New PSAT format redesigns scoring and content


Amy Deng

College Board released one practice test of the new format. It was the first glimpse of the new version, content, and scoring method. The math portion had two sections: calculator portion and non-calculator portion.

The PSAT is an important step for preparing for the SAT. It also qualifies students for National Merit distinctions and scholarships. All students who signed up to take the PSAT tested on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015.

Junior Anais Cabello said, “I thought the PSAT was good practice to prepare me for the SAT in 2016.”

The new redesigned PSAT is 35 minutes longer than the old PSAT. Instead of taking 2 hours and 10 minutes, it takes 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The breakdown of sections and questions is as follows:
Reading: 60 minutes, 47 questions
Writing and Language: 35 minutes, 44 questions
Math: 70 minutes, 47 questions.

The new PSAT closely resembles the new SAT with similar content and scoring. The new scoring will be scaled from 320 to 1520.

Junior Bradley Bolotin said, “The longer length of the test was tiring, but I am glad that it is over.”

Unlike the old PSAT, the new format does not penalize for wrong answers. So answering all questions is the better choice.

Cabello said “The new format and different sections was a little hard to adjust to, but it was pretty straightforward from there.”

Common PSAT content focuses on problem-solving, data interpretation, and understanding grammar and vocabulary through context.

However, the same use of understanding literary terms and elements, depth of analysis and interpretation, and knowledge of various mathematical concepts remained the same from the old format.