Compare PSAT/NMSQT and SAT: Reading

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

65 minutes

60 minutes

Passage Word Count

3,250 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 52 100% 47 100%

Words in Context

 

(Across Reading and Writing and Language Tests)

10 questions
 
19% 10 questions
 
21%
Command of Evidence

 

(Across Reading and Writing and Language Tests)

10 questions
 
19% 10 questions
 
21%
Analysis in History/Social Studies

 

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

21 questions
 
40% 19 questions
 
40%

Analysis in Science

 

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

21 questions
 
40% 19 questions
 
40%
Passage Contents Number % of Test Number % of Test
U.S. and World Literature 1 passage; 10 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
1–2 graphics in 1 History/Social Studies and 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 9–10 to postsecondary entry 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 to challenging (moderate to moderately high data density, few to several variables, moderately challenging to moderately complex interactions) Somewhat challenging to challenging (moderate to moderately high data density, few to several variables, moderately challenging to moderately complex interactions)