Writing Skills questions present sentences and paragraphs that contain the kinds of errors students must look for and correct in their own writing. They measure how well students:
- Express ideas effectively in standard written English
- Recognize faults in usage and structure
- Use language with sensitivity to meaning
Get the facts on PSAT/NMSQT Writing Skills:
- Point scale: 20-80
- Timing: One 30-minute section
- Questions: 39
- Question types:
Academic Skills Tested
The PSAT/NMSQT is designed to test these specific writing skills — the same skills that are critical for success in college and career:
- Manage Word Choice and Grammatical Relationships Between Words: Understand relationships between and among words, including subject–verb agreement, pronoun reference, and verb form and tense.
- Manage Grammatical Structures Used to Modify or Compare: Understand correct use of adjectives or adverbs, comparative structures (such as neither and nor), and phrases used to modify or compare.
- Manage Phrases and Clauses in a Sentence: Use well-formed sentence structures (e.g., parallelism, connectives, and relative clauses) to indicate relationships between and among sentence elements.
- Recognize Correctly Formed Sentences: Recognize correct sentence structure.
- Manage Order and Relationships of Sentences and Paragraphs: Identify how to order the elements of a sentence or paragraph to improve clarity, meaning, and the progression of ideas.