The new PSAT is expected to debut in October of 2015 and will focus primarily on assessing students’ ability to process and analyze information, just as the new SAT does, according to the College Board’s website.
The PSAT is designed to help juniors practice for the SAT and determine high school students’ eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship.
The redesigned PSAT will consist of two sections: “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing”, and “Math.” In addition, the scores will be reported on the same point scale as the redesigned SAT, 400-1600, instead of its past 60-240 point scoring. The exam will also be longer, 2 hours and 45 minutes, as opposed to its previous length, 2 hours and 10 minutes. Similarly to the redesigned SAT, there will be no penalty for incorrect answers.
“The PSAT has been changed to match what’s going to be on the new SAT,” Palo Alto High School College Advisor Sandra Cernobori said. “The tests are basically mimicked. The only difference is that the PSAT does not have the essay portion, and that has always been the case.”
According to Cernobori, the PSAT is a shortened version of the SAT and serves as a useful study indicator.
“The PSAT is intended for students to get an idea of what the new exam is like,” Cernobori said. “The score report, which students usually get back in January, can be used as a tool to help them prepare and study for the new exam.”