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About the PSAT

This is designed to measure the ability to understand and process elements of reading, writing, and mathematics…. The College Board now also offers two PSAT variations: the PSAT 10 for sophmores, and the PSAT 8/9 for freshmen and eighth graders. These variations generate score reports that measure students’ college readiness and skillsets. (the PSAT 8/9 is shorter and less complex). Read more about the PSAT variations.   It has four sections:

  • The Reading Test – 60 minutes, 47 questions
  • The Writing and Language Test – 35 minutes, 44 questions
  • Math Test, No Calculator Portion – 25 minutes, 17 questions
  • Math Test, Calculator Portion – 45 minutes, 31 questions

The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 both have a total testing time of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

= from testmasters.net


from the Kaplan website kaptest.com/study/psat/psat-reading-science-passages/

The PSAT Reading Test will contain either two single Science passages or one single Science passage and one set of paired Science passages. Science passages differ from other passage types because:

  • They often contain a lot of jargon and technical terms.
  • They can utilize unfamiliar terms and concepts.

While Science passages can be tricky due to unfamiliar language, you will never need to employ knowledge outside of the passage when answering questions. Use the following strategy when approaching Science passages on the PSAT:


    Does the paragraph…Explain? Support? Refute? Summarize?


    Unfamiliar terms will generally be defined within the passage or in a footnote.

Let’s look at the following example of an abbreviated Science passage and question set. After the mapped passage, the left column contains questions similar to those you’ll see on the PSAT Reading Test on Test Day. The column on the right features the strategic thinking a test expert employs when approaching the passage and questions presented. Note how a test expert can quickly condense the entire passage into a few words and use his or her Passage Map to ask questions that build a prediction for the correct answer.


When you encounter more than one theory or idea, paraphrase each in as few words as possible in your Passage Map.

Sample PSAT Reading Practice Question: Science

Questions 1-2 are based on the following passage. This passage is adapted from an essay about the characteristics of lunar eclipses.

Many people are aware of the beauty of a solar eclipse, but are surprised to learn that lunar eclipses are often just as spectacular and are both more common and easier to observe. The filtering and refraction of light from the Earth’s atmosphere during a lunar eclipse creates stunning color effects that range from dark brown to red, orange, and yellow. Each of these light shows is unique since they are the result of the amount of dust and cloud cover in the Earth’s atmosphere at the time of the eclipse.

While total solar eclipses last only for a few minutes and can be seen only in a small area of a few kilo- meters, total lunar eclipses can last for several hours and can be seen over much of the planet. In fact, the beauty and stability of lunar eclipses make them a favorite of both amateur and professional photographers. Lunar eclipses generally occur two to three times a year and are possible only when the Moon is in its full phase. When we see the Moon, we are actually seeing sunlight reflected off the surface of the Moon. When the Earth is positioned in between the Moon and the Sun, however, the Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon and a lunar eclipse occurs. To better understand this process, it’s helpful to imagine the Earth’s shadow on the Moon as a pair of nested cones, with the Earth at the apex of the cones, and the Moon at their bases. The outer, more diffuse cone of shadow is called the penumbral shadow, while the inner, darker cone is the umbral shadow.

1. According to the passage, the colors of a lunar eclipse are the result of

(A) the penumbral shadow.

(B) the stability of lunar eclipses.

(C) filtering and refraction of light.

(D) the sunlight reflected off the moon.

2. In lines 26-27, the phrase “pair of nested cones” serves to

(A) offer support for a previous statement.

(B) describe the diffraction of light through the atmosphere.

(C) explain why lunar eclipses are favorites of photographers.

(D) provide a concrete example to help readers visualize a phenomenon.

Explanations of answers:

For practice question #1, use the Passage Map to find where the author mentions color. Because the author mentions both “filtering” and “dust,” you know that the right answer will include those. Choice (C) mentions “filtering” and is, therefore, correct.

For practice question #2, ask “Why did the author choose those words—what are they doing?” Could you picture how an eclipse worked? Predict that the phrase helps the reader understand the concept. Choice (D) matches exactly.


from 2015 Practice Test #1, Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

Questions 20-28 are based on the following passage and supplementary material.
This passage is adapted from Tina Hesman Saey, “Lessons from the Torpid.” ©2012 by Society for Science & the Public.

Understanding how hibernators, including ground squirrels, marmots and bears, survive their long winter’s naps may one day offer solutions for problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis and muscular dystrophy. Nearly everything about the way an animal’s body
works changes when it hibernates, and preparations start weeks or months in advance. The first order of business is to fatten up.

“Fat is where it’s at for a hibernator,” says Matthew Andrews, a molecular biologist at the
University of Minnesota Duluth who studies 13-lined ground squirrels. “You bring your own lunch with you.” Packing lunch is necessary because the animals go on the world’s strictest diet during the winter, surviving entirely off their white fat. “They have their last supper in October; they don’t eat again until March,” Andrews says.

Bigger fat stores mean a greater chance of surviving until spring. “If they go in really chunky, nice and roly-poly, that’s going to be a good hibernator,” he says. Bears also watch their waistlines expand in the months before settling in for the season. The brown
bears cardiologist Ole Fröbert studies pack on the pounds by chowing down on up to 40 kilograms of blueberries a day. Such gluttony among humans could have severe consequences: Obesity is associated with a greater risk of heart attack and diabetes, among other ailments.

To see how fattening up affects Scandinavian brown bears, Fröbert and his colleagues
ventured into the wilds of Sweden following signals given off by radio transmitters or GPS devices on tagged bears.

Bears can be dangerous close-up. Even hibernating bears can rouse to action quickly, so
scientists tracking down bears in the winter use darts to tranquilize the animals from a distance. Scientists studying the bears in the summer tranquilize them from a helicopter.

Once a bear is under the tranquilizer’s influence (which takes about five minutes), the scientists have 60 minutes max to get the animal from its den, weigh and measure it, draw blood samples and do minor surgeries to collect fat and other tissues. The bear is returned to its den by minute 61.

Precious materials collected during this high-pressure encounter need to be analyzed within 24 hours, so the researchers often test for levels of cholesterol or certain proteins in the blood while working in the snow or at a nearby research station.  A pilot sometimes flies samples from field sites to a lab in Denmark in order to meet the deadline, Fröbert says. Samples such as bones and arteries that can’t be collected from live bears come from bears killed by hunters during the legal hunting season.

Recent analyses revealed that Scandinavian brown bears spend the summer with plasma cholesterol levels considered high for humans; those values then increase substantially for hibernation, Fröbert and his colleagues reported. These “very, very fat” bears with high cholesterol also get zero exercise during hibernation. Lolling about in the den pinches off blood vessels, contributing to sluggish circulation.

“That cocktail would not be advisable in humans,” Fröbert says. It’s a recipe for hardened arteries, putting people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Even healthy young adult humans can develop fatty streaks in their arteries that make the blood
vessels less flexible, but the bears don’t build up such artery-hardening streaks. “Our bears, they had nothing,” Fröbert says. It’s not yet clear how the bears keep their arteries flexible, but Fröbert hopes to find some protective molecule that could stave off hardened arteries in humans as well.

Graph Plasma cholesterol

20. The passage is written from the perspective of someone who is
A) actively involved in conducting hibernator research.
B) a participant in a recent debate in the field of cardiology.
C) knowledgeable about advances in hibernator research.
D) an advocate for wildlife preservation.

21. It is reasonable to conclude that the main goal of the scientists conducting the research described in the passage is to
A) learn how the hibernation patterns of bears and squirrels differ.
B) determine the role that fat plays in hibernation.
C) illustrate the important health benefits of exercise for humans.
D) explore possible ways to prevent human diseases.

22. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
A) Lines 1-5 (“Understanding… dystrophy”)
B) Lines 10-13 (“Fat… squirrels”)
C) Lines 31-35 (“To… bears”)
D) Lines 42-46 (“Once… tissues”)

23. What main effect do the quotations by Andrews in lines 10-18 have on the tone of the passage?
A) They create a bleak tone, focusing on the difficulties hibernators face during the winter.
B) They create a conversational tone, relating scientific information in everyday language.
C) They create an ominous tone, foreshadowing the dire results of Andrews’s research.
D) They create an absurd tone, using images of animals acting as if they were human.

24. As used in line 19, “stores” most nearly means
A) preservatives.
B) reserves.
C) stacks.
D) shelters.

25 Based on the passage, what is Fröbert’s hypothesis regarding why bears’ arteries do not harden during hibernation?
A) The bears’ increased plasma cholesterol causes the arteries to be more flexible.
B) Sluggish circulation pinches off the blood vessels rather than hardening the arteries.
C) Bears exercise in short, infrequent bursts during hibernation, which staves off hardened arteries.
D) Bears possess a molecule that protects against hardened arteries.

26 Which choice provides the best evidence for the
answer to the previous question?
A) Lines 19-20 (“Bigger… spring”)
B) Lines 24-27 (“The brown… day”)
C) Lines 69-72 (“Even… streaks”)
D) Lines 73-76 (“It’s… well”)

27 What information discussed in paragraph 10 (lines 58-68) is represented by the graph?
A) The information in lines 58-62 (“Recent…reported”)
B) The information in lines 62-64 (“These…hibernation”)
C) The information in lines 64-65 (“Lolling…circulation”)
D) The information in lines 67-68 (“It’s… strokes”)

28 Which statement about the effect of hibernation on the seven bears is best supported by the graph?
A) Only one of the bears did not experience an appreciable change in its total plasma cholesterol level.
B) Only one of the bears experienced a significant increase in its total plasma cholesterol level.
C) All of the bears achieved the desirable plasma cholesterol level for humans.
D) The bear with the lowest total plasma cholesterol level in its active state had the highest total plasma cholesterol level during hibernation.


Questions 38-47 are based on the following passages.

Passage 1 is adapted from Stewart Brand, “The Case for Reviving Extinct Species.” ©2013 by the National Geographic Society. Passage 2 is adapted from the editors at Scientific American, “Why Efforts to Bring Extinct Species Back from the Dead Miss the Point.” ©2013 by Nature America, Inc.

Passage 1: Many extinct species—from the passenger pigeon to the woolly mammoth—might now be reclassified as “bodily, but not genetically, extinct.” They’re dead, but their DNA is recoverable from museum specimens and fossils, even those up to 200,000 years
old. Thanks to new developments in genetic technology, that DNA may eventually bring the animals back to life. Only species whose DNA is too old to be recovered, such as dinosaurs, are the ones to consider totally extinct, bodily and genetically.

But why bring vanished creatures back to life? It will be expensive and difficult. It will take decades. It won’t always succeed. Why even try? Why do we take enormous trouble to protect endangered species? The same reasons will apply to species brought back from extinction: to preserve biodiversity, to restore diminished ecosystems, to advance the science of preventing extinctions, and to undo harm that humans have caused in the past.

Furthermore, the prospect of de-extinction is profound news. That something as irreversible and final as extinction might be reversed is a stunning realization. The imagination soars. Just the thought of mammoths and passenger pigeons alive again
invokes the awe and wonder that drives all conservation at its deepest level.

Passage 2: The idea of bringing back extinct species holds obvious gee-whiz appeal and a respite from a steady stream of grim news. Yet with limited intellectual bandwidth and financial resources to go around, de-extinction threatens to divert attention from the modern biodiversity crisis. According to a 2012 report from the International Union for
Conservation of Nature, some 20,000 species are currently in grave danger of going extinct.

Species today are vanishing in such great numbers—many from hunting and habitat destruction—that the trend has been called a sixth mass extinction, an event on par with such die-offs as the one that befell the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
A program to restore extinct species poses a risk of selling the public on a false promise that technology alone can solve our ongoing environmental woes — an implicit assurance that if a species goes away, we can snap our fingers and bring it back.

Already conservationists face difficult choices about which species and ecosystems to try to save, since they cannot hope to rescue them all. Many countries where poaching and trade in threatened species are rampant either do not want to give up the revenue or lack the wherewithal to enforce their own regulations. Against that backdrop, a costly and flamboyant project to resuscitate extinct flora and fauna in the name of conservation looks irresponsible: Should we resurrect the mammoth only to let elephants go under? Of course not.

That is not to say that the de-extinction enterprise lacks merit altogether. Aspects of it could conceivably help save endangered species. For example, extinct versions of genes could be reintroduced into species and subspecies that have lost a dangerous amount of genetic diversity, such as the black-footed ferret and the northern white rhino. Such investigations, however, should be conducted under the mantle of preserving modern biodiversity rather than conjuring extinct species from the grave.

38. The author of Passage 1 suggests that the usefulness of de-extinction technology may be limited by the
A) amount of time scientists are able to devote to genetic research.
B) relationship of an extinct species to contemporary ecosystems.
C) complexity of the DNA of an extinct species.
D) length of time that a species has been extinct.

39. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
A) Lines 7-9 (“Thanks… life”)
B) Lines 9-11 (“Only… genetically”)
C) Line 13 (“It will be… difficult”)
D) Lines 13-14 (“It will take… succeed”)

40. As used in line 27, “deepest” most nearly means
A) most engrossing.
B) most challenging.
C) most extensive.
D) most fundamental.

41. The authors of Passage 2 indicate that the matter of shrinking biodiversity should primarily be considered a
A) historical anomaly.
B) global catastrophe.
C) scientific curiosity.
D) political problem.

42. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
A) Lines 37-41 (“Species… ago”)
B) Lines 42-45 (“A program… woes”)
C) Lines 53-56 (“Against… irresponsible”)
D) Lines 65-67 (“Such… grave”)

43. As used in line 37, “great” most nearly means
A) lofty.
B) wonderful.
C) large.
D) intense.

44. The reference to the “black-footed ferret and the northern white rhino” (line 64) serves mainly to
A) emphasize a key distinction between extinct and living species.
B) account for types of animals whose numbers are dwindling.
C) provide examples of species whose gene pools are compromised.
D) highlight instances of animals that have failed to adapt to new habitats.

45. Which choice best states the relationship between the two passages?
A) Passage 2 attacks a political decision that Passage 1 strongly advocates.
B) Passage 2 urges caution regarding a technology that Passage 1 describes in favorable terms.
C) Passage 2 expands on the results of a research study mentioned in Passage 1.
D) Passage 2 considers practical applications that could arise from a theory discussed in Passage 1.

46. How would the authors of Passage 2 most likely respond to the “prospect” referred to in line 21, Passage 1?
A) With approval, because it illustrates how useful de-extinction could be in addressing widespread environmental concerns.
B) With resignation, because the gradual extinction of many living species is inevitable.
C) With concern, because it implies an easy solution to a difficult problem.
D) With disdain, because it shows that people have little understanding of the importance of genetic diversity

47. Which choice would best support the claim that the authors of Passage 2 recognize that the “imagination soars” (line 24, Passage 1) in response to de-extinction technology?
A) Lines 28-30 (“The… news”)
B) Lines 30-33 (“Yet… crisis”)
C) Lines 58-59 (“That… altogether”)
D) Lines 61-63 (“For… diversity”)


Questions 12-22 are based on the following passage and supplementary material: Vanishing Honeybees: A Threat to Global Agriculture

Honeybees play an important role in the agriculture industry by pollinating crops. An October 2006 study found that as much as one-third of global agriculture depends on animal pollination, including honeybee pollination—to increase crop output. The importance of bees highlights the potentially disastrous affects of an emerging, unexplained crisis: entire colonies of honeybees are dying off without warning. They know it as colony collapse disorder (CCD), this phenomenon will have a detrimental impact on global agriculture if its causes and solutions are not determined.

Since the emergence of CCD around 2006, bee mortality rates have exceeded 25 percent of the population each winter. There was one sign of hope: during the 2010–2012 winter seasons, bee mortality rates decreased slightly, and beekeepers speculated that the colonies would recover. Yet in the winter of 2012–2013, 10 percent in the United States, with a loss of 31 percent of the colonies that pollinate crops.

B) pollination: this is
C) pollination,
D) pollination;

B) highlights the potentially disastrous effects
C) highlight the potentially disastrous effects
D) highlight the potentially disastrous affects

B) Known as colony
C) It is known as colony
D) Colony

15 Which choice offers the most accurate interpretation of the data in the chart?
B) been above the acceptable range.
C) not changed noticeably from year to year.
D) greatly increased every year.

16 Which choice offers an accurate interpretation of the
data in the chart?
B) portion of bees lost was double what it had been
the previous year, rising to
C) number of losses, which had fallen within the
acceptable range the previous year, rose to
D) portion of total colonies lost rose almost 10 percentage points, with a loss of

Honey Bee Colony Loss graph

Studies have offered several possible reasons that bees are vanishing. One reason that is often cited is the use of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which are absorbed by plants and linger much longer than do topical pesticides. Chemicals such as herbicides and
fungicides may also play a role, contaminating the pollen that bees typically feed on and inhibiting healthy insect maturation.

17 Which choice most smoothly and effectively introduces the writer’s discussion of studies of CCD in this paragraph?

B) Bees are vanishing, and according to studies there are several possible reasons for this trend.
C) Several possible reasons, offered by studies, may explain why bees are vanishing.
D) DELETE the underlined sentence.

18 At this point, the writer is considering adding the following sentence. Prolonged exposure to neonicotinoids has been shown to increase bees’ vulnerability to disease and parasitic mites. Should the writer make this addition here?

A) Yes, because it provides support for the claim made in the previous sentence.
B) Yes, because it introduces a new idea that will become important later in the passage.
C) No, because it would be better placed elsewhere in the passage.
D) No, because it contradicts the main idea of the passage.

Given the role that honeybees play in agriculture, the impact of this loss of hives on fruit, vegetable, seed, and nut crops is not to be scoffed at. A reduction in bee numbers leads to less pollination, which in turn leads to smaller harvests and higher food prices. Some farmers have resorted to renting hives from beekeepers to pollinate their crops; when there is a shortage of bees this being an expensive proposition. Other farmers have
increased they’re dependence on costly hand-pollination by human workers.

urthermore, there may be sociological repercussions. Agroecologist Alexandra-Maria Klein has suggested that rising produce prices could lead to an increase in obesity as people turn to cheaper, less wholesome fare.

Though the precise causes of CCD are yet unclear, some commonsense measures may be taken. A decrease in the use of certain pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, as well as greater attention to the nutrition, habitat, and genetic diversity of managed hives, could begin a shift in a favorable direction.

B) is a pretty big deal.
C) can’t be put on the back burner.
D) cannot be ignored.

B) crops, this is an expensive proposition when
there is a shortage of bees.
C) crops, an expensive proposition when there is a shortage of bees.
D) crops; an expensive proposition when there is a shortage of bees.

B) there
C) their
D) its

The writer wants a conclusion that addresses the future of efforts to combat CCD. Which choice results in the passage having the most appropriate concluding sentence?

B) Still, bee colonies have experienced such devastating losses that the consequences of the issue have been felt worldwide.
C) Although CCD is a relatively new phenomenon, scientists have been studying other aspects of honeybees for over a century.
D) Genetic variation in bee colonies generally improves bees’ productivity, disease resistance, and ability to regulate body temperature.


Fall 2016 PSAT Practice Test

Click to access psat-nmsqt-practice-test-2.pdf

Questions 39-47 are based on the following passage.
This passage is adapted from Ed Yong, “Gut Bacteria Allows Insect Pest to Foil Farmers.” ©2013 by National Geographic Society.

Here is a lesson that we’re going to be taught again and again in the coming years: Most animals are not just animals. They’re also collections of Line microbes. If you really want to understand animals, 5 you’ll also have to understand the world of microbes inside them. In other words, zoology is ecology.

Consider the western corn rootworm—a beetle that’s a serious pest of corn in the United States. The adults have strong preferences for laying eggs in corn 10 fields, so that their underground larvae hatch into a feast of corn roots. This life cycle depends on a
continuous year-on-year supply of corn. Farmers can use this dependency against the rootworm, by planting soybean and corn in alternate years. 15 These rotations mean that rootworms lay eggs into corn fields but their larvae hatch among soybean, and die.

But the rootworms have adapted to this strategy by reducing their strong instincts for laying eggs in 20 corn. These rotation-resistant females might lay among soybean fields, so their larvae hatch into a crop of corn.

There are almost certainly genetic differences that separate the rotation-resistant rootworms from their 25 normal peers, but what are they? Researchers at the University of Illinois have been studying the problem since 2000 and, despite generating a vast mountain of data, have failed to find the genes in question. “The western corn rootworm has been an enigma for 30 a long time,” says Manfredo Seufferheld. “This insect has the ability to adapt to practically all control methods deployed against it, including crop rotation.

After many years of research about the mechanisms of rotation resistance, results were mostly 35 inconclusive.” So, Seufferheld looked elsewhere. Rather than focusing on the rootworm’s own genes, he studied the genes of the bacteria in its gut . . . and found
some answers. The rotation-resistant varieties have 40 very different gut bacteria from the normal ones. And when the team killed these microbes with antibiotics, they severely reduced the beetle’s ability to cope with rotation.

“The bad guy in the story—the western corn 45 rootworm—was actually part of a multi-species conspiracy,” says Joe Spencer, who was part of the study.

The team, including graduate student Chia-Ching Chu, found that a third of the rootworms’ gut 50 bacteria comprise species that are unique to either the resistant or normal varieties. These two factions also differ in the relative numbers of the bacteria that they share.

These different microbes give the resistant beetles 55 an edge when eating soybeans. The rootworms digest the protein in their meals using enzymes called cysteine proteases, and soybeans defend themselves with substances that can block these enzymes.

But Chu found that the more the beetles’ bacteria 60 differed from the normal set, the higher the levels of cysteine proteases in their guts. By avoiding indigestion, these beetles were better at surviving among soybeans, and more likely to lay their eggs there.

65 The team proved that the bacteria were responsible by killing them with antibiotics. Sure enough, this drastically lowered the cysteine protease activity in the guts of the rotation-resistant beetles and wrecked their ability to thrive among soybeans.

39. Over the course of the passage, the main focus shifts from a
A) statement about the challenge posed by a particular insect to an indication of why that
challenge was easy to overcome.
B) summary of a once-unexplained natural phenomenon to a biography of the scientists
who researched that phenomenon.
C) description of a problem affecting agriculture to an explanation of how scientists identified the cause of that problem.
D) discussion about a scientific field to an anecdote showing how research is done in that field.

40. The statement “zoology is ecology” (line 6) mainly serves to
A) propose that two areas of scientific knowledge be merged.
B) point out that knowledge obtained in one field of research will lead to expertise in another.
C) assert a point about biological science that is supported by the example in the passage.
D) suggest that one field of scientific research has completely supplanted another.

41. According to the passage, one similarity between rotation-resistant rootworms and normal rootworms is that they both
A) reduce crop productivity by extracting nutrients from the soil.
B) produce larvae that feed on the plant roots of crops.
C) adapt to crop rotation by maintaining high levels of enzymes in their guts.
D) contain the same quantity and composition of bacteria in their guts.

42. Which choice most clearly provides information indicating how some rootworms have overcome farmers’ efforts to eradicate them?

A) Lines 15-17 (“These… die”)
B) Lines 18-20 (“But… corn”)
C) Lines 25-28 (“Researchers… question”)
D) Lines 41-43 (“And… rotation”)

43. The central claim in the fourth paragraph (lines 23-35) is that

A) extensive study of the rootworm’s genes was insufficient to determine why some rootworms are rotation resistant.
B) the rootworm’s ability to adapt to pest control methods is unique among insects.
C) the genetic profile of rootworms is significantly more complex than researchers initially believed.
D) our current understanding of genetics is inadequate to allow researchers to understand why some rootworms are rotation resistant.

44. As used in line 24, “separate” most nearly means
A) distinguish.
B) discharge.
C) extract.
D) scatter.

45. According to the passage, the gut bacteria of rotation-resistant rootworms

A) help the rootworms survive in soybean crops.
B) are responsible for lowering the amount of cysteine protease in the rootworms’ guts.
C) make the rootworms less vulnerable to being killed by antibiotics.
D) are transferred to the larvae that hatch from the rootworms’ eggs.

46. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
A) Lines 29-30 (“The western… Seufferheld”)
B) Lines 39-40 (“The rotation-resistant… ones”)
C) Lines 44-47 (“The bad… study”)
D) Lines 54-55 (“These… soybeans”)

47. The main idea of the last paragraph is that

A) cysteine proteases are harmful to rootworms when present in large quantities in the body.
B) eggs laid by rotation-resistant rootworms will hatch into crops of soybeans.
C) bacteria unique to rotation-resistant rootworms allow them to digest soybeans.
D) rotation-resistant rootworms do not digest soybeans using cysteine proteases.


Click to access psat-nmsqt-practice-test-2.pdf

Questions 12-22 are based on the following passage and supplementary material.
A Study in Arctic Migration

Each year, many species of shorebirds migrate from locations in the Southern Hemisphere to their breeding grounds in the 12 Arctic. A journey of thousands of
kilometers that requires frequent stops to fuel up. The risk of death is significant, and the Arctic is an inhospitable region for most of the 13 year, yet the shorebirds never failing to make their annual pilgrimage.

Come spring, the Arctic becomes a suitable habitat, providing many benefits: an abundant supply of food, permanent daylight, ample nesting space, fewer pathogens, and fewer predators to invade the nests of these ground-dwelling birds. These benefits are found in all regions of the 14 Arctic regardless of latitude yet some shorebirds continue on to the high Arctic. If these birds are simply looking for open space and enough food to eat, then why not end their long journey in the low Arctic? Continuing on to the north requires more fuel and carries an even greater risk of 15 mortality if the
birds continue on. The most likely reason certain shorebirds head to the high Arctic is to escape their predators.

B) Arctic, a
C) Arctic; a
D) Arctic; which is a

B) year, the shorebirds never fail
C) year, yet the shorebirds never fail
D) year; yet the shorebirds never failing

B) Arctic, regardless of latitude
C) Arctic, regardless of latitude,
D) Arctic: regardless of latitude,

B) mortality if they keep going.
C) mortality and death.
D) mortality.

[1] A four-year study by a team of Canadian scientists, headed by student Laura McKinnon of the Université du Québec, 16 provide evidence in support of this hypothesis. [2] The scientists created artificial nests that resembled a typical shorebird’s nest. [3] Then each year, during the shorebirds’ breeding season, forty of the nests were placed in each of seven locations that ranged in latitude from the low Arctic to the high Arctic. [4] Each nest had been baited with four 17 quail egg’s, which are similar in size and shape to a shorebird’s eggs. [5] The scientists returned to the nests many times over nine days to check how many eggs remained in the nests. [6] A nest was said to have survived if, at the end of the nine days, it contained at least one undisturbed quail egg.

B) provides
C) are providing
D) have provided

B) quail eggs,
C) quail eggs’,
D) quails eggs,

To make this paragraph most logical, sentence 5 should be placed
A) where it is now.
B) after sentence 1.
C) after sentence 2.
D) after sentence 6

Nest survival by site

The figure shows the results for the nesting 19 sites,
furthermore, at four of the seven locations, averaged over
the four years of the study. The 20 number of predators
invading the nests increased over time at each location.
This result confirmed that predators were present at the
researchers’ chosen locations. The researchers found that
the percent of 21 surviving nests was greater at locations
having higher latitudes. For example, on day 9,
approximately 55 percent of nests were found to have
survived at the 82°N location compared to approximately 10 percent of nest survival at the 63°N location. This study provides the first known quantifiable evidence for the previously unanswered question of why shorebirds
continue on to the high Arctic. 22 The shorebirds risk
their own survival by flying farther. Their offspring have a better chance of survival because fewer predators invade the nests.




Sample tests

2015 Practice Test PSAT/NMSQT


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