Where Students Come First
Student Achievement Resources
Facts About the Test
The assessment comprises three tests and includes 2 hours and 45 minutes of actual testing time, 10 minutes of breaks, and approximately 45 to 50 minutes of administration time - about 3 hours and 30 minutes total time.
Reading Test: 60 minutes
Writing and Language Test: 35 minutes
Math Test - No Calculator: 15 minutes
Math Test - Calculator: 45 minutes
The reading test is passages to read and interpret informational graphics. What has been read is used to answer the questions.
Questions ask the test taker to locate a piece of information or an idea stated directly, as is understanding of the author’s words and what they imply. The test taker will need to be able to read between the lines.
Writing and Language Test
To answer some questions, a single sentence will be used. Other questions require reading the entire piece and interpreting a graphic. A test taker might be asked to choose a sentence that corrects a misinterpretation of a scientific chart or that better explains the importance of the data.
The passages range from arguments to nonfiction narratives and will be about careers, history, social studies, the humanities, and science.
Most math questions are multiple choice, but some, called grid-ins, ask for a written answer rather than selecting the answer. The math test is divided into two sections: Math Test Calculator and Math Test No Calculator. Some parts of the test include several questions about a single scenario.
Benefits of taking the PSAT
Jump-Start Your Journey to College: The PSAT propels students toward college and career readiness.
Get Money for College: Say “Yes” to Student Search Service™ when taking the PSAT and make it easy for colleges and scholarship programs to send information to students. Millions of dollars are available through organization such as United Negro College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, American Indian Graduate Center, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
Taking the PSAT automatically screens the test taker for the National Merit® Scholarship Program, Usually juniors meet entry requirements.
National Hispanic Recognition Program: Hispanic/Latino students who take the PSAT could be invited to apply for academic recognition as part of the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program, which is an academic honor that may be included on college applications. This recognition does not come with a scholarship, but colleges may use this program to identify academically exceptional Hispanic/Latino students. Click here to learn more about this program.
Get Personalized SAT Study Recommendations: After test results arrive, the test taker may connect a College Board account with a new or existing Khan Academy® account to get free personalized SAT study recommendations. Test results also suggest which AP courses might be a good fit for a student.