How Should I prepare for the PSAT math?

The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) has three sections: a critical reading section, a writing section, and a math section. Students worry more for PSAT Math than any other section, but PSAT Math is not as difficult as it seems. Similar to the other sections, there are tricks and proven strategies to approach critical PSAT math questions.

PAST Math Pattern:

The PSAT Math section is 25 minutes long. In the given time, the test taker has to solve a total of 38 problems: 28 of multiple-choice and 10 grid-in questions (student-produced responses). Multiple choice questions have five possible answers to choose from. Students must determine the correct answer for the question. No answer choice is given for grid-in question type. Students have to calculate and grid the correct answers.

PSAT Math Topics:

Using a set pattern, the PSAT Math questions are arranged in order of increasing difficulty. These questions are based on algebra and functions, numbers and operations, geometry and measurement, data analysis, and probability and statics. Students are allowed to use calculators during the math portion of the test.

Approaching the PSAT Math Section in 5 Simple Steps:

Step 1 – The simplest way to conquer the PSAT math section is practice. Practice pays off with higher scores. Practice until you become perfect. You might have learned all the formulas, but that is not enough. You must be able to apply them in different situations.

Step 2 – Read the questions carefully before you start working out the answers or begin any calculations. Apply your math knowledge logically to reach the correct answer.

Step 3 – Keep it moving. You get 25 minutes time to solve 38 problems, so use the time intelligently. Answer the easy questions first and don’t get stuck on the tricky ones. If you are clueless at some point make use of educated guess. Rule out the obvious incorrect choices first than eliminate down to the two most probable solutions. Finalize the one that makes the best mathematical sense.

Step 4 – Use your blank paper and your test booklet. You are allowed to use a calculator during the math section test. If a problem demands, create graphs, sketches, or anything that helps you see what is being described in the problem so that you can then solve it.

Step 5 – And, most importantly have faith in you and your math skills, and exude that confidence during the entire test.

PSAT Sample Math Questions

After John’s father died, the will revealed that John inherited 40% of his father’s money, which is $12,000. John’s brother Tim received 60% of the father’s money. How much money did Tim get?

A. $30,000
B. $18,000
C. $22,000
D. $26,000

The urn contains 3 red, 3 blue and 4 white balls. The balls are drawn at random from the urn. What is the probability of having two white balls in the first two drawings?

A. 2/15
B. 1/50
C. 6/77
D. 34/91