The PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a standardized test that most high schools in the United States administer to their 11th grade students. Some high schools also offer the PSAT/NMSQT to their 9th and/or 10th grade students. Considered to be a "preliminary SAT," the PSAT test gives students a sense of the format, question types, content, and time limits that they will encounter on the SAT. Additionally, the PSAT test serves as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Benefits of taking the PSAT:

  • Good practice for the PSAT will give students a feel of the SAT.

  • Taking PSAT helps to get familiar with the question types, formats, proctoring of the SAT.

  • One can directly experience the time pressure in the PSAT and can work on time management for the SAT.

  • Detailed score report of PSAT is a good indicator of how students need to prepare for the SAT.

 PSAT Test Format & Structure


You will receive a composite score, two section scores, and a variety of subsection scores. The test itself includes four timed sections:





Evidence based Reading section has 47 questions to be answered in 60 minutes. It has passages from World Literature, Social Studies/History, and Science. The Evidence-based Reading section is graded

on a scale of 80–380 (½ of verbal score).

The Writing and Language section has 44 questions to be answered in 35 minutes. The passages test the examinee's expression of ideas, standard English conventions, and are graded on a scale of 80–380

(half of verbal score).

There are 2 math sections on the PSAT: one allows calculator use and the other does not. They are both multiple-choice questions with 4 answer choices and short answer grid-in questions (that need to be entered in the OMR sheet).

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Q. How to register for the PSAT?

Ans. The PSAT is generally registered through your school.
If your school is not administering the PSAT, then you can register through USIEF (United States – India Education Foundation)

Q. What is the fee for the PSAT?

Ans. The PSAT registration fee for the 2019-20 school year is $17. Some schools may charge students an additional fee to defray the cost of administering the test.

Q. Is SAT harder than the PSAT?

Ans. Yes, SAT is harder than the PSAT. The sections, question types, topics tested in the SAT and the PSAT are almost similar, but the difficulty level of the questions in SAT is harder than the PSAT.

Q. Is the PSAT important?

Ans. The PSAT score is not considered for under grad admissions. However, by preparing for the PSAT and experiencing the test makes the SAT preparation easier.

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