Welcome to our website, your go-to resource for the PSAT Reading and Writing (NMSQT) practice exam. At the top of this page, you’ll find a prominently displayed button that provides quick access to our detailed practice test. This test has been carefully crafted to cover the full breadth and depth of the exam material, offering an in-depth review of the content. Engaging with our practice test not only helps assess your preparedness but is also an essential tool for identifying and improving upon your areas of weakness, thereby optimizing your study strategy.

To enhance your preparation further, particularly in areas that require focused attention, we have developed specialized quizzes. These quizzes are designed to target specific aspects of the PSAT Reading and Writing exam, providing a more focused and effective study experience.

PSAT Reading and Writing Domain Exams

The PSAT Reading and Writing exam is an integral part of the PSAT/NMSQT and serves as a preparatory step for the SAT. The exam assesses critical reading, understanding of rhetorical devices, and command of evidence in written passages. It also evaluates the grammatical and structural aspects of writing. 

Below is a breakdown of the different areas of the PSAT Reading and Writing exam:

Domain 1: Information and Ideas

  • Number of Questions: 14
  • Focus: This section evaluates your ability to read a passage and interpret its meaning, determine the main idea, and make logical inferences. It includes both literal and inferential questions.

Welcome to your PSAT Reading and Writing Domain 1: Information and Ideas

Domain 2: Craft and Structure

  • Number of Questions: 14
  • Focus: This section tests your understanding of word choice, text structure, point of view, and purpose of the author. It also involves analyzing multiple texts or parts of a text.

Welcome to your PSAT Reading and Writing Domain 2: Craft and Structure

Domain 3: Expression of Ideas

  • Number of Questions: 12
  • Focus: This section focuses on improving the content of writing through revision of sentences, organization of paragraphs, and effective use of language within context.

Welcome to your PSAT Reading and Writing Domain 3: Expression of Ideas

Domain 4: Standard English Conventions

  • Number of Questions: 14
  • Focus: Here, the emphasis is on grammar, punctuation, and usage. This includes sentence structure, agreement, and verb tense consistency.

Welcome to your PSAT Reading and Writing Domain 4: Standard English Conventions

Exam Section# of QuestionsFocus
Information and Ideas (Reading)14 questionsInterpreting meaning, main ideas, and inferences.
Craft and Structure (Reading)14 questionsAnalyzing word choice, text structure, author’s purpose.
Expression of Ideas (Writing)12 questionsImproving content through revision and effective use of language.
Standard English Conventions (Writing)14  questionsFocusing on grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

Key Aspects of the Exam:

  • Duration: The Reading Test is 60 minutes, and the Writing and Language Test is 35 minutes.
  • Format: The exam is entirely multiple-choice, based on passages and infographics.
  • Scoring: Each correct answer contributes points towards your total score, with no penalty for wrong answers. Scores are scaled to reflect the level of difficulty.

Preparation Tips:

  • Practice Reading: Regularly reading a variety of texts, especially non-fiction and literary works, can enhance your comprehension skills.
  • Understand Grammar Rules: Solidify your knowledge of grammar and sentence structure to excel in the Standard English Conventions section.
  • Take Practice Tests: Familiarize yourself with the test format and timing by taking full-length practice tests.

PSAT Reading and Writing Exam Breakdown

The PSAT Reading and Writing exam, often simply referred to as the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), is a standardized test that serves both as practice for the SAT and as a qualifier for National Merit Scholarships. It’s designed to measure reading, writing, and language skills of high school students.

Breakdown of the PSAT Reading and Writing Section:

Reading Test:

  • Content: This part of the test includes passages from literature, historical documents, social sciences, and sciences. The questions require you to demonstrate your ability to understand and analyze texts.
  • Format: The Reading section consists of 47 questions that you need to complete in 60 minutes. The questions are multiple-choice and based on passages provided in the test.

Writing and Language Test:

  • Content: This section assesses your grasp of grammar, punctuation, and standard English conventions. It involves reading passages that may contain errors or weaknesses in writing. Your task is to identify and correct these flaws.
  • Format: It includes 44 multiple-choice questions which you have to answer in 35 minutes. The questions are based on improving sentences, identifying grammatical errors, and understanding the logical flow of passages.

How to Become PSAT Reading and Writing Certified

To prepare for the PSAT Reading and Writing sections effectively, you’ll need to utilize a combination of resources and strategies tailored to mastering these components of the test.

Steps to Excel in PSAT Reading and Writing:

  • Understand the Test Format: Familiarize yourself with the types of questions, the format, and the timing of the PSAT. The College Board provides a detailed guide on their official website.
  • Use Official Study Materials: Utilize resources provided by the College Board, including sample questions and practice tests. These materials are tailored to the test and reflect the actual questions you will encounter.
  • Enroll in Prep Courses: Consider taking preparatory courses, which can be found online or through educational institutions. These courses often provide comprehensive strategies and tips for tackling the test.
  • Practice Regularly: Regular practice with full-length tests will help improve speed and accuracy. It’s crucial to simulate testing conditions to become comfortable with the test’s timing and pressure.
  • Review and Learn from Mistakes: After each practice test, thoroughly review your answers and understand why certain choices were correct or incorrect. Focus on improving areas where you are weakest.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with any changes to the PSAT format or rules by regularly checking the College Board’s website.

Test Details and Tips:

  • Reading and Writing Section: The digital PSAT/NMSQT includes a Reading and Writing section designed to assess your ability to interpret, synthesize, and use information from written texts. You’ll need to handle a variety of questions that test your reading comprehension, grammatical skills, and understanding of the structure and style of texts.
  • Question Types: Expect multiple-choice questions based on passages from literature, history/social studies, sciences, and other disciplines. The questions will require you to analyze text, revise sentences to improve clarity or grammatical correctness, and make effective use of evidence from the passages.
  • Preparation Tips: Focus on understanding the core conventions of Standard English, and practice revising and editing texts. Learning to quickly identify the main ideas and themes of passages, as well as details that support or challenge these ideas, is crucial.
  • Timing and Strategy: The test is timed, so practicing under timed conditions can help you manage the limited time you’ll have to answer each question effectively.

By integrating these resources and strategies into your study plan, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the Reading and Writing sections of the PSAT/NMSQT. Regular practice and familiarity with the test format are key to building confidence and achieving a high score.

Our Experience Teaching PSAT Reading and Writing Candidates To Pass The Exam

At Career Employer, the development of our PSAT Reading and Writing (NMSQT) practice tests has been an extraordinary journey, filled with both notable achievements and formidable challenges. This endeavor has been deeply influenced by the broad spectrum of topics covered in the exam, driven by our unwavering commitment to meet the specific needs of our learners.

Every facet of our approach has been meticulously crafted and executed to ensure that each learner is fully equipped to excel in the exam. Our dedication to delivering a complete educational experience is reflected in the extensive scope and meticulous detail of our practice materials, underscoring our commitment to the success of our students.

From a lecturer’s perspective, teaching PSAT Reading and Writing certification involves equipping students with the skills necessary to excel on the PSAT/NMSQT, which is a precursor to the SAT and important for college admissions and scholarship opportunities. The Reading and Writing sections of the PSAT test students on their ability to comprehend and analyze texts and answer evidence-based questions. These sections are designed to assess critical reading, command of evidence, words in context, and analysis of history/social studies and science, preparing students for college-level reading and writing.

Effective teaching strategies include:

  1. Practice with Real Test Materials: Utilizing actual PSAT practice tests and questions helps familiarize students with the format and types of questions they will encounter. The College Board provides a range of resources, including full-length practice tests available through the Bluebook™ app, which simulates the test environment​.
  2. Focused Skill Development: Since the PSAT Reading and Writing sections include both single and paired texts, lecturers should emphasize skills like synthesizing information from multiple texts, understanding vocabulary in context, and analyzing an author’s choices regarding structure and argumentation. The digital format of the PSAT now allows more time per question, reflecting a focus on deeper analytical skills rather than rapid test-taking ability.
  3. Use of Supplementary Educational Resources: Resources like Mometrix offer comprehensive online courses and materials, including over 950 practice questions, electronic flashcards, and instructional videos, which can be integrated into the curriculum to support varied learning styles and reinforce necessary skills​.
  4. Regular Assessment and Feedback: Continuous assessment through practice tests and quizzes can help track student progress and identify areas needing improvement. Feedback should be constructive, targeting specific skills and offering strategies for improvement.
  5. Engagement with Professional Development: For educators, engaging in professional development opportunities is crucial. The College Board offers resources specifically for K–12 educators, including the Skills Insight™ tool and various workshops that help teachers understand the testing framework and learn effective teaching strategies to support their students’ success.

At Career Employer, the creation of our PSAT Reading and Writing (NMSQT) practice tests represents the culmination of a significant journey, enriched by the collective expertise and insights of our seasoned teaching professionals. These experts, deeply versed in the complexities of the PSAT Reading and Writing exam, have crafted these resources with both comprehensiveness and depth. Their extensive experience has been instrumental in aiding over 1,000 high schoolers to successfully attain their PSAT Reading and Writing certification.

Our team comprises individuals who each possess at least ten years of specialized experience in the education sector. This profound expertise ensures that our practice materials are not only developed by knowledgeable professionals but are also highly effective in preparing candidates to excel in their certification endeavors.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

For effective PSAT Reading and Writing exam preparation, consider the following strategies based on insights from multiple sources:

  1. Understand the Test Format: Start by familiarizing yourself with the test’s structure to reduce surprises on test day. Knowing the format can also help you better manage your time during the exam​​.
  2. Consistent Practice: Regular practice is key. Utilize free resources like the College Board and Khan Academy, which offer practice questions and full-length tests. This consistent practice helps in mastering the test format and question types​​.
  3. Use Practice Tests Wisely: Take full-length practice tests to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Analyze your performance on these tests to focus your study efforts on areas that need improvement. Make sure to simulate testing conditions to accustom yourself to the test’s timing and pressure​.
  4. Review and Adjust Your Strategies: After each practice test, review your answers, especially the incorrect ones. Understand why you missed them and adjust your approach accordingly. This could involve honing your skills in critical reading, grammar, or vocabulary depending on where you fall short​​.
  5. Study Materials and Prep Books: Invest in quality prep books which offer in-depth reviews and practice exercises. Guides from Barron’s and Princeton Review are highly recommended for their comprehensive content and practice tests.
  6. Efficient Time Management: Create a balanced study plan that allows time for schoolwork, PSAT prep, and relaxation. Avoid cramming by spreading your preparation over several months, with regular short sessions proving more beneficial than infrequent long ones​​.
  7. Healthy Study Habits: Maintain a healthy balance in your daily routine. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat well, and take breaks during study sessions. This will help keep your energy levels up and improve concentration during study and test time​​.
  8. Analyze and Learn Test-Taking Strategies: Learn strategies like the process of elimination, annotating passages, and substituting phrases to better answer multiple-choice questions effectively.
  9. Set Realistic Goals: Setting realistic score targets based on practice test results can motivate and guide your study efforts. Adjust these goals as you progress in your prep to keep them challenging yet achievable​.
  10. Consider Online vs. Traditional Prep Options: Decide whether an online course or a traditional classroom setting works better for your learning style. Online courses offer flexibility, while traditional courses provide structured learning environments​.

These strategies can help you optimize your study time and improve your performance on the PSAT Reading and Writing exam.


Item DetailsCostResources
PSAT/NMSQT Registration$18 (may be covered or waived)School registration, Fee waivers available
Preparation via Bluebook app and Khan AcademyFreeBluebook app, Khan Academy
Access to scores and additional analysisFreeBigFuture School mobile app, College Board student portal

The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is now offered digitally, and it’s an important step for high school students as it serves as a qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship Program among other opportunities. 

Here’s a breakdown of the associated costs and preparation resources:

  1. Exam Fee: The cost to take the PSAT/NMSQT is typically $18. However, some schools may cover part or all of this cost for their students. Students may also qualify for a fee waiver if they meet certain criteria, making the test free for them​​.
  2. Preparation and Study Materials: Preparation for the PSAT/NMSQT can be done through free resources like the College Board’s Bluebook app, which offers full-length practice tests and adaptive digital practice. Additionally, Khan Academy provides official digital SAT prep at no cost, which is a valuable resource for students to prepare for the test.
  3. Post-Exam Resources: After taking the test, scores are typically available online within 4–6 weeks. Access to scores and additional analysis can be provided through tools like the College Board’s BigFuture School mobile app. Again, these resources are provided free of charge.

Overall, while the primary cost associated with the PSAT/NMSQT is the exam fee, most other resources for preparation and post-exam analysis are available for free, ensuring students can prepare adequately without significant financial burden. Schools and districts often play a supportive role in facilitating access to these resources and managing any associated costs.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

To effectively prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT Reading and Writing sections, you have multiple online resources at your disposal:

  1. College Board’s Official Practice: The College Board offers full-length practice tests and Bluebook™ app that simulates the actual test environment. This is a great starting point as it provides practice questions that are aligned with the actual test format and difficulty.
  2. Khan Academy: Partnered with College Board, Khan Academy offers tailored PSAT practice based on your specific needs. This includes interactive practice questions and instructional videos that target the Reading and Writing sections. It’s especially useful because it adapts to your level as you progress​​.
  3. Union Test Prep: They provide free study guides and practice questions for the Reading and Writing sections. While some resources require a premium subscription, there are several free options that can be helpful in your test preparation.
  4. Mometrix Test Preparation: Mometrix offers a comprehensive PSAT prep course that includes practice tests, instructional videos, and electronic flashcards. Their resources cover a wide range of topics and question types that you will encounter on the test​.
  5. PrepScholar: Offers free and paid resources including practice tests and sample questions. Their materials are designed to simulate the types and format of questions seen on the PSAT, making it a valuable resource for familiarizing yourself with the test dynamics​.
  6. Barron’s PSAT/NMSQT Prep Books: Available for purchase, these books provide full-length practice exams, detailed answer explanations, and online tools for additional practice. The content is reputed to match the difficulty level of the actual PSAT, which can help manage expectations and enhance preparedness​.

All these resources offer a mix of free and paid options, allowing you to choose based on your specific preparation needs and budget. They are particularly useful for enhancing your reading comprehension, grammar skills, and understanding of the test format. Be sure to leverage these tools to maximize your performance on the exam day.

Tips for Exam Day

For the PSAT/NMSQT Reading and Writing sections, there are several key strategies and tips that can help you perform well on exam day.

Preparation Before Exam Day:

  1. Familiarize with the Test Format: Understanding the structure of the PSAT/NMSQT, which now features a digital format, is crucial. This includes getting comfortable with the digital interface and knowing the types of questions that will appear in the Reading and Writing sections​​.
  2. Practice Regularly: Use resources like the Bluebook™ app and Khan Academy for full-length practice tests. This helps simulate the test environment and allows you to become comfortable with the pacing and types of questions you will face​​.
  3. Focus on Weak Areas: Identify topics in the Reading and Writing sections where you feel less confident and concentrate your study efforts there. Regular practice and reviewing mistakes to understand where you went wrong can dramatically improve your performance​.

Exam Day Tips:

  1. Read Carefully: The Reading section does not require prior knowledge, and all answers should be based on the information provided in the passages. It’s important to read questions and passages thoroughly to understand what’s being asked​.
  2. Manage Your Time: Each section of the PSAT/NMSQT is timed. Practice managing your time effectively during your preparation to ensure you can complete all questions within the allotted time without rushing​.
  3. Approach to Answering Questions: Start by answering the questions you find easiest and skip the tougher ones initially. Use the process of elimination to narrow down answer choices, and remember, there’s no penalty for guessing, so it’s better to guess than to leave an answer blank​.

Physical and Mental Preparation:

  1. Get Adequate Rest: Ensure you get a full night’s sleep before the test day. A well-rested mind performs significantly better​​.
  2. Eat a Healthy Breakfast: Opt for a meal that includes protein and complex carbohydrates to keep your energy levels stable throughout the exam​.
  3. Pack Essential Items: Bring a valid photo ID, your device if you are taking the digital test, #2 pencils, a calculator, snacks, water, and any other essentials outlined by your test center​​.

Using these strategies can enhance your test performance and help reduce anxiety on the day of the exam. Remember, consistent preparation and a good understanding of the test format are key to success on the PSAT/NMSQT.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After completing the PSAT/NMSQT Reading and Writing exam, there are several strategies you can follow to utilize your results effectively and prepare for future tests like the SAT:

  1. Review Your Score Report: Understanding your PSAT/NMSQT scores is crucial. These scores give insights into your strengths and weaknesses, helping you identify areas that need improvement. Your score report will be accessible through your College Board account typically 4–6 weeks after the exam​.
  2. Use Scores for SAT Preparation: The PSAT/NMSQT is designed to mirror the SAT, providing valuable practice. You can use your detailed score report to tailor your study strategies for the SAT, focusing on the areas where you need the most improvement​.
  3. Access to Scholarships: High PSAT/NMSQT scores can qualify you for scholarship opportunities and recognition programs like the National Merit Scholarship. It’s beneficial to understand how your scores may open these doors​​.
  4. Free Online Practice: Leverage free resources such as Khan Academy, which offers personalized practice recommendations based on your PSAT/NMSQT scores. This platform provides official SAT practice tests and a wealth of practice questions and video lessons​.
  5. Consider Future Testing Opportunities: Depending on your year in school, consider taking the PSAT again if you’re not yet in your junior year or start preparing for the SAT or ACT based on your college goals. It’s helpful to know when the upcoming test dates are and what tests might be required or recommended by colleges you’re interested in​.
  6. Plan for College and Beyond: Utilize your scores to plan your high school courses and extracurricular activities that will strengthen your college application. Engage in challenging coursework or advanced classes based on your score report to improve your readiness for college-level work.

Make sure to discuss your results and next steps with your school counselor or teachers who can provide additional guidance tailored to your academic goals and college plans.


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  2. Khan Academy. “SAT | Khan Academy.” https://www.khanacademy.org/sat.
  3. Fiveable. “Fiveable: An Interactive Learning Platform.” https://fiveable.me/.
  4. College Board. “What’s on the Test: Reading – PSAT/NMSQT.” College Board. https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt/whats-on-the-test/reading.
  5. College Board. “Overview of the Reading Test – PSAT/NMSQT.” College Board. https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt/whats-on-the-test/reading/overview.
  6. Mometrix Test Preparation. “PSAT Reading Practice Test.” https://www.mometrix.com/academy/psat-reading-practice-test/.
  7. PrepScholar. “The Ultimate Guide to PSAT Prep Tips and Tricks.” https://blog.prepscholar.com/psat-prep-tips.
  8. Alexander Tutoring. “PSAT Prep: How to Prep & Study for the PSAT.” https://alexandertutoring.com/math-physics-resources/psat-guide/psat-prep-how-to-prep-study-for-the-psat/.
  9. Prep Expert. “A Complete PSAT Study Guide.” https://prepexpert.com/a-complete-psat-study-guide/.
  10. Fiveable. “Complete Guide to the PSAT Writing and Language Section.” https://fiveable.me/guides/psat-complete-writing-language-section.
  11. Apex Learning Virtual School. “How to Study for the PSAT: Tips and Strategies.” https://www.apexlearningvs.com/blog/how-to-study-for-the-psat/.
  12. Connections Academy. “PSAT Test Prep Strategies for Students.” https://www.connectionsacademy.com/support/resources/article/psat-test-prep-strategies-for-students/.
  13. College Board Blog. “A Parent’s Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT.” https://blog.collegeboard.org/parents-guide-psat-nmsqt.
  14. College Board. “Preparing for the PSAT/NMSQT: Practice Tests.” College Board. https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt/preparing/practice-tests.
  15. College Board. “Online Practice Tests – PSAT/NMSQT.” College Board.https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt/preparing/practice-tests/online.
  16. Union Test Prep. “Study Guide for the PSAT/NMSQT Exam.” https://uniontestprep.com/psat-nmsqt-exam/study-guide.
  17. Union Test Prep. “Practice Test for the PSAT/NMSQT Exam.” https://uniontestprep.com/psat-nmsqt-exam/practice-test.
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  19. Test Prep Nerds. “Best PSAT Prep Books.” https://testprepnerds.com/psat/psat-prep-books/.
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