Redesigned PSAT VS. Redesigned SAT

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In case you haven't heard, the PSAT and the SAT received a major overhaul! The tests of the past faded from the memories of students who have taken them, the teachers who have helped students prepare for them, and the test creators who have written them as of March of 2016 . In their places, bright, shiny new tests stole the spotlight once held by these two exam standards.

So, how did the tests change? What do those students, teachers, tutors, and test prep writers need to know now? How does the Redesigned PSAT compare to the Redesigned SAT? This chart should help clear up a few of those questions for you. Keep reading below for even more details. 

Redesigned PSAT

Redesigned SAT

Total Testing Time 2 hours and 45 minutes 3 hours plus 50 mins.
for optional essay
Score Scale 400 - 1600 400 - 1600

Reading Test

Time 60 minutes 65 minutes
Number of Questions 47 52
Test Sections 5 total: 4 single passages and
1 pair
5 total: 4 single passages and
1 pair
Passage Details 3,000 words total over five sections. 500–750 words per passage or paired set 3,250 words total over five sections. 500–750 words per passage or paired set

Types of Reading Questions

Words in Context 10 questions (2 per section) 10 questions (2 per section)
Command of Evidence 10 questions ( 2 per section) 10 questions (2 per section)
Analysis in History/Social Studies 19 questions 21 questions
Analysis in Science 19 questions 21 questions

Writing and Language Test

Time 35 minutes 35 minutes
Number of Questions 44 44
Test Sections 4 total 4 total
Passage Details 1,700 words total from 4 passages; 400–450 words per passage 1,700 words total from 4 passages; 400–450 words per passage

Types of Writing and Language Questions

Expression of Ideas 24 24
Standard English Conventions 20 20

Mathematics Test

Time 70 minutes 80 minutes
Number of Questions 47 57
Test Sections 2 total: Calculator and No Calculator sections 2 total: Calculator and No Calculator sectios

Types of Mathematics Questions

Multiple Choice 37 45
Student Produced Grid-In 9 11
Extended-Thinking Grid-In 1 1

Redesigned PSAT Scoring VS. Redesigned SAT Scoring

Since the PSAT and SAT went through such a major overhaul, testers are concerned about concurrence between the old and current exams and the redesigns.  Will students who have the old scores be penalized in some way for not having the most up-to-date test scores? How will students taking the new exam really know what sort of scores to shoot for if there is there isn't a long line of former students with established SAT scores?

The College Board has developed a concordance table between the old PSAT and the Redesigned PSAT along with the old SAT and the Redesigned SAT for college admissions officers, guidance counselors and students to use as a reference. 

In the meantime, take a peek at the  SAT scoring changes and the SAT scoring frequently asked questions. There, you'll see average national SAT scores, percentile rankings by school, score release dates, scores by state and what to do if your SAT score is really, really bad. 

Redesigned PSAT Test Sections Vs. Redesigned SAT Test Sections

When you start practicing to take one of these exams (or both!), you'll need to familiarize yourself with the test sections on each before you begin. Here are the basics:

Redesigned PSAT

Redesigned SAT