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Difference Between PSAT and SAT


There are two tests that high school juniors must take, the SAT and the PSAT. One is a dry run for the other, and the other one is a requisite for college admission.

The Pre-Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) is a test that is taken by high school students, specifically the juniors. It is a sort of practice test to prepare students for the SAT, but it is not used by colleges as a basis for admission.

It is still an important test for those who want to qualify for the National Merit Award scholarship. It is offered to students twice a year and usually taken in October with the date of the test determined by the school.
It contains five sections with two 25-minute sections of Reading, two 25-minute sections of Mathematics, and one 30-minute section of Writing. It lasts for about two hours and ten minutes because its questions are shorter than that of the SAT.

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a test that is taken by juniors in preparation for admission to a college. It assesses a student’s mathematical and verbal skills and is the basis for the student’s acceptance to college.
It is the most important test that a student must take before entering college, and its score will be put in the student’s record. It is offered to students seven times in a year with the test falling on a Saturday, and students can take it as many times as they can until they get a satisfactory score.

It contains nine sections with three sections for Mathematics, three sections for Reading, and three sections for Writing. The writing section has an Essay Writing section which is not included in the PSAT. It takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to finish the test.

Both PSAT and SAT scores are calculated similarly. There is a subject test in Literature, Math, History, Foreign Language, or Physical Science that some colleges require students to take in addition to the SAT which is not offered in the PSAT.


1.“PSAT” stands for “Pre-Scholastic Assessment Test” while “SAT” stands for “Scholastic Assessment Test.”
2.The PSAT is a practice run for the SAT and is not used by colleges as basis for admission while the SAT is a requirement for college admission.
3.While the PSAT is not required for admission to college, it is a qualifying test for the National Merit Award scholarship while the SAT is not.
4.Both are taken by high school juniors, but the PSAT is shorter and easier than the SAT.
5.The PSAT is offered only two times a year while the SAT is offered seven times per year, and students can take it until they are satisfied with their scores.
6.The PSAT and SAT scores are calculated in the same manner, but the SAT has an additional subject test while the PSAT does not.
7.The PSAT has five sections while the SAT has nine sections.
8.Both contain sections for Mathematics, Reading, and Writing, but only the SAT has an Essay Writing section.
9.The PSAT would take about 2 hours and 10 minutes to finish while the SAT would take 3 hours and 45 minutes to finish.

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