Most students took the PSAT on October 13th. So what? It doesn’t count for anything, right? Wrong!…Mostly. Here are some ways the PSAT counts for everyone who takes it:
- The PSAT is an opportunity for students to put themselves in a real test setting before taking their first official SAT. It is an chance to “work the nerves out.”
- Although the PSAT is 15 minutes shorter than the SAT, it is still 2 hours and 45 minutes. It’s tough to focus for 2 hours and 45 minutes! Movies are rarely longer than 2 hours so they don’t push the limits of people’s attention spans (and frankly, the PSAT is not as entertaining)! Focusing for that long period of time a few more times after taking the PSAT will put students in a better position to maintain their focus for the SAT.
Here is a breakdown of the PSAT 8/9 (taken by freshmen):
- Section 1 reading: 55 minutes, 42 question
- Section 2 writing and language: 30 minutes, 40 questions
- Section 3 math (no calc): 20 minutes, 13 questions
- Section 4 math (with calc): 40 minutes, 25 questions
The total score scale ranges from 240 to 1440. The section score scale ranges from 120 to 720. Cross test score ranges from 6 to 36.
Here is a breakdown of the PSAT/NMSQT (taken by sophomores and juniors):
- Section 1 reading: 60 minutes, 47 question
- Section 2 writing and language: 35 minutes, 44 questions
- Section 3 math (no calc): 25 minutes, 17 questions
- Section 4 math (with calc): 45 minutes, 31 questions
The total score scale ranges from 320 to 1520. The section score scale ranges from 160 to 760. Cross test score ranges from 8 to 38.
The cross test scores from each test enable parents and students to compare reading to writing and language to math apples to apples even though the PSAT is 50% math, 25% reading, and 25% writing and language.
The NMSQT part of PSAT/NMSQT stands for “National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.” Here’s how it works: about 1.5 million high school juniors take the PSAT each year. 50,000 of those who take the test qualify for a national merit scholarship. Only 15% of those who qualify receive a national merit scholarship. Earning a scholarship is an 18-month process, which includes consideration of extra-curriculars, GPA, and improvement to the SAT. Last year, NJ and Massachusetts had the highest qualifying scores—each state had a selection index of 222, which is roughly equivalent to a 1480, or 40 points away from a perfect score.
PSAT results will be available online December 6 or 7th. Students will receive their questions, along with a report of what they had incorrect, what wrong answer they put, and the correct answer. For more information on the PSAT/NMSQT, call 732-485-6480 or contact us.