Compare PSAT/NMSQT and SAT: Writing and Language

beginning of content:
Comparison of the Writing and Language Test
Content Specifications: Redesigned SAT and PSAT/NMSQT
Element Redesigned SAT Redesigned PSAT/NMSQT
Time Allotted

35 minutes

35 minutes

Passage Word Count

1,700 words total from 4 passages; 400–450 words per passage

1,700 words total from 4 passages; 400–450 words per passage

Questions Number % of Test Number % of Test
Total 44 100% 44 100%
Expression of Ideas 24 questions 55% 24 questions 55%
Standard English Conventions 20 questions 45% 20 questions 45%

Words in Context

 

(Across Reading and Writing and Language Tests)

8 questions
 
18% 8 questions
 
18%

Command of Evidence

 

(Across Reading and Writing and Language Tests)

8 questions
 
18% 8 questions
 
18%
Analysis in History/Social Studies

 

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

6 questions 14% 6 questions 14%

Analysis in Science

 

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

6 questions 14% 6 questions 14%
Passage Contents Number % of Test Number % of Test
Careers 1 passage; 11 questions 25% 1 passage; 11 questions 25%
History/Social Studies 1 passage; 11 questions 25% 1 passage; 11 questions 25%
Humanities 1 passage; 11 questions 25% 1 passage; 11 questions 25%
Science 1 passage; 11 questions 25% 1 passage; 11 questions 25%
Graphics Number Number
1 or more graphics in 1 or more sets of questions 1 or more graphics in 1 or more sets of questions
Text Types Number % of Test Number % of Test
Argument 1–2 passages 25%-50% 1–2 passages 25%-50%
Informative/ Explanatory Text 1–2 passages 25%-50% 1–2 passages 25%-50%
Nonfiction Narrative 1 passage 25% 1 passage 25%
Text and Graphical Complexity
Text Complexity A range from grades 9–10 to postsecondary entry across 4 passages A range from grades 9–10 to postsecondary entry across 4 passages
Graphical Data Representations

 

(tables, graphs, charts, etc.)

Basic to somewhat challenging (low to moderate data density, few variables, simple to moderately challenging interactions) Basic to somewhat challenging (low to moderate data density, few variables, simple to moderately challenging interactions)