PSAT Math: Overview & Sample Questions

PSAT Math – An Overview of the PSAT Math Sections

The PSAT has two 25-minute Math sections. These sections include a total of 38 questions: 28 multiple-choice questions and 10 student-produced response (or “grid-in”) questions. The multiple-choice questions provide five possible answers; students must determine which of the five choices is the correct solution to the question. The grid-in questions require students to calculate and grid the correct answers; no answer choices are given. Some grid-in questions can have more than one correct answer.

The PSAT Math questions focus on four areas: number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry and measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability. The chart below provides more information about the specific skills these questions test. Students are allowed to use a calculator on the PSAT Math sections. Visit the College Board website for details about approved and restricted calculators.

Math Area Examples
Number and Operations arithmetic word problems; percent, ratio, and proportion; properties of integers; rational numbers; sets (union, intersection, and elements); counting techniques; sequences and series; elementary number theory
Algebra and Functions substitution and simplifying algebraic expressions; properties of exponents; algebraic word problems; linear equations and inequalities; systems of equations and inequalities; rational and radical equations; equations of lines; absolute value; direct and inverse variation; quadratic equations; algebraic functions
Geometry and Measurement area and perimeter of a polygon; area and circumference of a circle; volume; Pythagorean theorem; isosceles, equilateral, and right triangles; parallel and perpendicular lines; coordinate geometry; slope; transformations
Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability data interpretation; statistics; mean, median, and mode; probability

To access sample PSAT Math multiple-choice questions, visit the College Board website.

To access sample PSAT Math grid-in questions, visit the College Board website.

Related Topics

  • For general information about the PSAT Test, visit our PSAT Test page.
  • For information about the PSAT Critical Reading sections, visit our PSAT Critical Reading 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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