Changes for the 2015 PSAT

Allison Dana, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, October 28th, the sophomore and junior classes of Ward Melville will put their minds to the test as they face a newly revised PSAT. The exam’s biggest change in 30 years will be instated for the first time this month, with many changes taking place regarding duration, format, and scoring.

As opposed to the 3 sections of the old PSAT, the new test will be divided into 2 main sections: math, and an evidence-based reading and writing section, the latter of which combines two of the old test’s components. The new total of 139 questions is much longer than the old number, 125, so the extra 35 minutes will definitely be appreciated by the stressed students! This brings the exam to a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes in length.

Perhaps the most celebrated alteration in the test’s makeover is the removal of penalties for incorrect answers. Historically, the ¼ point removed for each mistake was a major source of panic and indecision for test-takers. Now, no points will be removed for mistakes– so students should not leave anything unanswered! Also, each question will now host only 4 possible answer choices instead of the previous 5.

The revamped version of the PSAT can be similarly compared to the new SAT that will be held starting in January, so students should embrace this opportunity to familiarize themselves with the relative format and style of the new exams. Good luck to all!