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What’s on the PSAT/NMSQT

Students who know what the PSAT/NMSQT is like do better on test day.

The redesigned PSAT/NMSQT is coming in fall 2015. Check out the changes, understand the structure and timing of the exam, and start getting ready.

The current PSAT/NMSQT includes five sections in three skill areas. Testing time totals 2 hours and 10 minutes. That doesn’t include the time it takes to complete personal information on the answer sheet and listen to instructions.

PSAT/NMSQT Structure
AreaTimingQuestion TypesMeasures how well students
Critical ReadingTwo 25-minute sections

Sentence completion

Passage-based reading

Analyze, evaluate, and think logically about what they read
MathTwo 25-minute sections


Student-produced response (grid-ins)

Use arithmetic, algebra, and geometry to think logically and solve familiar and unfamiliar problems
Writing SkillsOne 30-minute section

Improving sentences

Identifying sentence errors

Improving paragraphs

Express ideas in standard written English, recognize faults, and use language with sensitivity to meaning

Related Topics

Practice Now

Find out which skills and concepts are tested, get pointers for each question type, and answer real test questions.

Practice for the PSAT/NMSQT

Test Day Reminders

Two No. 2 pencils? Check. Calculator? Check. What else should students bring to the test?

What to Bring on Test Day