The Math Section: Overview

The Math section includes 44 questions evenly divided between 2 modules. You have 35 minutes to answer the questions in each module (~1 minute and 35 seconds per question). Across each module, questions are arranged from easiest to hardest, allowing you to have the best opportunity to demonstrate what you know and can do. An acceptable calculator can be used on the entire Math section of the test.

What the Digital Math Section Is Like

The Math section of the digital PSAT 8/9 is designed to measure your success with building critical college and career readiness knowledge and skills in math. It focuses on key elements of algebra, advanced math, problem-solving and data analysis, and geometry and trigonometry. Over the course of the Math section, you'll answer multiple-choice and student-produced response questions that measure your fluency with, understanding of, and ability to apply the math concepts, skills, and practices that are most essential.

Approximately 30% of Math questions are set in context. These in-context "word" questions require you to consider a science, social studies, or real-world scenario and apply your math skills and knowledge, along with an understanding of the context, to determine the answer to each.

Select questions in this section are accompanied by an informational graphic.

Questions in the Math section fall into four content domains:

  1. Algebra
    Questions in this domain measure the ability to analyze, fluently solve, and create linear equations and inequalities as well as analyze and fluently solve equations and systems of equations using multiple techniques. Questions include:
    • Linear equations in 1 variable
    • Linear equations in 2 variables
    • Linear functions
    • Systems of 2 linear equations in 2 variables
    • Linear inequalities in 1 or 2 variables
  2. Advanced Math
    Questions in this domain measure skills and knowledge central for progression to more advanced math courses, including demonstrating an understanding of absolute value, quadratic, exponential, polynomial, rational, radical, and other nonlinear equations. Questions include:
    • Equivalent expressions
    • Nonlinear equations in 1 variable and systems of equations in 2 variables
    • Nonlinear functions
  3. Problem-Solving and Data Analysis
    Questions in this domain measure the ability to apply quantitative reasoning about ratios, rates, and proportional relationships; understand and apply unit rate; and analyze and interpret 1- and 2-variable data. Questions include:
    • Ratios, rates, proportional relationships, and units
    • Percentages, 1-variable data
    • Distributions and measures of center and spread
    • 2-variable data: models and scatterplots
    • Probability and conditional probability
    • Inference from sample statistics and margin of error
    • Evaluating statistical claims: observational studies and experiments
  4. Geometry and Trigonometry
    Questions in this domain measure the ability to solve problems that focus on area and volume; angles, triangles, and trigonometry; and circles. Questions include:
    • Area and volume
    • Lines, angles, and triangles
    • Right triangles and trigonometry
    • Circles