Everything about Pre SAT That You Need to Know

What is Pre SAT?

Pre SAT or PSAT is the acronym for Preliminary SAT. It is otherwise abbreviated as NMSQT which stands for National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Pre SAT is administered by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) in the United States of America. However, pre SAT is offered by the College Board only.

Pre SAT is taken annually by approximately 3.5 million students. Even students from seventh and eighth grades too take the pre SAT. The scores from the pre SAT will be used by the NMSC for deciding your eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Before 1997, pre SAT used to be comprised of only two test sections viz. Math and Verbal sections. In this testing format, the Verbal section was evaluated for marks more than that of the Math section. The writing skills section was added in the year 1997 making the pre SAT a three section test.

Why Pre SAT?

Many of you might have the question of “Why pre SAT?” From the College Board’s perspective, pre SAT is a firsthand practice for SAT. It is like a warm up test session for you if you plan to take SAT later on. Pre SAT tests your analytical and logical ability as well your English language proficiency. You might have developed the skills of problem solving and attempting English language related questions but the questions asked in SAT require an extra edge for your skills to be solved. Pre SAT is a test for such skills. Mentioned below are some important points that would explain to you why you must attempt pre SAT.

  • You can know where your skills stand. You can know how far can the skills you possess help you score well in the actual SAT. Hence, pre SAT is kind of a feedback for of your skills. You can know about all the strengths and weaknesses you possess thereby helping you to understand where to focus and where not to focus.
  • After your self assessment, you can prepare an action plan that would be more effective for your preparation for the actual SAT.
  • Also, you can know your performance levels on a comparative basis with that of others applying for colleges. This makes you understand where you stand and what is that you require for standing out.
  • A good pre SAT score makes you eligible for the scholarships offered for the students of 11th grade from NMSC.
  • Most important of all, you can get to know about the question types asked in the actual SAT which helps you to strategically find ways to effectively solve the questions which will be asked in SAT.
  • You can receive updates and any other information from the colleges with the Student Search Service. You can know about the PSAT or pre SAT at the official College Board link:

Pre SAT Test Format and Scoring

Let us now know in detail about the pre SAT test structure and scoring agenda. The pre SAT is administered for a total time of two hours and ten minutes. It is a three section test comprising of the Math section, Critical Reading sections and the Writing skills section. Each of the mentioned above sections are scored on a scale of 20-80 points with the maximum score for a single section being 80 points. Hence, the whole test adds up to a maximum score of 240 points. The main difference between the pre SAT and the actual SAT is that the Math section of pre SAT does not consist of problems from higher level mathematics and the Writing section of pre SAT doesnot consist of an essay as in actual SAT.

Hence, pre SAT is very helpful for students to understand their skills and also know more in detail about the actual SAT.

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