates and Centers

PSAT is administered only twice in a year. It is generally administered in the month of October. Usually, the third Saturday and its preceding Wednesday of the October month are selected by the College Board to offer the PSAT. Furthermore, one high school can administer the test only on any one of the test dates mentioned above. For the year 2011, the test dates on which the PSAT was administered were:

  • October 12th, Wednesday, 2011 and
  • October 15th, Saturday, 2011.

For the following year i.e. 2012, you can take the PSAT onthe following mentioned test dates:

  • October 17th, Wednesday, 2012 or
  • October 20th, Saturday, 2012.

You can refer to the following link to find out information regarding the PSAT test dates and deadlines:


Go through the official website of the PSAT College Board and then plan your preparation accordingly and work dedicatedly to reach your targeted score.

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