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What You Need To Know About Your PSAT

Passing the PSAT test will require you to make use of two sets of skills: recalling the knowledge that you possess about the PSAT exam; and answering exam questions quickly and accurately. Both of these skill sets are vitally important.

What is the purpose of PSAT?
The purpose of the PSAT is two fold:

First, it's a practice run for students who are planning on attending college who will be taking the SAT test. Since the PSAT is produced by the same company that produces the SAT, the test is very similar, and by taking it, students can learn what to expect and get a feel for how they will do on the test. They can also identify their strengths and weaknesses prior to taking the all important SAT.

Second, by doing extremely well on the PSAT, students can qualify for scholarships and other honors by being named a National Merit Scholar. For this reason, the PSAT is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, or NMSQT.

It takes a little over two hours to complete the PSAT, and there are three sections of the test.

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1. Critical reading
The critical reading portion of the PSAT is broken down into two 25 minute long sections. The first is 13 questions on sentence completions. The second is 35 questions testing reading comprehension and related skills.

2. Math problem solving
The math portion is also broken up into two 25 minute sections. The first part is 28 questions on general math skills, all multiple choice. The second is 10 questions where the student will have to figure the solution for themselves, and write it in.

3. Writing
There will be 39 multiple choice questions on this part, and you'll have 30 minutes to complete it. You'll be asked to identify errors in sentences, improve the way sentences have been written, and improve how paragraphs have been written and structured.

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