The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) is also called the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). The test is designed to help students practice for the SAT. It's also used to determine the test-taker's eligibility for scholarships awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Colleges don't use the results of this test to determine your eligibility for admission.
The substance of the PSAT is virtually identical to that of the SAT - not easier, not harder. The PSAT has fewer sections than the SAT, but the question types are exactly the same - analogies, sentence completions, critical reading, multiple-choice math, quantitative comparisons, and grid-ins. So, practicing at this Web site also improves your SAT skills.
The PSAT requires 2 hours and 10 minutes and includes 5 sections:
- Two 25-minute verbal sections
- Two 25-minute math sections
- One 30-minute writing skills section
Generally speaking, You should take the PSAT for one or more of the following purposes:
- Qualifying for scholarship sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
- Comparing yourself with other college-bound students around the country and state.
- Finding out what the SAT is like, and practicing your SAT test skills.
- Assessing your verbal, math and writing skills. Forecasting your scores on the SAT I and the SAT II: Writing.
- Participating in the Student Search Service to get mail from colleges
For more information about the PSAT go to the College Board Web Site.