What is PSAT test & its benefits?


What is the PSAT test?

The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test that 11th graders (and some 10th graders) take in October. Like the SAT, it measures the knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and math that students get to learn in the classroom—the same knowledge and skills your child needs to succeed in college and career. You might even have some tutorial centers providing PSAT coaching for the PSAT exams.

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Benefits of the PSAT Exam

The PSAT practice test is a state test that offers students a brilliant and helpful way to practice for the SAT.

The thorough reports help students and educators gain a deep comprehension of the students’ merits and demerits, so they are better adapted for the SAT. They even have PSAT classes for homeschoolers. You can even go for an online PSATprep.

Even if students do not plan to take the SAT, the PSAT test offers meaningful awareness of a student’s skills and helps them prepare for other competitive exams in India and abroad.

benefits of taking the PSAT exam

What is asked in PSAT exams?

The PSAT exam is administered in three different formats: the PSAT 8/9, the PSAT/NMSQT, and the PSAT 10.While students take these exams at different times of the year, the PSAT 10 is also referred to as the PSAT/NMSQT. The PSAT 8/9 acts as a benchmark for college readiness, while the other two exams allow "check-in on student progress."

Your percentile score compares your performance to that of all the other test-takers who took the PSAT on the same test date.

PSAT/NMSQT (Grade 10/11)

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes

It consists of 3 tests:

(1) the Reading Test,

(2) the Writing and Language Test,

(3) the Math Test.

Most of the questions are MCQ, though some of the math questions would ask you to write the answer rather than select it.



Number of Questions/Tasks




Writing and Language









How Is the PSAT Test Timed?

The duration of the PSAT exam varies depending on the specific test being taken. The PSAT 8/9 lasts for two hours and 25 minutes, while the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT have a duration of two hours and 45 minutes. Standardized testing statistics are used to score the students.

In the case of both PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT, the exam allows 60 minutes for reading, 35 minutes for writing and language, and 70 minutes for math. These candidates will see 47 questions in reading, 44 in writing and language, and 48 in math.

Getting a “good” PSAT score: the importance of PSAT percentiles

As with many standardized tests, the score matters as it indicates your child’s percentile. A good score means performing better than many or most high school students who took the test that day. If your child's score is in the 50th percentile, that indicates they performed better than 50 percent of the students who have taken the test in the past three years. The higher the percentile, the better your child has done relative to their peers.

A score at the 50th percentile is considered average, while a score at the 75th percentile is regarded as solid, a score at the 90th percentile is considered great, and a score at the 99th percentile is considered outstanding.

Using 2021 statistics from the College Board, we’ve listed standardized test score ranges/cut-offs for the top percentiles. 

For 10th grade students taking the test (either the PSAT 10 or the PSAT/NMSQT): 
  • 99th percentile and above (“outstanding”): 1360–1520
  • 90th percentile (“great”): 1180
  • 75th percentile (“solid”): 1060
  • 50th percentile (“average”): 920
For 11th grade students:
  • 99th percentile and above (“outstanding”): 1460–1520
  • 90th percentile (“great”): 1280
  • 75th percentile (“solid”): 1150
  • 50th percentile (“average”): 1010

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When can the test be taken?

PSAT practice tests online can only be given once a year by the student, and many students take the test in both 10th and 11th grade.

Sophomores of 10th and 11th or even junior grade students can take PSAT. It is held every year in October. You can take PSAT tutoring for the exam. PSAT test prep will make you ready for the exam.


In addition to serving as a practice test for the SAT, the PSAT is also used to determine eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship. With diligent preparation and following some helpful tips, you can certainly improve your performance on the PSAT exam and increase your chances of achieving your desired score.