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Inside the PSAT

On the PSAT 8/9, you will get a total score between 240 and 1440, which is the sum of the two section scores in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math that each range from 120 to 720. You’ll also get three test scores for Reading, Writing, and Math that each range from 6-36. 

In addition to regular section scores, you'll be given Cross-Test scores which analyze questions across the three subject areas and separate them into a score for Analysis in History/Social Studies and a score for Analysis in Science. Each of these scores ranges from 6-36 as well. The subject areas are broken down into six additional subscores measured on a scale of 1-15.

Reading Test

CollegeBoard Reading Test

What's in it?

Students will read passages and interpret informational graphics.  The reading test is multiple choice and based on the passages.  

The Reading Test always includes

  • One passage from a classic or contemporary work of U.S. or world literature.
  • One passage or a pair of passages from either a U.S. founding document or a text in the Great Global Conversation they inspired. The U.S. Constitution or a speech by Nelson Mandela, for example.
  • A selection about economics, psychology, sociology, or some other social science.
  • Two science passages (or one passage and one passage pair) that examine foundational concepts and developments in Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics.

What does it measure?

  • Command of evidence 
  • Words in context
  • Analysis of History/Social Science and in Science

Math Test

CollegeBoard Math Test

The math section has multiple choice questions and grid in answers.

The math portion is divided into two sections: Math with calculator and Math without a calculator.

This section also focuses on linear equations and systems, data analysis and problem solving.

Writing and Language Test

CollegeBoard Writing and Language Test

All questions are multiple choice and based on the passages.

Students need to be able to:

               1.  Read

               2.  Identify errors or mistakes

               3.  Fix them.

The Writing and Language Test measures:

              1.  Words in Context

              2.  Analysis in History/Social Studies

                   and in Science

              3.  Expression in Ideas

              4.  Standard English Conventions

Key Content Features

CollegeBoard Key Content Features

  • Words in Context
  • Command of Evidence
  • Math that Matters Most
  • Problems Grounded in Real World Contexts
  • Analysis in Science and in Social Studies/History
  • U.S. Founding Documents and the Great Global Conversations
  • No penalties for guessing