The Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 10:16:00 AM

PSAT Test Prep - Score At The TopOne year from this October, in the fall of 2015, the College Board will administer a fresh PSAT/NMSQT that is aligned with the redesigned SAT. The PSAT will measure skills and knowledge essential for college readiness and success.

The Current PSAT/NMSQT: For High School classes of 2016 and 2015

In its current format, the PSAT/NMSQT will continue to:

  • Help students improve skills necessary for college success.
  • Raise awareness about college planning and engage students in the process.
  • Support access to AP through AP Potential™.
  • Provide educators with tools to monitor student performance and adjust curricula.
  • Provide college planning resources such as Student Search Service® and My College QuickStart™.

As in the past, the PSAT will continue to help 11th graders prepare for the SAT and compete for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in the fall.

Some Insights into the Redesigned PSAT

The redesigned exam will:

  • Focus on the skills and knowledge that matter most for college success.
  • Fewer than half of the students who take the SAT are college ready. The redesigned PSAT will provide educators with an early opportunity to:
  • Measure and follow student performance.
  • Pinpoint areas for development.
  • Prepare students for the redesigned SAT.

Practice Materials Available at the end of this year

Sample questions to help students prepare will be available on collegeboard.org in December 2014/January 2015.

A full practice test will be available in March 2015.

Connection to the SAT

The redesigned PSAT will mirror the redesigned SAT. Here are some of the key changes students will encounter:

  • Relevant Words in Context
  • Command of Evidence
  • Focus on Math that Matters Most
  • Problems Grounded in Real-World Contexts
  • Analysis in Science and in History/Social Studies
  • Founding Documents and Great Global Conversation
  • No Penalty for Wrong Answers

How the Exam Is Changing

In October of 2015, over a year from now, students will take a redesigned PSAT aligned to the new SAT, and which focuses on the skills and knowledge essential for college success. Here’s a chart prepared by The College Board that compares the current test with the new test: 

Comparison of the Major Features: Current and Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT

Category

Current PSAT/NMSQT

Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT

Total Testing Time*

 

*Subject to research

2 hours and 10 minutes

2 hours and 45 minutes 

Components

  1. Critical Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Mathematics
  1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
    • Reading Test
    • Writing and Language Test
  2. Math

Important Features

  • Emphasis on general reasoning skills
  • Emphasis on vocabulary, often in limited contexts
  • Complex scoring (a point for a correct answer and a deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)
  • Continued emphasis on reasoning alongside a clearer, stronger focus on the knowledge, skills, and understandings most important for college and career readiness and success
  • Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone, and impact
  • Rights-only scoring (a point for a correct answer but no deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)

Score Reporting*

 

*Subject to research

  • Scale ranging from 60 to 240
  • Scale ranging from 20 to 80 for Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing
  • Some scores will be reported on the same scale used for the SAT: this scale ranges from 400 to 1600 for the composite score, 200-800 for two area scores, and 10-40 for test scores

Subscore Reporting

None

Subscores for every test, providing added insight for students, parents, educators, and counselors

 

Test Length and Timing 

 

Comparison of Test Length and Timing: Current and Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT

Current PSAT/NMSQT

Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT

Component

Time Allotted (min.)

# of Questions/ Tasks

Component

Time Allotted (min.)

# of Questions/ Tasks

Critical Reading

50

48

Reading

60

47

Writing

30

39

Writing and Language

35

44

Mathematics

50

38

Math

70

47

Total

130

125

Total

165

138

 

Score Components

Comparison of Score Components: Current and Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT

Component

Current PSAT/NMSQT

Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT

Composite Score

N/A

1

Area Scores

N/A

2

Test Scores

3

3

Cross-Test Scores

N/A

2

Subscores

N/A

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Topics: Test-Prep PSAT

 

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