How to prepare for PSAT Math Test

How to prepare for PSAT Math Test

The Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. 10th and 11th graders take the PSAT to practice for the SAT and to secure a National Merit distinction or scholarship.

The PSAT is similar to the SAT in both format and content. There are three sections on the PSAT:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Writing

The PSAT Math section is divided into two subsections:

A No Calculator Section contains 17 questions and students cannot use a calculator. Students have 25 minutes to complete this section.

A Calculator Section contains 31 questions. Students have 45 minutes to complete this section.

40 questions are multiple-choice questions and 8 questions are grid-ins.

PSAT Math covers the following topics:

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Plane Geometry
  • Date analysis and basic Statistics
  • Trigonometry

The Absolute Best Book to Ace the PSAT Math Test

Why should you prepare yourself for the PSAT test?

To be honest, the PSAT test is not as important as the SAT. The PSAT test is not used for college admissions. But if so, why should you bother yourself to prepare for such an exam? Participating in the PSAT test prepares you well for the SAT test. In fact, PSAT can be considered the gateway to the SAT. That is why it is called Preliminary SAT. These two tests are very similar to each other. After taking the PSAT test, you can get to know your strengths and weaknesses better. As a result, you can promise yourself that you will pass a better SAT test. PSAT will still help you if you are planning to take the ACT test instead of the SAT. Because ACT and SAT have a lot in common, participating in PSAT will make you more familiar with the type of questions you need to know. Your PSAT score can somehow predict your SAT score. The maximum score on the PSAT is different from the maximum score on the SAT. This score on the PSAT test is 1,520 and on SAT test is 1,600. However, if someone scores 1,300 on the PSAT test, it indicates the same ability of 1,300 in the SAT. If gaining National Merit is important to you, you should study for PSAT as you study for the SAT. According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, all juniors who take the PSAT test will be on a waiting list for a $2,500 annual scholarship. Of course, this scholarship is intended for those who achieve a PSAT cutoff score or higher in their state. So, if it is important for you to get this scholarship, you must take the PSAT test.

Section Overview Number of questionsTesting time
ReadingWorld Literature, Social Studies/History, Science47 60 min
WritingExpression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions44 35 min
Math No-Calculator SectionPre-Algebra Algebra Coordinate Geometry Plane Geometry Date analysis and basic Statistics Trigonometry17 25 min
Math Calculator SectionPre-Algebra Algebra Coordinate Geometry Plane Geometry Date analysis and basic Statistics Trigonometry31 45min

What are the differences between PSAT and SAT tests?

The difference between the two tests is that PSAT has fewer questions and does not have an article section. PSAT test is a little easier.

How to study for the PSAT Math test

Like any math test, the PSAT math test can be difficult and stressful. But with daily practice, you can overcome this anxiety. There are ways to make even math interesting. You need to find these ways and get a better understanding of math with them. This will help you get your desired score on the test. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you better understand the PSAT math test.

1. Choose your study programs.

There are many prestigious PSAT books and study guides that can help your students prepare for the test. Most major test preparation companies have some offerings for the PSAT, and the short-listing of the best book ends up being a puzzling phenomenon. There are also many online PSAT courses.
If your students just started preparing for the PSAT test and you need a perfect PSAT prep book, then PSAT Math for Beginners: The Ultimate Step by Step Guide to Preparing for the PSAT Math Test is a perfect and comprehensive prep book for students to master all PSAT topics being tested right from scratch. It will help students brush up their math skills, boost their confidence, and do their best to succeed on the PSAT Test.

This one is an alternative book:

You can also use this great prep book:

If you just need a PSAT workbook to review the math topics on the test and measure your student’s exam readiness, then try: “PSAT Math Practice WorkbookThe Most Comprehensive Review for the Math Section of the PSAT Test

This is another great workbook for students to review all mathematics concepts being covered on the PSAT/NMSQT:

If you think your students are good at math and just need some PSAT practice tests, then this book is a perfect PSAT test book for you:

You can also use our FREE PSAT worksheets: PSAT Math Worksheets

Have a look at our FREE PSAT Worksheets to assess your students’ knowledge of Mathematics, find their weak areas, and learn from their mistakes.

 2. Change your mind about math

One of the most important factors for success in any math test is having a positive outlook on math. You cannot pass a math test as long as you think negatively about it. Try to spend some time each day learning math. You will see how effective this is in your progress and it will change the way you think about math. Do not try to get rid of math as soon as possible. In this case, you will not learn anything. Look at it as a daily routine or a little warm-up for your mind.

3. Search and learn about the concepts of the PSAT Math test

The next step in preparing for the PSAT math test is to become more familiar with the math concepts in the test. First, you need to do a little research on the general mathematical concepts required. Learn the basics of math required on the PSAT test. Once you have mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced concepts. Do not study more advanced concepts without learning the basic concepts needed for the test. This will confuse you and make it difficult for you to understand advanced math problems.

4. Practice daily and regularly

As mentioned, the daily and regular practice reduces stress, increases math skills, and increases interest in math. Make a math schedule for each day. Do not miss a single day. Even if it is, spend a short time of the day on math and focus on it. Do not forget that even geniuses spend the main time of the day practicing on things that should not be forgotten.

5. Find your favorite way to learn math

It’s up to you which way to learn math is the best. You may prefer to stay home and prepare for the test through your PSAT prep-books. You can also take in-person or online PSAT prep classes and increase your learning speed through tutors. In such classes, you will be told tips about the PSAT test questions and their solutions.

Best PSAT Math Prep Resource for 2021

6. Learn how to use the calculator and formula sheets correctly

There is no need to memorize formulas on the PSAT test. They usually give you the necessary formulas at the beginning of each section of the math test. It depends on you which formula is right for which side. But if you memorize the necessary formulas, your speed in answering the questions will increase. Prepare yourself for the PSAT Math test so that you do not need a formula sheet to remember easy formulas. Also, be careful about using the calculator. Although the calculator can save you time, you need to know when and how to use it. Do not use a calculator for easy calculations. It is better to use it more to check the questions at the end of the test. Remember from the two sections of the PSAT Math test, you are not allowed to use the calculator in one part of the test.

7. Test your information

When you feel ready enough, you can use simulated PSAT Math tests for this purpose. You can use online or written tests. During these tests, fully simulate the conditions of the PSAT Math test. Follow the rules of the PSAT Math test exactly. Do not neglect the time, it’s an important factor. Many PSAT and SAT test-takers fail due to a lack of time management. Do not be one of those test-takers. Therefore, by following all the rules, especially time management, act differently than a careless test-taker. Do not ignore your weaknesses. Correct them. Repeat these simulated tests many times to achieve sufficient mastery.

8. How can you register?

You must register for your PSAT test through your high school. Although the SAT test is similar to the PSAT, SAT test registration is done online through the SAT website. The school usually informs you of the PSAT test time and deadline. The high school also explains instructions on how to register and pay. The PSAT test is offered three times each year in the autumn. This test is offered on these dates: on a primary date, Saturday date, and an alternate date. Schools usually choose one of these three dates. Most of them choose the primary date, but if the primary date does not match the school’s schedule., they choose one of the two alternate dates. Unfortunately, not all high schools want to administer the PSAT test, so you may have to choose another school nearby that offers the test. You can ask your academic counselor to help you choose the right place for the test. Your school must inform you before the PSAT test date. You can talk to your counselor if you have not heard anything by early or mid-September. The school may ask you to sign up and pay the fee in person, or you may do so online. The price of the test is $17 per student, depending on the school. Some schools charge this fee and some charge extra to administer the test. As you know, to sign up, you must provide personal and educational information such as name, address, student ID number and your grade, etc. If you are homeschooled, all you need is a school to administer the PSAT test. You can also ask an academic counselor for help.

9. Tips for taking the exam

Don’t study the day before the PSAT test. The night before the test, make sure all the necessary equipment is ready for the test. These include: Student ID or ID card, Registration slip or print-out, two pencils, Sharpener, Eraser, Wristwatch, Calculator, a bottle of water and, if necessary, a little snack to eat in the break. The night before the exam, it is better to set your alarm clock to wake up early and go to bed early. On test day, try to be at school about 30 minutes before the test. Put cell phones and personal items in your home or another safe place. You are not allowed to take these items to the test room. Keep calm during the exam. Do not be self-critical and self-judgmental. Tell yourself that you are as ready for the test as possible. Keep in mind that the PSAT Math test consists of two parts and you have a total of 70 minutes for these two parts. Use your time well, but do not worry about time. In the second part, you are allowed to use the calculator, use it only when necessary to save time. If you feel you do not know the solution to a question, do not get stuck on it, mark it with a pencil and skip it. After answering the other questions, think about them again. Never leave any question unanswered .in the PSAT Math test you will not receive a negative score for incorrect answers. Therefore, if you do not know the solution to the question, you must answer the question by guessing.

10. check your score report

You may be worried about your PSAT score. One reason may be that the PSAT could probably indicate what your SAT score will be. Also, if your score is good enough, your chances of receiving a National Merit Scholarship will increase. You will receive your score in December, six to eight weeks after test day. You can easily access your score online through your college board account. If you have not yet created an account at College Board you can do so here.

11. How to interpret your score

The PSAT test score is between 320 and 1,520. In this test, mathematics, with a range of 160 to 760, holds half of the composite score section. Test-takers also receive a more detailed score report of sections from 8 to 38. You can easily convert the score of this section to a scaled score of 760 with a very simple solution. For the math section, simply multiply your section score by 20  The higher your score in math, The higher your math percentile, the better your performance than the rest of the test-takers. In fact, this percentile compares your situation with other test-takers. A score above the 75th percentile on the PSAT can be considered a good score. This score is about 570 to 590 in each section or a total of 1,150-1,160. A score above the 50th percentile is an average score. A percentile above 90% can be considered an excellent score. You may want to know who can get the National Merit Scholarship. To win this scholarship, the test-taker Requires a score in the top 1% in the PSAT, which may vary from state to state. To reach the first semi-final stage, test takers must need to get more than 1,400 points out of 1,520 points.

The Best PSAT Math Quick Study Guide


Can you take PSAT outside of school?

No, if your school does not offer a PSAT test, you must choose another nearby school that offers the test.

Do colleges look at the PSAT score?

No. Colleges do not receive scores. In fact, the college board does not send the PSAT / NMSQT score to the colleges.

What is the difference between PSAT and SAT?

The purpose of these two tests is different. The purpose of taking the SAT is to enter college. The purpose of taking the PSAT is to prepare for the SAT and compete for a scholarship. The PSAT test has no effect on your admission to the university.

Is PSAT a good indicator of SAT?

The PSAT test is a preliminary SAT test. Your score on the PSAT test can show how good your performance on the SAT test could be. You should know that the maximum score is on PSAT 1,520 while this score is on SAT 1,600

Is 1050 PSAT score good?

In the PSAT test, a composite score higher than 1,060 is a good score, a score higher than 920 is an average score, an excellent score is a score higher than 1,180.

Do PSAT scores get mailed?

You must have an account on the College Board website where you can go to the Student Score Report section and view your PSAT test score. Your school will also receive a paper score report, which may be available in January.

Can I use a calculator on the PSAT Math test?

The PSAT math test consists of two sections. In the first section, you are not allowed to use the calculator. In the second section, you are allowed to use the calculator.

How many questions are in the math section of the PSAT?

There are 48 questions in the PSAT math section, which consists of two sections: 17 questions in the non-calculator section and 31 questions in the calculator section.

What kind of math is on PSAT?

This test focuses more on four areas: the heart of algebra, problem-solving and data analysis, passport to advanced math, and additional topics in math.

Is Algebra II on the PSAT?

No, unlike the SAT, which includes algebra II, the PSAT only covers pre-algebra and basic algebra discussions.

What happens if you don’t take the PSAT junior year?

If you want to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship, you must take the PSAT. Otherwise, you will lose the chance to receive a scholarship. You will also lose the chance to take a pre-SAT practice test.

Is PSAT easier than SAT?

Yes, this test is easier than PSAT and it prepares you for SAT.

How can I improve my math PSAT score?

The best way to get a good PSAT score is to have enough practice. You can use the sample questions about PSAT and SAT to practice.

How many times can you take the PSAT/NMSQT?

Most students take the test once in Grade 12. They can take the test three times during high school, but only once a year. The scholarship program only looks at the junior year PSAT/NMSQT score.

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The Best Books to Ace the PSAT Test

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