The PSAT – Here’s What You Need to Know

The PSAT is generally seen as a trial run for the SAT. However, this exam is so much more important than that. PSAT scores are commonly used to identify and award national merit scholarships.

In this article, we will discuss the PSAT exam, including what it entails and how many opportunities there are to complete the test in a year. More so, we will mention essential pieces of information, such as how long the test is and what the average score is, that you should keep in mind before writing.

What Is The PSAT?

As we have already mentioned, the PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is almost a practice exam for the SAT. This test is an excellent primer – however, it is much more than practice. It is important to note that this test does not count towards your college admissions. However, it does influence whether or not you qualify for a scholarship. 

In other words, the students who achieve the best results on this test may receive scholarship money to fund their studies. Many students ignore this exam by failing to study for it. However, if you need financial aid, achieving a good grade in the PSAT may be the way to go. 

What Is On The PSAT?

Like the SAT, the PSAT contains two main sections:

  • Mathematics
  • Evidence-based writing and reading

On the test, you will encounter passage-based questions accompanied by graphs, tables, and other sources. More so, your algebra, geometry, and trigonometry knowledge will be tested. 

PSAT General Information

This exam lasts a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes. You will only have one opportunity to complete this paper a year. However, unlike other entrance exams, you will not have to pay anything to write this test.

The max score that you will be able to obtain is 1520. With that being said, the average result lies at 920, meaning that you should aim to achieve at least this grade. However, if you wish to receive a scholarship, you will need to perform much better. 

You can sign up for this test with a counselor at your school. To prepare for this exam, you should focus mainly on your mathematics skills.

Concluding Thoughts

The PSAT is a preliminary test taken before the SAT. This exam focuses on mathematics and evidence-based writing and reading. The PSAT does not count towards your college admissions applications. With that being said, it will determine whether or not you qualify for a scholarship.

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