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About the PSAT

The Preliminary SAT, also known as the PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), is a preparatory version of the SAT exam. You can only take the PSAT once per year, and most students take the test in both 10th and 11th grade. If you earn a high score on the PSAT your junior year, you could qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship—$180 million dollars in merit scholarships are awarded to students each year! Testing your skills in reading, writing, and math, the PSAT is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. Unlike the SAT, the highest score possible on the PSAT is 1520.

Here’s how the test breaks down:

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Evidence-based reading

60 Minutes

Approx. 48 Questions

World Literature, Social Studies/History, Science

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Writing & Language

35 Minutes

44 Questions

Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions

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Math

25 Minutes (no calculator)

45 Minutes (with calculator)

47 Questions

Algebra, Data Analysis & Problem Solving, Advanced Math

Scoring the test


PSAT scoring is complex. Your score will range from 320 to 1520 and is calculated by combining your scores on the Reading, Writing & Language, and Math tests. There is no penalty for wrong answers, so it’s always better to guess if you’re not sure. Find out what makes a good PSAT score.

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Breathe easy knowing that we believe in you. We are so confident in your success that if your score doesn't improve, we'll either give you your money back, or let you retake the class for free. For full eligibility requirements, visit kaptest.com/kaplan-higher-score-guarantee.