About the PSAT/NMSQT Test
The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test offers firsthand practice for the SAT and provides students a chance to enter the NMSC (National Merit Scholarship Contest). While not taken into account in the college admission process, the PSAT will show you what you can expect on the SAT and give you an idea of how your performance might compare with that of others applying to college.
The PSAT measures critical reading, math, problem-solving and writing skills that students have developed over the course of their academic career.
This test is offered in October of each year and is administered by high schools, unlike the ACT and SAT that are offered through test centers. Online registration is not available — students sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT at their local high school. The test is given at set time periods during the year and must be scheduled in advance. The SAT is composed of ten sections, with students allotted approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam.
The PSAT includes five sections:
- Two 25-minute critical reading sections
- Two 25-minute math sections
- One 30-minute writing skills section
Students are given approximately two hours and ten minutes to complete the test.
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