3 Key Changes to the New PSAT

By: Judi Robinovitz | Last Updated: July 30, 2014

PSAT Test Prep - Score At The TopThe top factor on any college’s admissions consideration list is a student’s academic record. Number two remains the student’s SAT or ACT scores. That’s why it so important for college-bound students to prepare for these tests. In the case of the SAT, one way to prepare is to take the PSAT in October. The results will provide diagnostic feedback to a student who wants to improve as much as possible for a future SAT. The junior-year PSAT is also the first step toward qualifying for National Merit Scholarships.

With the College Board’s announcement of a redesigned SAT to be administered for the first time in March 2016, comes news that the PSAT is also being revised. Students will encounter its new format for the first time on the national test date in October 2015.

Here’s what to expect on the new PSAT/NMSQT:

Longer PSAT Testing Time

  • A total testing time of 2¾ hours, 35 minutes more than the current test
  • 13 more questions! 165 minutes to complete 138 questions, rather than the current 130 minutes to complete 125 questions

Content Changes

  • The redesigned critical reading section will require more evidence-based answers.
  • The writing and language portion will use vocabulary words in a variety of contexts and will ask students to analyze how specific words enhance sentence meanings.
  • The math section will be updated, using areas of math most important to college and career readiness (especially algebra). A real-world approach will be used in creating questions. Find a professional math tutor near you!

Scoring Changes

  • No more penalty for wrong answers!
  • The redesigned score report will include new subscores, providing information about specific skills and content areas that need improvement.

We will continue to provide you with updates about the redesigned PSAT and SAT as College Board announces them.

August is an ideal time to start preparing for the October PSAT and SAT. Learn more about our test prep programs and schedule here.

Topics: Test-Prep PSAT

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