PSAT Math Tips: How to Study for and Pass the Test

PSAT Math Tips: How to Study for and Pass the Test

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PSAT Test entails three tests: Reading, Writing & Language, and Maths. No matter what, never take the PSAT test without preparing for any of that. That said, the smarter you plan to approach the math section helps significantly to improve your scores. Read the tips and strategies outlined in this article to help raise your PSAT score. 

PSAT Test: What to prepare for the Math section 

The math test covers the following topics:

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Plane Geometry
  • Data analysis and basic Statistics
  • Trigonometry

The math section comprises a total of 48 questions in 70 minutes. Those questions aim to test students’ arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and problem-solving skills. 

The math section is divided into 2 subsections:

  • No calculator section– It contains 17 questions to be completed in 25 minutes, and the use of a calculator is banned here. 
  • Calculator section– It contains 31 questions to be completed in 45 minutes. 

Out of 48 questions, 40 are MCQs, whereas the other 8 are free-response questions (grid-ins). 

How to study for the PSAT Math test?

  • Evaluate whether or not you need to prepare for the test.

The two important reasons to study for the PSAT test are:

  • PSAT is also the NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), and the higher the score, the better the chances of getting more college money. 
  • PSAT preparation helps you better understand your weaker areas. So, tailor your study plan accordingly to reach the qualifying range.
  • Set up the practice schedule 

Your practice schedule should ideally consist of a mixture of fundamentals and practice questions. Do focus on the fundamentals, but, at the same time, practice tests are a definitive way to achieve success. Also, seek the help of PSAT Online Tutors to improve study habits and confidence and gain the right skills and abilities to prepare for the test.

  • Review math formulas

While reviewing math formulas is critical to taking the PSAT math test, do not only focus on memorizing them. Instead, the reviewed formulas should be paired with at least one practice set. Mere memorization of a bunch of problems without applying them in the actual question paper is pretty much useless.

  • Work with the timing.

Time management plays a crucial role in passing the test. So, it is important to practice tests within the correct timings. For example, for the math section, there are 48 overall questions to be completed within 70 minutes. So, try and practice to pace your test accordingly.

  • Rely on great materials

Lastly, make sure to research practice materials well in advance. Along with tips and tricks, the best study materials can help you achieve better scores.

How to Pass the PSAT Math test?

Read the 10 simple yet effective tips to pass the test:

  • Understand the questions well

The first step is to pay attention to each question to understand it carefully. Then, read the keywords and underline them. Be careful with the words like ‘not’ in the questions, which may confuse you. 

  • Start with easy questions.

Always start taking the test with more straightforward questions. This way, your chances to score better with the least effort accelerate. It even gives you the needed confidence to answer the remaining questions. 

  • Don’t dwell too much on questions.

Obsessing a lot of questions can lead to changing the correct answers to wrong answers. Of course, the first guess is often accurate, but dwelling a lot can confuse you. So, instead of dwelling too much on one question, try to remain calm and skip it. 

  • Opt for the right strategy

While there are several ways to solve a problem, not all strategies are created equal. First, solve the questions as efficiently as possible to finish the test on time. For instance, if you were relying on time-consuming solutions all this while, take time to look for low-consumption shortcuts, either. 

  • Answer every math question

The score for the test is obtained by adding all the correct answers, and there aren’t any penalties for the incorrect answers. Therefore, your aim should be to answer all the math questions, even if you aren’t sure about some of them. 

  • Keep calm and recheck the answers.

Don’t get anxious while taking the test. Keep calm and return to marked questions once again to review the answer and the method to ensure you have attempted it correctly.


The above-mentioned tips and strategies can help you significantly to pass the PSAT math test. Further, the scores on math tests can help you achieve better scores on the overall PSAT test. Therefore, stick to the expert strategies to study and pass the PSAT math test with flying colors. 

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