What Is On The PSAT?

December 4, 2022
By AdmissionSight

What Is On The PSAT?

What is on the PSAT?

The PSAT is a practice test for the SAT. But what is it really? What is on the PSAT? What is the PSAT? What is it for? The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) or the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), is a practice test for the SAT. The PSAT is only offered once a year, and many students take it in both their 10th and 11th grades.

This is an opportunity to acquire a National Merit Scholarship worth $180 million available to students who perform well on the test during their junior year. It measures your aptitude in reading, writing, and math over the course of two hours and forty-five minutes. The PSAT has a maximum score of 1520, unlike the SAT.

According to experts, there are two methods for students to assess the PSAT’s worth. The first is a route to one of these scholarships, and the second is test preparation for the SAT, which is frequently utilized as a prerequisite for college admissions.

Male students studying in his dorm room.

One way to prepare for the SAT is to take it as a practice test. What is on the PSAT? It is a four-section test that has a similar format to the SAT. AdmissionSight has prepared points for you to take notes on when planning to take the test. Listed below are the portions that must be completed within the allotted time (during the course of the test):


The reading component is a 60-minute reading test that is based on passages. Each of the five sections is followed by nine or ten questions. The chapters touch on a variety of topics, including science, logic, literature, and sociology.

The reading portion is the only one where all of the answers are on the page in front of the test-taker, so it’s helpful to think of it as an open-book, open-notes exam.


The 35-minute writing component involves a grammatical test based on passages. It consists of four passages on topics ranging from the humanities, sciences, and history to assess students’ knowledge of 15-20 strict grammar principles. Each chapter includes underlined words or phrases for which test-takers must choose the correct answer from a list of options.

In the 25% of questions that are phrased correctly, leaving the underlined area alone is the appropriate multiple-choice response.


There are 17 questions in the Math (no calculator) segment, with the first 14 being multiple-choice and the last three being grid-in (numeric entry) problems. With some geometry tossed in for good measure, algebra dominates the math.

By question type, questions range in difficulty from easy to hard. For instance, the first grid-in question and the first multiple-choice question are both easy.

With 31 questions and a 45-minute time limit, the Math (With Calculator) component of the test is the longest. Following four grid-in questions that likewise range in difficulty from easy to hard, there are 27 multiple-choice questions that range in difficulty from easy to hard.

Group of students writing on their desks.

Students are allowed to utilize a variety of calculators, including graphing calculators, for the “With Calculator” portion (up to a TI-84 CE).

When is the PSAT offered?

Now that you have an idea of what is on the PSAT, let’s further discover when the said test is offered.

The said test is traditionally given on a Wednesday or a Saturday in the middle of October (halfway between the October and November SAT test dates in the fall). The choice of whether to give the test on Wednesday or Saturday will be made by the schools.

In the event that a school is unable to conduct the exam on one of the earlier dates, an additional test date will be designated. To find out when your school will be offering the exam, consult the school calendar. The majority of standard-time tests start in the morning and end before noon.

How are PSAT scores calculated?

Given that we have discussed what is on the PSAT, it is best to know how are PSAT scores calculated. The combined reading and writing sections and the mathematics sections make up the PSAT’s two main scoring areas.

Scores for the reading, writing, and mathematics portions range from 160 to 760 in 10-point incrementing areas. Scores for the reading, writing, and mathematics portions range from 160 to 760 in 10-point increments. The range of the composite score is 320–1520.

You’ll observe that the PSAT scoring scale has the same relative range of values, pushed down the number line, as the more traditional SAT scoring scales (200–800 points for the corresponding parts; 400–1600 points for the total composite score). Therefore, if a student takes the PSAT in the latter half of high school, their perfect PSAT score (1520) may be utilized to provide a “preview” of their SAT performance. However, a perfect SAT score (1600) does not exactly correlate with a perfect PSAT score (1520).

What is an average score on the PSAT?

Calculating the PSAT scores, being with what is on the PSAT, and knowing what is an average score on the PSAT is an edge among the test takers. Tests are graded accordingly. Grading systems, etc., are being considered.

The average score will vary depending on the student’s grade level and, to a lesser extent, the testing year; in certain years, the test may prove to be more challenging for kids on average than in other years. Let’s discuss the PSAT’s average score this time. Aside from knowing what is on the PSAT, let’s check the average score.

a graduation hat sitting on an answer sheet

A composite score of 1070 or higher on the PSAT qualifies as a good score and places you in the top 25% of test takers. It’s critical to comprehend the scoring because it might be quite intricate. After taking the PSAT, you will receive scores for reading, writing and language, and math that range from 8 to 38, as well as scores for evidence-based reading and writing, and math that range from 160 to 760. Your two area scores are added together to determine your overall PSAT score, which has a range of 320 to 1520.

What is the highest you can get on the PSAT?

In this portion, AdmissionSight will discuss what is the highest you can get on the PSAT. In order to study PSAT score percentiles and determine what a decent PSAT score is, this article deconstructs the PSAT score ranges.

The maximum aggregate score on the PSAT is 1520. The PSAT score has an indirect impact on college entrance for some or many students, despite not having a direct impact on the college admission process like the SAT and ACT. Additionally, getting the highest score provides advantages.

In this blog, AdmissionSight has provided what is on the PSAT, what is an average score on the PSAT, and now we will examine the greatest score, the advantages of doing well, and the scoring process. Here are some pointers for getting the highest possible PSAT score.

1. Being deaf

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t confident enough to pull off the act, but it is much better than losing hope due to skepticism and discouragement from friends and family. Just push the unfavorable thoughts aside and keep going.

2. Get a study schedule

Now that you are aware that 1520 is the maximum possible score, you may make plans accordingly and work on it with complete focus.

 3. Teamwork is preferable

Group study can be effective if you are surrounded by intelligent individuals. Make friends with someone who is serious about the PSAT and study with them.

4. Man improves with practice.

Anyone can become better at whatever task they practice. As we all know, practice consistently until you are confident that you can achieve the highest PSAT score.

Now that you’re reading this point of the blog, you must want to learn more about how to perform well on the PSAT and how to get the best score.

Do you wish to learn more about what is on the PSAT? The best admission specialists at AdmissionSight have more than ten years of expertise assisting students as they navigate the challenging admissions process.

When you apply to colleges next season, AdmissionSight can help you present your best self. For more details about our services, get in touch with us immediately.





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