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What's on the Test

The PSAT/NMSQT includes five sections:

Two 25-minute critical reading sections
Two 25-minute math sections
One 30-minute writing skills section

The whole test requires two hours and 10 minutes.

Critical Reading

Two 25-minute critical reading sections = 48 questions


Two 25-minute math sections = 38 questions

Students are advised to bring a calculator with which they are comfortable. Students should have basic knowledge of 4 math categories:

  • Numbers and Operation
  • Algebra and Functions (but not 3rd year level math that may appear on the new SAT)
  • Geometry and Measurement
  • Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability

Writing Skills

One 30-minute writing section = 39 questions

These multiple-choice questions on writing skills measure a student's ability to express ideas effectively in standard-written English, to recognize faults in usage and structure, and to use language with sensitivity to meaning.