Need Help?

Get in touch with us


PSAT 8/9: Writing, Language, and Math Skills

Nov 28, 2022

We continually feel distressed reasoning about our future and crouching for SATs. But there is nothing you should worry about on the boards for the eighth graders. PSAT 8/9 is now accessible and is formulated by the college board for eighth-graders and high school students. It originates as the first hurdle in a series of tests and is known as the “SAT Suite of Assessments’. It is like a precursor to the PSAT 10, the PSAT 10, the PSAT/NMSQT, and the SAT. 

What is the PSAT 8/9?

PSAT 8/9 is a formal form of analysis that scales the writing, reading, and math skills of the students. It enables them to tune their high school studies and also learn from AP classes according to their future planning. Just like SAT and the PSAT, the PSAT 8/9 also encompasses two sections- a writing portion & an evidence-based reading section, and a math section cover.


The purpose of the PSAT 8/9 is to establish a baseline for college and career readiness as students enter high school. 

The very first section or the reading and writing section includes two tests, respectively. The overall test duration for PSAT 8/9 is 2 hours 35mins offering a ten minutes break during the examination. 


Structure of the Examination:

TestLength of the testTypes of Questions
Math Test70 minutes38 questions
Writing and Language Test35 minutes42 questions
Reading Test60 minutes40 questions

What is on the PSAT exam?

As referred to earlier, it includes three sections and the total score varies between 240 and 1440. It is the additional value of the respective sections in the evidence-based reading and writing section. The maths section ranges from 120 to 720 PSAT 8/9 scores. You will also get a Cross Test Score along with the conventional section score that will help you to analyze the questions across three subject areas. They are segregated into a score for analysis in history/social studies and a score for science analysis. 

The scores of each of these categories range from 6 to 36 and the areas of these subjects are distributed into six additional subscores that are measured on a scale of 1-15. So, this is the basic pattern of the examination that you need to know. 


There are indeed a lot of scores and all of these may not make any sense at first but gradually you will get to know the purpose of these different scores and this will help you in improvement. They also offer you PSAT 8/9 percentiles that eventually help you to discover how your scores differ from others ones. The percentile you get deduces the percentage of the students that scored at or below your level. In this manner, you can understand whether you are running with the folk and getting good PSAT 8/9 scores or not.

For additional information, SAT is scored out of 1600. The one you get at PSAT 8/9 scores is easily comparable to real SAT scores. The PSAT 8/9  is a way through which one can practice for the PSAT 10 and SAT to acknowledge you to the test format and end up with scoring enough and qualifying for a national merit scholarship.


How does the PSAT 8/9 Differ from the PSAT 10 and the PSAT/ NMSQT?

Both the exams are similar to some extent but they have some differences too. Both of the exams differ in length and scoring. You can also get the PSAT 8/9 percentiles for better understanding. The PSAT 8/9  scores on the scale of 240 and 1440 as I have discussed earlier but the scores of PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT range from 320 to 1520. Another difference between PSAT 8/9 percentiles and PSAT 10 percentiles is that the reason for this difference is that scoring more percentiles is tougher in PSAT 10.

Here is a Brief Table for a Better Understanding of this Difference.

Range of the scores240-1440320-1520320-1520
Length of the paper2 hrs 25 mins2 hrs 45 mins2 hrs 45 mins
Reading section424747
Writing section404444
Math section 384848

There is a primary difference between the PSAT 8/9 scores and the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT. It is in the number of questions of maths: The PSAT 10 exam contains 10 more questions which is not there on PSAT 8/9. Moreover, the SAT contains more questions than the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT. 


Difference In The Test Contents:

You will get to know, learn and sketch simple and one-step conclusions from this PSAT 8/9 test series. In PSAT 8/9 you will be able to identify relations that are described in the passages based on the textual information. As in SAT, the PSAT 8/9 does not include the knowledge interpretation component. In PSAT 8/9 you have to work out the explicit meaning from texts and graphs. Once you get to know about the procedure you will start improving. On the whole, the passages will not be so long and the questions will be literal and a little complicated.

Writing and Language of PSAT 8/9

In this particular section, there are questions on punctuation usage in the context. You must adhere to the basic rules like using commas and separating inventory.. this suggests you ought to know basic rules like the way to use commas to separate an inventory.


Whereas in PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT, you have to use punctuation in additional and complex ways. In PSAT 8/9, you will have to edit straightforward sentences that may contain one grammatical whereas, in the case of PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT, you have to deal with compound-complex sentences where errors could be less clear.

Maths Skills of PSAT 8/9 

When dealing with the maths section of the PSAT 8/9 you will face problems and stress. Therefore, you require one or two steps to unravel. Whereas in the case of math problems, on the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT, you have to deal with ratios, percentages, proportions, introductory probability, and statistics. In PSAT 8/9, you will not see the comparisons between linear and exponential growth that show abreast of the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT.


In the case of PSAT 8/9, one needs to understand the properties of right triangles, but you will not get to know trigonometric ratios. Those are only tested on the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT.

The Reason Behind Going for PSAT 8/9

The chief aim of  PSAT 8/9 is to get a better understanding of the topic areas where you need to form the foremost score improvements before you’re taking the PSAT and ultimately the SAT. Since the PSAT/NMSQT is merely offered once a year in October, you’ll only have two chances maximum to require it (one in 10th grade and one in 11th grade). 

If you want to win a National Merit Scholarship, you’ve got to try to do well on one of those two tests. Just taking the test and reviewing your scores is enough to offer you a thought of how well you’re doing and which areas you would possibly want to think about that specialize in afterward once you steel yourself against the opposite exams.

There are some other practice PSAT 8/9 exams available, but they are not very accurate therefore you should always go for the official one. Instead, if you would like additional practice, it is recommended to use official study resources and convention tests for the PSAT/NMSQT. The formats of the 2 exams are very similar, but you will not see the foremost difficult questions from the PSAT/NMSQT on the PSAT 8/9. There are two official PSAT practice test available:

  • PSAT Practice Test 1 — Score Your Test — Answer Explanations
  • PSAT Practice Test 2 — Score Your Test — Answer Explanations


The PSAT 8/9 is a kind of initiative on the trail to the SAT. You can go for it in 8th or 9th grade. PSAT 8/9 is just like PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT, but the basic difference lies in the fact that there is no scholarship related to it. The aim of PSAT 8/9 is to make the students practice for the PSAT/NMSQT and, therefore, the SAT. Therefore, without panicking about what will happen, start preparing yourself for the ultimatum.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What exactly is PSAT 8/9? 

PSAT 8/9 is a formal assessment tool that rates pupils’ abilities in writing, reading, and math. 

2. What is the purpose of PSAT 8/9? 

The PSAT 8/9 is designed to create a baseline for students’ preparation for high school and for college and careers. 

3. What is the PAST exam total score? 

The PSAT exam total score varies between 240 and 1440. 

4. How are the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 different? 

The length and score of each exam vary. For greater comprehension, you can also obtain your PSAT 8/9 percentile results. As I’ve already mentioned, the PSAT 8/9 scores vary from 240 to 1440, while the scores range from 320 to 1520. 

What is psat 8/9


Relevant Articles

11th Grade PSAT Score

PSAT Scoring for 11th Grade

Many of you might be interested in pursuing higher education …

PSAT Scoring for 11th Grade Read More »

digital PSAT and SAT

PSAT or SAT – Similar Yet Different, So Be Informed

PSAT or SAT are standardized entrance exams conducted for students …

PSAT or SAT – Similar Yet Different, So Be Informed Read More »

PSAT Practice Tests

PSAT Practice Tests: A Complete Guide

Are you preparing for the PSAT exam and investing money …

PSAT Practice Tests: A Complete Guide Read More »

Digital PSAT Test

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

Being a deciding step in one’s career, the importance of …

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


Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito


card img

With Turito CAP.


card img

With Turito Coding.


card img

With Turito RoboNinja


card img

1-on-1 tutoring for the undivided attention