# What Level of Math Is Tested on the PSAT/NMSQT®?

The Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test® (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test® (NMSQT) is a nationwide standardized test designed for juniors in high school. It is used both as a **college entrance examination**, and to determine **eligibility for National Merit Scholarships**. It is a **timed** test and is divided into **three sections**: **Writing and Language**, **Reading**, and **Math**.

## What to Know about the PSAT/NMSQT Math Section

The **total time** for the test is **two hours and 45 minutes**. The time allocated to the **math** portion is **70 minutes**. Because the test is designed for juniors in high school, questions require knowledge of **algebra I** and **geometry**. There are **48 math questions**; most of these will be **multiple-choice**, with four possible choices. However, for some questions, you will be required to solve the problem and enter your answer on the **grid** provided.

You will be allowed to use an **approved calculator** on a portion of the test. Check what types are approved prior to the test. The test is only given at designated sites. Your abilities to **reason** and **analyze** information are key to success on the test.

## What Areas of Math Will Be Tested?

Questions will be selected from the following four areas (examples are provided):

**Algebra:** equations (linear and quadratic), basic operations, and formulas

**Problem Solving and Data Analysis:** word problems, algebraic functions, equations, and inequalities

**Passport to Advanced Math:** geometric formulas (e.g., area and volume), and types and properties of triangles and other shapes, such as polygons

**Additional Topics:** probability, statistics, and interpretation of provided information

## How to Prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT

This test requires the knowledge learned in algebra I and geometry I. A review of the **formulas** and **principles** would be helpful. Our Math Formula Chart for the PSAT/NMSQT should help you.

You will need to know the **definitions** of basic algebraic and geometric terms, including: *measurements*, *equality and inequality*, *areas*, *mean*, *mode* and *absolute value*. Also, review the use of information given in **word problems** and how it is used in reaching the correct solution.

## What Other Topics Are Covered?

Some other areas of math which may be tested include:

- Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions
- Graphing
- Ratios and proportions
- Slope
- Exponents and roots
- Number systems

Use our study guides, practice questions, and flashcards to help with your preparation for the PSAT/NMSQT.

**This may seem overwhelming, but if you just put in the time to do a review of what you have learned so far, you will do well on the test. Don’t rush through the questions. Take your time and don’t panic. Best of luck!**

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