Compare PSAT 8/9 and PSAT/NMSQT: Reading

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Comparison of the Reading Test Content Specifications: PSAT 8/9 and Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT
Element PSAT 8/9 Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT
Time Allotted

55 minutes

60 minutes

Passage Word Count

2,800 words total from 4 single passages and 1 pair; 500–750 words per passage or paired set

3,000 words total from 4 single passages and 1 pair; 500–750 words per passage or paired set

Questions Number % of Test Number % of Test
Total 42 100% 47 100%

Words in Context

 

(Across Reading and Writing and Language Tests)

10 questions
 
24% 10 questions
 
21%
Command of Evidence

 

(Across Reading and Writing and Language Tests)

10 questions
 
24% 10 questions
 
21%
Analysis in History/Social Studies

 

(Across Math, Reading, and Writing and Language Tests)

17 questions
 
40% 19 questions
 
40%

Analysis in Science

 

(Across Math, Reading, and Writing and Language Tests)

17 questions
 
40% 19 questions
 
40%
Passage Contents Number % of Test Number % of Test
U.S. and World Literature 1 passage; 8 questions 20% 1 passage; 9 questions 20%
History/Social Studies 2 passages, or 1 passage and 1 pair
 
40% 2 passages, or 1 passage and 1 pair
 
40%
Science 2 passages, or 1 passage and 1 pair
 
40% 2 passages, or 1 passage and 1 pair
 
40%
Graphics Number Number
1 graphic in 1 History/Social Studies passage and 1 in 1 Science passage 1–2 graphics in 1 History/Social Studies and 1 Science passage
Text and Graphical Complexity
Text Complexity A range from grades 6–10 across 4 passages and 1 pair A range from grades 9–10 to postsecondary entry across 4 passages and 1 pair

Graphical Data Representations

 

(tables, graphs, charts, etc.)

Somewhat challenging Somewhat challenging to challenging (moderate to moderately high data density, few to several variables, moderately challenging to moderately complex interactions)