PSAT 8/9

The PSAT 8/9 assessment will help students prepare for their future. By taking the PSAT 8/9, each student will learn which skills he or she needs to work on for continued success throughout high school and college. In addition, the PSAT 8/9 will identify areas where students excel and may want to consider taking higher level courses, as well as areas he or she should focus on to improve academically. Please note that PSAT 8/9 scores are not sent to colleges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the PSAT™ 8/9?
The PSAT 8/9 is an assessment given to eighth-grade students that is closely aligned to the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and PSAT10. It consists of questions in reading, writing, language and mathematics.

Q: What are the benefits of taking the PSAT 8/9 assessment?
It helps establish a baseline for students as they enter high school and begin preparing for college and career readiness. It also provides students with better access to data and personalized study through the online College Board and Khan Academy® resources.

Q: When will my student take the PSAT 8/9 assessment? Will make-up tests be offered?
Virginia Beach City Public Schools students will take the PSAT 8/9 during school hours in October. (Contact your child’s school for a specific date.) As per the College Board guidelines, make-up tests will not be offered.

Q: How should my student prepare?
The best preparation is to deeply engage in classroom learning and practice skills over time. On test day, your student should answer all the questions to the best of his or her ability. It will also help if he or she gets plenty of sleep the night before test day.

Q: What accommodations are allowed on the PSAT 8/9 for students with disabilities (SWD) and limited English proficient (LEP) students?
Students should participate in the PSAT 8/9 according to their educational plans. Accommodations will be made available for students whose plan requires extended time. Parents who have questions regarding their student’s allowable accommodations should contact the school directly.

Q: How long will the assessment take and how many questions are there?
Actual testing time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. There are 42 reading questions, 40 writing and language questions, and 38 math questions. The math questions are split into two parts, one part with a calculator and one part without a calculator.

Q: What should my student do if he or she doesn’t know an answer?
Your student may encounter some difficult questions that he or she does not know how to answer. Advise your student that if this happens, not to get discouraged but to answer every question to the best of his or her ability.

Q: How does my student receive PSAT 8/9 scores?
You and your student will receive a paper score report with a unique code giving him or her access to a robust online score report. The scores reported will grow to include every test your student takes that is part of the SAT Suite of Assessments (see for more information).

The online experience is designed to help you and your student understand the scores better and to use the feedback to build new skills based on a detailed breakdown of your student’s performance.

Q: Where can I get more information regarding the PSAT 8/9?
More information about the PSAT 8/9 can be viewed at