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New Digital PSAT Test: A Comprehensive Guide to Success in the Adaptive Era

Jan 27, 2024

Being a deciding step in one’s career, the importance of the SAT exam is immense. The PSAT or Preliminary SAT tests are conducted to provide the students with the exam pattern and structure and deal with the associated phobia. The digital version of these PSAT is the digital PSAT test. Let’s learn more about this. 

What is the Digital PSAT Test?

The digital PSAT tests are conducted at schools and taken by high school students, generally juniors and sophomores. It is an MCQ test conducted once per year. Including two sections similar to the SAT test, one being reading and writing and the other being math section. The duration of the digital PSAT test is 2 hours 14 minutes. 


Is the Digital PSAT Adaptive?

Yes, the digital PSAT is expected to be adaptive in nature, similar to the SAT test. Each section, i.e. Reading and Writing and the Math section, will be divided into two equal lengths of modules with separate timing. The candidates will sequentially answer the module, where the response on the first one will decide the level of questions in the second module. Taking a digital PSAT practice test will give more practical insights into the paper. 

Is the Digital PSAT Easier?

With the adaptive approach in the digital PSAT test, it will be more student-friendly. The adaptive nature of the test identifies student’s ability and tailors questions based on it. Hence, the student’s level is checked accurately. 


This adaptability is makes the test easier and engaging for students. However, the College Board does not explicitly promise an easier test. Rather, their promise is to deliver less stressful and more approachable tests. 

How Many Questions Are Asked in the Digital PSAT Test?

With two sections in the digital PSAT test, the reading and writing requires answering 54 questions in the duration of 64 minutes. Further, the math section possesses 44 questions to be answered in the span of 70 minutes. Thus, there are 98 overall questions to be answered in the digital PSAT test within a total of 134 minutes. 


What Should I Expect in the Math Section of the Digital PSAT Test? 

The Maths section carrying 44 questions will be divided into 2 modules. The questions will follow an adaptive nature, ensuring correct usage and identification of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses while keeping the test engaging. 

The digital PSAT test is designed to understand candidates’ level and skills for college, their analytical and application skills, fluency, conceptual understanding, application, and contextual understanding. The questions are to be expected in MCQ format, with 30% of questions to be in context. 


What Topics Should I Prepare for the Maths Section of the Digital PSAT Test?

The Maths section will carry questions from four main domains. Here is a breakdown in detail: 

Domain 1: Algebra 

The domain is expected to check fluency and analytical skills, knowledge of creating linear equations and inequalities, and the ability to utilize multiple techniques for dealing with systems of equations. 


Domain 2: Advanced Math

The section will assess the compatibility of students with advanced concepts and their capability to pursue their careers in the related field. 

Domain 3: Problem Solving and Data Analysis 

The candidates must exhibit their quantitative reasoning abilities with the ability to interpret the data and deal with unit-rate questions. 


Domain 4: Geometry and Trigonometry 

The familiarity and basic understanding of different shapes and their area and volume calculation will help in scoring good marks. 

What Should I Expect in the Reading And Writing Section of the Digital PSAT Test? 

The section will be of 54 questions with equal division in each module.  It will measure the candidate’s ability to read, comprehend, and make use of the textual information. Further, they will be judged based on the level of writing and structuring of the texts and revision and editing. 


What Topics Should I Prepare for the Reading And Writing Section of the Digital PSAT Test?

The section will witness questions divided into four different categories: 

Catoery 1: Craft and structure

It will assess the understanding and application skills of high-utility words and phrases in context, connectivity between the texts, and the ability to evaluate the structure and purpose of texts. 

Category 2: Information and Ideas 

It will measure candidates’ ability to comprehend, analyze, and reason by evaluating central ideas, details, and evidence from various sources, making inferences, and summarizing information effectively. 

Category 3: Standard English Conventions 

The focus here will be on grammatical familiarity and understanding. 

Category 4: Expression of Ideas 

The ability to revise the texts by improving the expression and idea delivery must be practiced to ace this category. 

How Do The Officials Recommend Studying the Digital PSAT Exam? 

The official recommendation is to plan your study which includes identifying the strong and weak points and preparing accordingly for the same. The candidates must invest their time in knowing and understanding the exam, which comes from watching instructional videos, practicing, and setting concrete and manageable goals. 

The students should focus on implementing their plans and improvement plans for weak spots. They can begin their preparation by downloaidng the Bluebook and utilize the full potential of freely available study and practice resources. The PSAT digital practice test is a good initiative to help in identifying the target. Remember that digital PSAT/NMSQT test scores are received by schools and, in many cases, both districts and states. However, they are not sent to the colleges. 

What Will the Section-Wise Scoring Be in the Digital PSAT Test?

The digital PSAT test will offer an overall score ranging between 320 to 1520 points. Here, the section-wise breakdown will include the scores in the range of 160 to 760 points each for the maths section and the Reading and writing section.  


SAT texts play a critical in getting admission in the dream college. The preparation must be strong, with conceptual clarity and a good level of practice. Considering the importance of tests, the digital PSAT practice test can be taken at schools. Replacing the pencil-and-paper approach, the PSAT test has now been digitalized. Besides, students will also witness adaptive tests, which are not only engaging but also offer customized levels of paper. The questions will be provided based on the student’s ability and choice of questions in the first module. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good score on the digital PSAT test?

The average score obtained by the students is around 920. If you are scoring in the range of 1210 and 1520, you will find yourself among the top 10%.

What are the different types of PSAT tests?

The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 tests are identical and aimed at 11th-grade and few 10th-grade students. However, PSAT 10 is taken by 10th-grade students, while PSAT/NMSQT tests allow entering the National Merit Scholarship Competition. Further, the PSAT 8/9 is available for eighth and ninth-grade students.

How should I answer vocabulary-based questions?

Students can take the help of the passage and understand the context to answer the questions. Further, knowing commonly used words in schools will also help.

Digital PSAT Test


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