– Over 3 million high school students take the PSAT each year.
– There are 2 variations of PSAT: PSAT 10 for sophomores, ad PSAT 8/9 for freshmen, and 8th graders.
If you’re one of many high school students that’s preparing to take the PSAT, you’re probably wondering how long the PSAT is.
What is the PSAT?
The PSAT is the Preliminary SAT. It’s also known as the NMSQT or the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The PSAT is a practice version of the SAT exam. High school students who are in 10th and 11th grade are able to take the PSAT once per year. If you score a high enough score on the PSAT during your 11th-grade year, you may be able to qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship for college.
How Many Sections are on the PSAT?
There are four sections on the PSAT exam.
The Reading section of the PSAT exam will give you text passages with questions that contain four answers. You’ll also be given graphics such as charts or tables. The Reading section includes:
- One passage from a classic or contemporary work of U.S. or global literature
- A passage about economics, psychology, sociology, or other social science
- Two passages that examine the development and foundational concepts in Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics
- A passage or a pair of shorter passages from either a U.S. founding document or a global text that is inspired by foundational government documents
The Reading section is timed for 60 minutes with 47 questions.
Writing and Language
You’ll be asked to be an editor in the Writing and Language section. You’ll need to improve passages that were written for the exam, and those passages will include deliberate errors. You’ll be asked to edit passages that are related to social studies, history, or science.
Being able to edit these passages means that you’ll need to have a good eye for detail. You’ll be measured on the basic skills of writing such as analysis of information, vocabulary, expression of ideas, and standard grammar tools.
The Writing and Language section contains 44 questions and is timed for 35 minutes.
The Mathematics section of the PSAT will test you on math that you will rely on in different sorts of situations such as in college, your job, and in your personal life.
The type of math questions that you’ll be given include:
- Heart of Algebra
- Problem Solving and Data Analysis
- Passport to Advanced Math
The Math section includes two portions: one using a calculator and the other without a calculator. Both sections contain multiple-choice answers with four answer choices as well as short answer grid-in questions.
The Math section includes a total of 47 questions. The calculator section is timed for 45 minutes while the section without a calculator is 25 minutes long.
How Long is the PSAT?
The PSAT is divided into 3 different sections, measuring what you’ve learned in high school so far as writing, math, and reading. The Writing section is 35 minutes long, Math is 70 minutes, and Reading is 60 minutes; making the total time for the PSAT to be 2 hours and 45 minutes long.
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