PSAT 8/9 Specifications

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The tables below outline the PSAT 8/9’s major features and lists the time allotted for each part of the test.

Major Features

Category PSAT 8/9
Total Testing Time 2 hours and 25 minutes 
  1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
    • Reading Test
    • Writing and Language Test
  2. Math
Important Features
  • Focus on the knowledge, skills, and understandings that research has identified as most important for college and career readiness and success
  • Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone, and impact
  • Rights-only scoring (a point for a correct answer but no deduction for an incorrect answer; blank responses have no impact on scores)
Score Reporting
  • Total Score: Scale ranges from 240 to 1440.
  • Section Score: Scale ranges from 120 to 720, and 6 to 36 on test and cross-test scores.
Subscore Reporting Subscores on a 1 to 15 scale for every test, providing added insight for students, parents, educators, and counselors.

Test Length and Timing

PSAT 8/9
Component Time Allotted
Number of Questions/
Reading 55 42
Writing and Language 30 40
Math 60 38
Total 145 120