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PSAT Introduction

The Perfect platform for a high PSAT score
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About PSAT

Build up to College Dreams

The Preliminary SAT(PSAT) is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) in the United States. Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT each year.

The PSAT Exam is mainly attempted to determine eligibility and qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program (for US Citizens Only). PSAT is also considered a strong pre-cursor to the SAT exam. Any student who is planning to appear for SAT exam is strongly recommended to have a PSAT score too.

It is always a good game plan to use the PSAT as practice for the SAT and one of the starting points on your college admissions journey. Most students use this Test as a practice in their sophomore year. With a strong PSAT and SAT score in hand, the doors of various scholarships can be opened to most colleges.

The PSAT is offered nationally every year in October. Follow the link to find registered schools in your area:

What’s the Difference?

Clarity on PSAT/SAT confusion

The PSAT is basically SAT with less bite and one important purpose: it can get you scholarships. It does not get you acceptance into college but it is definitely an indication of your SAT scores, especially in math.

The types of questions are the same as SAT, so are the instructions. In fact, the timing on each section is also very similar. There are a few important differences in length, scoring, and content which are delineated below for your reference:

The Time Factor

The Time Factor
Reading60 minutes60 minutes
Writing & Language35 minutes 35 minutes
Math70 minutes80 minutes
EssayNone 50 minutes (optional)
Total Length2 hours 45 minutes3 hours (3 hours 50 minutes with essay)

The Scoring Factor

Evidence based Reading & Writing160-760200-800
Total Length320-1520400-1600
The Scoring Factor

The Content Factor

The Content Factor
Passage Word Count500-750 words per passage or paired set 500-750 words per passage or paired set
US and World Literature1 Passage, 9 questions1 Passage, 10 questions
History/Social Studies2 Passages,or 1 Passages and 1 pair 2 Passages,or 1 Passage and 1 pair
Science2 Passages,or 1 Passages and 1 pair2 Passages,or 1 Passage and 1 pair
Graphics1-2 graphics in 1 History/Social Studies and 1 Science passage2 Passages,or 1 Passages and 1 pair

Math Test Content

Total Questions4858
Math Section Total Time70 minutes80 minutes
Calculator Permitted Section Time45 minutes55 minutes
Calculator Not Permitted Section Total Time25 minutes25 minutes
Multiple Choice(4 options)40 questions45 questions
Student-Produced Response (grid in)8 questions13 questions
Heart of Algebra16 questions19 questions
Problem Solving and Data Analysis16 questions19 questions
Additional Topic in Math2 questions6 questions
Passport to advanced14 questions16 questions
Math Test Content

PSAT Pattern

Know what you are in for!

Each section is scored on a scale of 160–760, making a “perfect” score 1520.The percentile score compares your result with everyone else who took the PSAT on the test date. A 75thpercentile score means you scored equal or higher than 75% of the students who took the PSAT with you.

The table below encapsulates the current PSAT Format:

ComponentScoreTime AllottedNumber of Questions
ReadingRange: 160-17060 minutes47
Writing & LanguageRange: 160-170 35 minutes44
MathRange: 160-170 70 minutes
45-minutes: calculator section
25-minutes: no-calculator section
TotalRange: 320-1520 2 hours 45 minutes

The Reading passages will contain excerpts from either US "founding documents" or a text from the "ongoing Great Global Conversation” which pertains to freedom, justice, and human dignity.

All multiple-choice questions have four answer choices, one of which is correct. The questions of each section of the same type are generally ordered by difficulty. However, an important exception exists: Questions that follow the long and short reading passages are organized chronologically, rather than by difficulty.

The Math section has shifted its focus to three main areas viz., (a) Heart of Algebra, (b) Problem Solving & Data Analysis and (c) Passport to Advanced Math. With two sections devoted to Math, one section allows the usage of calculators. In the other section, calculators are not permitted. As required, all the Geometry questions are preceded by a figure for you to refer to. All Grid-in questions are required to be marked in the special grid-in area of the answer sheet

Extramarks Offerings

How we help you achieve that Score

Extramarks offers a unique platform to prepare PSAT online. It provides an extensive Test Prep for students which make the virtual learning environment more conducive. This self-paced course has been created with a busy student like you in mind. Designed by a team of test-prep experts, Extramarks PSAT Self-Paced prep pack delivers exclusive test-taking strategies along with personalized analysis of the test taker with a help of recommended study plan. One of the key features of the pack is the Unlimited Test Series, you have the choice to take the test unlimited times. Kick off your PSAT prep with Extramarks Test Prep service.

How do I prepare for PSAT with Extramarks?

Please check the skeletal overview of Extramarks PSAT Prep flow:
Extramarks PSAT Offerings

PSAT Online Course Features

The build-up to Success

PSAT Diagnostic Test

Truly Identify where you Stand

Preparation for an exam can truly begin when you know exactly what you are in for! Taking a Diagnostic Test allows you to have a preview of yourself vis-a-visPSAT. Once the scores are in, it's easier for you to undergo focused and more importantly, informed, test preparation.

Our diagnostic test is designed along the pattern of the actual PSAT Exam. Once you complete it, a detailed score break up is made available for you, section wise. Additionally, a recommendation plan is chalked up exclusively for you. The plan identifies your weak areas and proposes a plan-of-action for it. The test places you at an advantage even before you begin your preparations since you are already aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

We hope that we have put you in the right frame of mind for exam!


Hone your Skills with Videos on all PSAT Topics

Welcome to the Extensive Video Tutorials.

We have designed the tutorials keeping flexibility of self based study in mind. The course is broken into manageable modules. Examples and sample questions are made available to you throughout the module - exemplifying the topic for easy understanding. The tutorials themselves are in uncomplicated language. In fact, we have made available the script of the tutorials too, in case you want to go over the lectures at your own pace. In some modules, we have incorporated extra practice questions for that specific module, the idea being to cement the strategies and tips and tricks taught to you in the tutorials.

Practice Exercises

Highly Tested Practice Questions to get the Real feel of PSAT

Practice Exercises help you to conceptualize what you have learnt in the video tutorials. Armed with a Performance Tracker Tool, this section provides the requisite practice questions and tracks your performance too.

Unlimited Full Length Test

Proven and Highly Tested Questions to Stimulate the Actual SAT Environment

Full Length Tests (FLTs) play a crucial role in all Test Preps. They allow you to get familiar with the test at your own pace initially, while providing you with a realistic report card of your performance. Simulating the test environment of PSAT is a conscious and core tenet of our approach to test prep tutoring of students. The various advantages of taking the FLTs are enumerated below

  • Helps to train for performing under high stress situation
  • Familiarity allows for a 'no-surprises' test day
  • Builds metal and physical stamina to prevent exam fatigue setting in
  • Gives time to apply multiple strategies on a question type
  • Helps you to recognize your pressure points and work on them

One can never negate the power of words. Give yourself an extra power with the Visual Flash Cards made available for your reference.

Performance Tracker

A Realistic Assessment of your Performance

Performance Tracker allows students to see at a glance, their progress from the Diagnostic score till the last Full Length Test attempted. Easy & uncomplicated, the Performance Tracker is available mainly in the form of a graph. Through the "Compare Your Score" tool, students can also compare their performance in any of the tests they have submitted. Graph of the sectionsis displayed to compare scores and zoomin on the weaker areas.

Overall, Performance Tracker is an attempt to provide students a comparative pictorial map of the journey the student has had regarding PSAT Prep.

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