The PSAT is a preliminary SAT exam that is used both for assessing student academic progress and for determining eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship competition. Over 4,000,000 high school students take the PSAT or PSAT 10 each year. It is such a popular test because the PSAT helps students gauge their college readiness as well as prepare for the SAT exam. There are different PSAT exams, including PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and PSAT/NMSQT, which are typically based on a student’s grade level.

The PSAT/NMSQT exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. It is broken into two sections:

Evidence-based Reading and Writing: The first half of this section, Reading Comprehension, consists of reading passages and questions that test your reading abilities. The second half, Writing and Language, features passages and questions that test your grammar and editing skills

Math: The first part of this section is non-calculator, and the second part allows you to use a calculator.

The two sections are each scored between 160 (minimum) and 760 (maximum) points, for a total possible score between 320 and 1520. There is no penalty for guessing, so be sure to answer every question.

Test Allotted Time (min.) Question Count
Reading 60 47
Writing and Language 35 44
Math 70 48
Total 165 139

The Development of Modern Gourmet


If we go back 1 a century to one hundred years ago, the philosophy of thegreat French 2 Chefs, like Carême and Escoffier, was prominent throughout the culinary world. Complex sauces, elaborate presentations, and lots of calories 3 was the norm for gourmet cuisine. Into the twentieth century, cooks moved more toward cuisine that was clean, diverse, and experimental 4 in response to cultural processes.

As the last century unfolded, people became more and more concerned about the dangers of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood 5 pressure. These diseases were related to obesity. As a result, customers 6 demand food that had quite a bit of flavor, while not having all of the calories. We see this trend reflected in the widespread incorporation of Asian cooking styles, like sushi and spices. 7 Not from fat and salt but from unique flavorings comes flavor. Consumers have also become far more open to the cuisines 8 of other cultures. As people have traveled the world through tourism and military service, they have been exposed to the culinary delights that other countries can offer. 9 Because French cuisine was once considered the only true gourmet possibility, diners now enjoy the flavors of Vietnam, Thailand, Ethiopia, and Mexico. Many top chefs, like John-Georges Vongerichten, don't limit 10 themselves, to one country, they do "fusion" cuisine, which combines flavors from all over the world to create surprisingly wonderful dishes.

11 As well, science has taken cooking to a new level. "Molecular gastronomy" is a recent innovation in cooking, in which chefs use advanced knowledge of chemistry to create such wonders as floating foods. 12 The restaurant, El Bulli, with its chef, Ferran Adrià, is world-renowned for this type of food, amazing dinners with 35-course tasting menus. Diners find that the ultra-modern cuisine of El Bulli 13 stimulates their senses of taste, smell, and of touch.

14 With all that has changed in this past century in the world of food, one can only hope to live another hundred years to see what unfolds in the twenty-first century.

More Information

All content of site and practice tests © 2022 Jack.
Quick View

PSAT Practice Tests

More Information