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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What's the format of the PSAT like compared to the SAT?

Do any of you folks know how the format of the PSAT compares with the SAT? I want to start prepping, so I'm looking for specifics like number and types of sections, time per section, etc.

8 months ago

Certainly! The PSAT/NMSQT, often simply called the PSAT, is quite similar to the SAT, but has a few differences that are good to keep in mind.

Firstly, the PSAT has four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (No Calculator), and Math (Calculator). The PSAT does not have the optional essay which is offered on the SAT. As for timing, the PSAT is a slightly shorter test. The breakdown of the time limits for each test's respective sections is as follows:

The Reading section gives you 60 minutes for 47 questions versus 65 minutes for 52 questions on the SAT. The Writing and Language section is the same in structure—35 minutes for 44 questions on both tests. Math sections differ a bit: on the PSAT, you get 25 minutes for 17 questions (no calculator) and 45 minutes for 31 questions (calculator), whereas the SAT provides 25 minutes for 20 questions (no calculator) and 55 minutes for 38 questions (calculator). Overall, you're looking at 2 hours and 45 minutes for the PSAT compared to 3 hours for the SAT if you skip the essay.

Despite those slight difference, the PSAT is overall a solid preparation ground for the SAT. Best of luck with your prep!

8 months ago

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