What skills does PSAT/NMSQT check?

Certification: Test Prep PSAT - Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test / NMSQT


For those who do not know, PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a test that is similar to most standardized tests. The PSAT/NMSQT is administrated by the NMSC (National Merit Scholarship Corporation) and the College board in the United States. This test is mainly taken by candidates so as to determine their qualification and eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program. More than approximately 3.5 million sit for this exam each year. The exam started first of all by testing the applicant in the fields of Math and Verbal skills before 1997. Later on a section on writing skills was introduced. These are the main sections of the PSAT/NMSQT. The format of the exam is simple. To be able to take the exam one needs to register for the exam through a school which is a member of the College Board. The Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test has mainly three sections, the Critical Reading, Math and the Writing Skills section. The questions asked are mainly multiple-choices but there are ten questions which are open-response in the math section, which require the applicant to enter their answer on a grid. Unlike most standardized exams, candidates are allowed to use a calculator in the math sections.

Skills Testes in the PSAT/NMSQT

The sections in the PSAT/NMSQT each check for different abilities in the applicant. As a student, you need to have a detailed analysis of the sections and know what is require of you. You find that most of the students who are given the exam in high schools are the 11th graders, but also other schools offer the PSAT/NMSQT to 9th and 10th graders. The format of the PSAT/NMSQT contains two-Math sections, one Writing section and also two Critical Reading sections. Let us have a look at each section and the skills that is checked in each:

1.  Critical Reading

This is one of the sections of the PSAT/NMSQT. It examines various skills and ability of the applicant. This section comprises of two sections. The total time allocated to the Critical Reading section is 50 minutes, and since it is divided into two sections, each section is allocated 25 minutes each. In one of the sections there is a total of 13 sentences, which are completion questions. Here the candidate is mainly tested on different contents, which include vocabulary and also the ability for one to understand the logic of complex sentences. The other section is composed of 35 questions, which are reading passage questions. One is required to read and interpret what the author is trying to pass in the passages. Once one understands the skills covered in this topic they will be able to perform well and score a high score in this section.

2.  Math Section

Similar to the Critical Reading section, the math section also has two sections. The total section is awarded 50 minutes, and each of the two sections is given 25 minutes. Each of the two section in the math section test for different skills in the applicant. The first section comprises of a total of 28 questions of multiple-choices. This section mainly assesses skill and content in various topics including, probability, and statistics, geometry and measurement, number and operations, algebra and data analysis. The second section in the math part comprises of a total of ten students produced response questions. This should be answered in a grid. The skills assessed in this section include the following geometry and measurement, statistics, number and operation, algebra and functions and probability. By understanding the topics to be tested din the math sections, one can adequately prepare for the exam.

3.  Writing Section

This is one section and is not divided. The Writing section is awarded 30 minutes for the entire section. This section has several different parts of questions. There is a section of 20 improving sentences questions which mainly assess skills in grammar usage. Another section of 14 questions concerned with identifying sentence errors and also skills in grammar and usage. The other part is of 5 questions, which are based on improving paragraphs, here the candidate is assessed on writing and revision skills. This section mainly handles with issues which have to do with grammar and correct sentence construction.

The skills that are tested in the Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test can be summarized into three main categories, reading skills, math problem-solving skills and also writing and grammar skills. These are the main skills that are acquired and developed over the years as a student. The Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test does not require one to recall and remember certain facts that they have learned in school. It mainly measures the skills acquired as a student. So by taking the exam, you will be able to gauge how well your skills are. By knowing and understanding the level of a student's skills, it would be able to help them succeed in high school and further on in life.

With one being aware of the skills that are checked in the PSAT/NMSQT, they will be able to prepare for the exam adequately. Different from most standardized and admission exams, the PSAT/NMSQT does not require one to refer to various study resources. The skills checked are common skills and abilities that are tough in school nowadays. The exam will play a huge role in ensuring how your education future goes on. There are many reasons that students take this exam, whatever reason it may be, you will be able to know and receive feedback on the strengths and weaknesses that have on certain skills. The Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is essential for also acquiring scholarships.

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