National Merit Digital PSAT
The first thing to know is that the PSAT will be in the new digital adaptive format. The PSAT structure will be the same as the SAT in terms of number of questions and the timing. While the College Board has not released a practice Digital Adaptive PSAT yet, we expect the content to be the same for the most part with slightly easier questions and some topics covered less or not at all. A practice Digital Adaptive PSAT is expected to be released in Spring 2023.
Another big change is that each school will choose its own date to administer the PSAT sometime between October 2nd and October 31st. It’s important to check with your school to ask what date is planned for your school!
The scoring scale for the PSAT will not change. The Verbal section will still range from 160 – 760 in 10-point increments; the Math section will still range from 160 – 760 in 10-point increments. Therefore, the total scaled score will still range from 320 – 1520 in 10-point increments.
Since the PSAT doubles as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) in a student’s junior year, the upcoming administration of the new Digital Adaptive PSAT will serve as the NMSQT for the Class of 2025. Since the scoring scales are not changing and since the College Board has given assurances that the Digital Adaptive tests concord with the paper tests, we can assume that the Selection Index will remain in the same relative ranges.
The College Board has released practice for the new Digital Adaptive SAT in its Bluebook app and plans to release practice materials for the PSAT this spring.
If you’re planning on working toward National Merit Commended or Semifinalist, you’ll need to plan on prepping for both the paper SAT and Digital Adaptive PSAT. Ideally, you’ll work over the summer and take the August paper SAT and the October paper SAT (October depending on how that coordinates or doesn’t with your school’s PSAT date). Over the summer you’ll also prep for the Digital Adaptive PSAT format and take it in October. Then, you’ll have two more times to take the paper SAT (November and December) and, with preparation, be finished with testing by the holidays.
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