What level of math is tested on the PSAT/NMSQT? But first off, what is the PSAT/NMSQT?
The PSAT/NMSQT is a nationwide and standardized test. It is designed for high school juniors to aid in college entrance exams and determine their eligibility for national merit scholarships. You have 70 minutes to complete the maths section. It consists of 40 primarily multiple-choice questions; other questions will be in grids-in format.
You may use a calculator in parts of the test; however, not all sections allow this. You can only use an approved calculator. It should be one you are familiar with, not a brand new calculator just for the test.
If you score in the top 3-4%, you are named a Commended Scholar. If you score in the top 1%, you become a Semifinalist. You can then apply to become a Finalist and possibly gain scholarships. Even if you don’t ultimately get a National Merit scholarship, it will still look excellent on your college applications.
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What Areas of Math Will Be Tested?
You will receive a range of questions from the following four areas. You will have gained the knowledge from Grade 11, Algebra 1, and Geometry, as well as general math skills gained over your years of schooling.
1- Heart of Algebra (33% of the test)
To show complete knowledge of the topics, you will have to solve problems that vary in form and appearance. Some may be straightforward and just checking your understanding. In contrast, others may challenge how you can use your knowledge, such as interpreting the connection between algebraic and graphical representations or solving as a process of reasoning. To attain high marks, you will need to show both a skill in solving the problems and a deeper understanding of the concepts of linear equations and functions.
2- Problem Solving and Data Analysis (29% of the test)
This section tests your skill in creating a representation of a problem, considering the units involved, show the meaning of quantities, and use different properties of objects and operations. Problems in this category will require a significant understanding of ratios, rates, and proportional relationships and challenge your knowledge and ability to apply unit rates.
Identifying quantitative measures of the center is required. You will also need to understand overall patterns, including striking deviations, and spread in multiple different data sets. Finally, you will need to recognize the effects of outliers on the measures of the center of data sets.
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3- Passport to Advanced Math (28% of the test)
Passport to Advanced Math questions include topics that are important to understand before studying advanced math. Most important is your understanding of the structure of expressions and your ability to analyze and modify them; this includes reasoning with more complex equations and interpreting and building functions.
Some specific areas to review include area and perimeter of a polygon; area and circumference of a circle; volume; Pythagorean theorem; isosceles, equilateral, and right triangles; parallel and perpendicular lines; coordinate geometry; slope; transformations
4- Additional Topics (10% of the test)
You will likely take the PSAT/NMSQT in October of 11th grade. However, you may ask to take it earlier for practice. You don’t get the full benefits from the test until you are a junior, such as scholarships.
While you should have learned everything during your classes, you should set aside time in the months preceding the test to study and prepare for the actual exam.