The PSAT includes two 25-minute Critical Reading sections. In total, there are 48 questions in the PSAT Critical Reading sections. These sections consist of two types of questions: Sentence Completion and Reading Passage questions.
PSAT Sentence Completion Questions
The PSAT Critical Reading sections contain a total of 13 Sentence Completion questions. There are two types of Sentence Completion questions: vocabulary-in-context questions and logic-based questions. These questions come in two forms: one-blank or two-blank questions.
|Type of Question||Explanation|
|Vocabulary-in-Context||In order to answer this type of question, students need to know the meanings of the answer choice words and how the words are used in the context of the sentence.|
|Logic-Based||In order to answer this type of question, students need to know the meanings of the answer choice words and how the words are used in the context of the sentence. They must be able to decipher the logic of the sentence.|
To access sample Sentence Completion questions, visit the College Board website.
PSAT Reading Passage Questions
The PSAT Critical Reading sections contain a total of 35 Reading Passage questions. These questions focus on single or paired passages (approximately 100 to 850 words long) drawn from the humanities, social studies, natural sciences, and literary fiction. There are three types of Reading Passage questions: extended reasoning questions, vocabulary-in-context questions, and literal comprehension questions.
|Type of Question||Explanation|
|Extended Reasoning||Extended reasoning questions require students to draw conclusions based on the information provided in a passage. These questions may ask about the main idea of a passage or paragraph; the primary purpose of a passage; the meaning of a word, phrase, or quotation; the author’s tone or attitude; etc.|
|Vocabulary-in-Context||Vocabulary-in-context questions require students to determine the meaning of a word or phrase as it is used in the context of a sentence and/or a passage as a whole.|
|Literal Comprehension||Literal comprehension questions require students to locate and understand information directly stated in a passage.|
To access sample Reading Passage questions, visit the College Board website.
- For general information about the PSAT Test, visit our PSAT Test page.
- For information about the PSAT Math sections, visit our PSAT Math page.
- For information about the PSAT Writing section, visit our PSAT Writing page.
- For information about upcoming PSAT test dates, visit our PSAT Test Dates page.
- Wondering how PSAT scores are calculated? Visit our PSAT Scores page to find out.
- Visit our National Merit Scholarship Qualifications page to find out if your child’s scores qualify him or her for a National Merit Scholarship.
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