About the PSAT
Preliminary SAT (PSAT), also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) is an easier version of the SAT that is taken by students in the 10th and/or 11th grade. It is the best way to get you familiarised with the SAT. For students in the US, the junior year scores are counted towards the National Merit Scholarship Program. Find out more about whether international students should take it on our College blog.
The new PSAT format
The PSAT has also undergone changes along with the SAT to ensure it is testing relevant skills and knowledge. It is also 35 minutes longer than the older version.
The test format, including the time and number of questions is as per below:
Number of Questions
Writing and Language
Every question has 4 answer choices instead of 5 and there is no penalty for guessing
incorrectly. (Best not to leave any question blank!) It is graded on a scale of 200-1600
According to the Collegeboard, the test is designed to focus on the following:
- Words in Context: : Many questions on the new PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 focus on important, widely used words and phrases found in texts in many different subjects. Some questions ask you to figure out a word’s meaning based on context. The words are ones that you will probably encounter in college or in the workplace long after test day.
The Math Test focuses in-depth on three essential areas of math: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Advanced Math (consists of more complex equations).
- Problems Grounded in Real-World Contexts
Throughout the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10, you’ll be asked questions grounded in the real world, directly related to work performed in college and career.
- Analysis in Science and in History/Social Studies
The redesigned PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 ask you to apply your reading, writing, language, and math knowledge and skills to answer questions in science, history, and social studies contexts. In this way, the assessments call on the same sorts of knowledge and skills that you’ll use in college, at work, and throughout your life to make sense of recent discoveries, political developments, global events, and health and environmental issues.
- U.S. Founding Documents and the Great Global Conversation
When you take the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10, you’ll be asked to read a passage from U.S. founding documents or the global conversation they inspired.
How can Prep Zone help?
For many students in India, the PSAT score might not be required. Nonetheless, it is very useful in identifying your strengths and weaknesses and working on them before the SAT. A lot of the foundational concepts remain the same and getting started sooner could give you enough time to practice and improve before the hectic senior year gets around. Prep Zone provides individual training to students. The course is completely customisable to suit the needs of the student and help them improve in areas that they face the most difficulty with so that the SAT will seem a lot more doable!
I’m interested! What are my next steps?
Prep Zone has helped thousands of International School and top Junior College students over the last 10 years with their SAT / ACT preparation and admissions to top US colleges. Getting started with the PSAT can help your child get familiarized with the format and thinking skills required of a standardized test.
Call us on 022-26054200 for a quick chat and find out more about our course options. We are confident we will make a significant difference to your preparation. Or just simply fill out the form below and have one of our friendly course consultants get back to you today!