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PSAT 8/9 Practice Test #1 Questions & Answers (2024)

Welcome to your ultimate resource for mastering the PSAT 8/9 Practice Test #1. This guide covers all key sections, including Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math, and provides 40 sample questions with answers. Whether this is your initial attempt to familiarize yourself with the test format or you're aiming to enhance your abilities with more intricate challenges, our guide is designed to boost both your competence and confidence as you prepare for test day.

Understanding the PSAT 8/9 Test Structure

The PSAT 8/9 serves as a preliminary assessment designed for eighth and ninth graders, forming part of the College Board’s SAT Suite of Assessments. It measures skills in two broad areas:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: This section tests your reading comprehension and your ability to recognize and correct grammar and usage in written English.

  • Math: Covering a range of mathematical practices, including algebra, data analysis, and some elements of geometry and trigonometry.

Free PSAT 8/9 Practice Test #1 Questions

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

Question 1:

The author of the passage describes the main character’s adventure as “unexpectedly thrilling.” What does this suggest about the character’s experiences prior to the events described?

A) They were mundane.
B) They were terrifying.
C) They were exhilarating.
D) They were sorrowful.

Answer: A
Explanation: The term "unexpectedly thrilling" implies a contrast to what preceded, suggesting that the character’s previous experiences were routine or mundane.

Question 2:

What can be inferred from the author's description of the city as "cloaked in a blanket of fog"?


A) The city is experiencing bad weather.
B) The visibility in the city is poor.
C) The city is located near the coast.
D) The inhabitants of the city are isolated.


Answer: B

Explanation: The metaphor "cloaked in a blanket of fog" suggests that the fog is thick, covering the city extensively, which implies poor visibility.

Question 3:

In a literary passage, if a character is described as having "a steely gaze," what does this suggest about the character?

A) The character is visually impaired.
B) The character is physically strong.
C) The character is determined or intense.
D) The character is untrustworthy.


Answer: C

Explanation: "A steely gaze" typically conveys intensity and determination, suggesting a focused or resolute personality trait.

Question 4:

What is the main purpose of an article that starts with a detailed recount of a personal anecdote?

A) To persuade the reader with data.
B) To engage the reader with a relatable story.
C) To provide instructions.
D) To compare past and present situations.


Answer: B

Explanation: Starting with a personal anecdote is a common technique used to engage readers by making the topic more relatable and drawing them into the narrative.

Question 5:

The author refers to the sky as "a canvas of cerulean." What does this suggest about the sky?


A) It was stormy.
B) It was clear.
C) It was brightly colored.
D) It was fading at dusk.


Answer: C
Explanation: The term "cerulean" describes a shade of blue that is bright and deep, similar to the sky on a clear day. Referring to the sky as a canvas implies that it was expansively and vividly blue, like a painting.

Question 6:

Which conclusion can be drawn from the statement that "the company’s profits soared after the release of their new product"?

A) The new product was inexpensive to produce.
B) The new product was successful in the market.
C) The company’s previous products were unsuccessful.
D) The new product was released without proper testing.


Answer: B
Explanation: The word "soared" implies a significant increase, suggesting that the new product was well-received and boosted the company's profits due to its success in the market.

Question 7:

What is the main purpose of an article that details a series of historical events leading to a major war?

A) To entertain the reader with historical facts.
B) To persuade the reader to support a political stance.
C) To inform the reader about the causes of the war.
D) To criticize the actions of the leaders involved.


Answer: C
Explanation: An article that outlines the events leading up to a war is likely aimed at informing the reader about the historical context and causes of the conflict, helping them understand how and why it developed.

Question 8:

What does the phrase "turn over a new leaf" mean in this context?

A) To start anew.
B) To revisit a past mistake.
C) To change the topic of discussion.
D) To return something to its original place.

Answer: A
Explanation: "Turn over a new leaf" is an idiom that means to begin again, often with a change in behavior or attitude, suggesting a fresh start.

Question 9:

The passage describes a character "wading through thickets of words." What does this metaphor suggest about the character's experience?

A) The character is enjoying a book.
B) The character is giving a speech.
C) The character is struggling to understand.
D) The character is writing a novel.


Answer: C
Explanation: The metaphor of "wading through thickets" suggests difficulty and obstruction, implying that the character finds the material hard to comprehend, as if moving through dense, tangled vegetation.

Question 10:

What is the tone of a passage that describes a sunset as "bathing the horizon in a soft, golden glow"?

A) Melancholic
B) Ominous
C) Serene
D) Anxious


Answer: C
Explanation: The description of the sunset with words like "soft" and "golden glow" suggests a calm, peaceful, and beautiful scene, which conveys a serene tone.

Question 12:

Which choice provides the best summary of the passage about technological advancements?

A) The passage details several recent technological failures.
B) The passage discusses the history of technology since the 1800s.
C) The passage outlines the benefits and challenges of new technologies.
D) The passage predicts the decline of technology use in the future.


Answer: C
Explanation: If the passage is about technological advancements and discusses both positives and negatives, then the best summary would be that it outlines both benefits and challenges associated with these advancements.

Question 13:

What can be inferred from the character's refusal to attend the meeting?

A) They were not invited.
B) They disagree with the purpose of the meeting.
C) They were busy with other tasks.
D) They did not know about the meeting.


Answer: B
Explanation: Typically, a refusal to attend a meeting suggests disagreement or dissatisfaction with what the meeting represents or intends to achieve, rather than scheduling conflicts or unawareness.

Question 14:

After reading a poem about the sea, which theme is most likely being explored?

A) The complexity of urban life.
B) The challenges of mountain climbing.
C) The vastness and mystery of the ocean.
D) The tranquility of a forest.

Answer: C
Explanation: A poem about the sea likely explores themes related to the ocean's nature, such as its immense size and the mysteries it holds, rather than unrelated themes like urban life or mountain climbing.

Question 15:

The author argues that "without reform, progress is stifled." What is the author's main point?

A) Change is necessary for advancement.
B) Progress occurs naturally over time.
C) Stagnation is preferable to change.
D) Reforms are generally unsuccessful.


Answer: A
Explanation: The statement clearly implies that reform or change is essential for progress, suggesting that without it, advancement cannot occur.

Question 16:

What is the effect of the author's use of rhetorical questions in the article?

A) To provide the answers to complex problems.
B) To summarize the content from earlier in the text.
C) To provoke thought and engage the reader.
D) To introduce new topics.


Answer: C
Explanation: Rhetorical questions are often used to engage readers by provoking thought or reflection, rather than to convey direct information or introduce new topics.

Question 17:

In a discussion of an economic downturn, what does the phrase "the bottom fell out" mean?

A) The situation began to improve.
B) The cause of the downturn was discovered.
C) The situation suddenly became much worse.
D) The economy completely recovered.


Answer: C
Explanation: The phrase "the bottom fell out" suggests a sudden and significant worsening of a situation, particularly in the context of economic discussions.

Question 18:

What purpose does the first paragraph serve in an essay discussing solar energy benefits?

A) It provides a detailed history of solar technology.
B) It lists the types of solar panels available.
C) It introduces the topic and states the essay’s thesis.
D) It argues against the use of fossil fuels.


Answer: C
Explanation: Typically, the introduction of an essay serves to set the stage for the discussion that follows. In the context of an essay on solar energy benefits, the first paragraph would likely introduce the topic of solar energy and present the main argument or thesis of the essay, aiming to engage the reader and clarify the focus of the subsequent sections.

Question 19:

The article describes the new technology as "a double-edged sword." What does this suggest about the technology?

A) It is innovative and rare.
B) It is outdated and unreliable.
C) It has both positive and negative aspects.
D) It is dangerous and illegal.


Answer: C
Explanation: The metaphor "a double-edged sword" implies that while the technology has benefits, it also has drawbacks or negative consequences, making it beneficial in some aspects and potentially harmful in others.

Question 20:

How does the author develop a sense of urgency in the text about climate change?


A) By detailing the economic benefits of taking action.
B) By comparing climate policies of different countries.
C) By citing alarming statistics about rising temperatures.
D) By discussing new technologies in renewable energy.


Answer: C
Explanation: Presenting alarming statistics about issues like rising temperatures is a common method to create a sense of urgency. This approach is designed to provoke immediate concern and prompt action from the reader by highlighting the severity and immediacy of the issue.


Question 1:

If 𝑥+3=7x+3=7, what is the value of 2𝑥+62x+6?

A) 8
B) 14
C) 10
D) 12


Answer: B
Solve the first equation for 𝑥x by subtracting 3 from both sides to find 𝑥=4x=4. Substituting 44 for 𝑥x in 2𝑥+62x+6 yields 2(4)+6=142(4)+6=14.

Question 2:

If 3𝑥+5=203x+5=20, what is the value of 𝑥x?

A) 5
B) 5
C) 10
D) 15


Answer: B

Explanation: Solving for 𝑥x in the equation 3𝑥+5=203x+5=20 involves subtracting 5 from both sides (giving 3𝑥=153x=15) and then dividing by 3 (yielding 𝑥=5x=5).

Question 3:

A diagram shows a triangle with sides 3 cm, 4 cm, and 5 cm. Which type of triangle is it?

A) Isosceles
B) Equilateral
C) Right
D) Acute


Answer: C

Explanation: A triangle with sides of 3, 4, and 5 cm forms a right triangle because 32+42=9+16=2532+42=9+16=25, which equals 5252.

Question 4:

The graph of a function 𝑓(𝑥)=𝑎𝑥2+𝑏𝑥+𝑐f(x)=ax2+bx+c opens downward. What must be true about 𝑎a?

A) 𝑎<0a<0
B) 𝑎>0a>0
C) 𝑎=0a=0
D) 𝑎=1a=1


Answer: A

Explanation: For the graph of a quadratic function to open downward, the coefficient 𝑎a of the 𝑥2x2 term must be negative.

Question 5:

If 5𝑥−3=2𝑥+75x−3=2x+7, what is 𝑥x?

A) 2
B) 3.33
C) 5
D) 10


Answer: B
Solving for 𝑥x involves first getting all 𝑥x-terms on one side and constants on the other: 5𝑥−2𝑥=7+35x−2x=7+3 3𝑥=103x=10 𝑥=103≈3.33x=310​≈3.33

Question 6:

The area of a rectangle is 45 sq cm, and its length is 9 cm. What is the width?

A) 4 cm
B) 5 cm
C) 6 cm
D) 7 cm


Answer: B
Area of a rectangle is calculated as length×widthlength×width. Given the area and the length: 9×width=459×width=45 width=459=5 cmwidth=945​=5 cm

Question 7:

A class collects 300 cans for recycling, which is three times the amount collected by another class. How many cans did the other class collect?

A) 100 cans
B) 100 cans
C) 200 cans
D) 300 cans


Answer: B
If the first class collected three times more than the second, the equation is: 3×other class=3003×other class=300 other class=3003=100 cansother class=3300​=100 cans

Question 8:

What is the value of 𝑦y if 4𝑦+16=404y+16=40?

A) 4
B) 6
C) 8
D) 10


Answer: B
Solve for 𝑦y by first subtracting 16 from both sides: 4𝑦+16−16=40−164y+16−16=40−16 4𝑦=244y=24 Then, divide both sides by 4: 𝑦=244=6y=424​=6

Question 9:

A triangle has angles measuring 35 degrees and 65 degrees. What is the measure of the third angle?

A) 70 degrees
B) 80 degrees
C) 90 degrees
D) 100 degrees


Answer: B
The sum of the angles in a triangle is always 180 degrees. Adding the two known angles: 35+65=10035+65=100 Then, subtract from 180 to find the third angle: 180−100=80 degrees180−100=80 degrees

Question 10:

If 9𝑥=819x=81, what is 𝑥x?

A) 9
B) 10
C) 11
D) 12


Answer: A
Divide both sides of the equation by 9 to isolate 𝑥x: 9𝑥9=81999x​=981​ 𝑥=9x=9

Question 11:

How many solutions does the equation 𝑥2=16x2=16 have?

A) One
B) Two
C) Three
D) None


Answer: B
The equation 𝑥2=16x2=16 can be solved by taking the square root of both sides, giving two possible values for 𝑥x: 𝑥=±4x=±4 Thus, there are two solutions: 4 and -4.

Question 12:

What is the next number in the sequence 2, 4, 8, 16, ...?

A) 18
B) 20
C) 24
D) 32


Answer: D
The sequence is a geometric series where each term is multiplied by 2 to get the next term. Thus, multiplying 16 by 2 gives: 16×2=3216×2=32

Question 13:

A square and a rectangle have the same perimeter. If the rectangle’s length is twice its width, and the side of the square is 10 units, what is the area of the rectangle?

A) 100 square units
B) 80 square units
C) 120 square units
D) 140 square units


Answer: A
The perimeter of the square is 4×10=404×10=40 units. Let 𝑤w be the width of the rectangle. Then the length is 2𝑤2w, and the perimeter of the rectangle is 2(𝑤+2𝑤)=6𝑤2(w+2w)=6w. Setting this equal to the square’s perimeter: 6𝑤=406w=40 𝑤=406≈6.67w=640​≈6.67 Then, the area of the rectangle is: 𝑤×2𝑤=6.67×13.34≈100 square unitsw×2w=6.67×13.34≈100 square units

Question 14:

If 5𝑥=25x5​=25, what is 𝑥x?

A) 0.2
B) 0.2
C) 5
D) 25


Answer: B
Multiply both sides by 𝑥x and then divide by 25 to solve for 𝑥x: 5=25𝑥5=25x 𝑥=525=0.2x=255​=0.2

Question 15:

What is the slope of the line represented by the equation 3𝑥−6𝑦=123x−6y=12?

A) -2
B) 0.5
C) -0.5
D) 2


Answer: B
To find the slope of the line, first rearrange the equation into slope-intercept form 𝑦=𝑚𝑥+𝑏y=mx+b. Solving for 𝑦y:
The coefficient of 𝑥x (0.5) is the slope.

Question 16:

The sum of the ages of two siblings is 26 years, and one sibling is 10 years older than the other. How old is the younger sibling?

A) 8 years
B) 8 years
C) 18 years
D) 16 years


Answer: B
Let 𝑥x be the age of the younger sibling. The older sibling's age then is 𝑥+10x+10. Their sum is given as 26 years: 𝑥+(𝑥+10)=26x+(x+10)=26
Thus, the younger sibling is 8 years old.

Question 17:

A rectangular garden is 10 feet longer than it is wide. If the area of the garden is 300 square feet, what is the width of the garden?

A) 10 feet
B) 15 feet
C) 20 feet
D) 25 feet


Answer: B
Let 𝑤w be the width of the garden. Then the length is 𝑤+10w+10. The area of the rectangle is: 𝑤×(𝑤+10)=300w×(w+10)=300
Factoring the quadratic equation, we find: (𝑤+20)(𝑤−15)=0(w+20)(w−15)=0
𝑤=15w=15 (since width cannot be negative)
Thus, the width of the garden is 15 feet.

Question 18:

In a right triangle, one leg measures 8 cm and the hypotenuse measures 17 cm. What is the length of the other leg?

A) 9 cm
B) 15 cm
C) 10 cm
D) 12 cm


Answer: B
Using the Pythagorean theorem, where 𝑎a and 𝑏b are the legs and 𝑐c is the hypotenuse: 𝑎2+𝑏2=𝑐2a2+b2=c2
Therefore, the length of the other leg is 15 cm.

Question 19:

If 4𝑥2−25=04x2−25=0, what are the values of 𝑥x?

A) ±2.5±2.5
B) ±5±5
C) ±3.5±3.5
D) ±4.5±4.5


Answer: A
This is a simple quadratic equation in the form of a difference of squares: 4𝑥2−25=04x2−25=0
Solving for 𝑥x: 2𝑥−5=0⇒𝑥=2.52x−5=0⇒x=2.5
Thus, 𝑥=±2.5x=±2.5.

Question 20:

A school buys 450 books for its library. If each book costs $8, what is the total cost for all books?

A) $3600
B) $3600
C) $3500
D) $4500


Answer: B
Multiply the number of books by the cost per book to find the total cost: 450 books×$8/book=$3600450 books×$8/book=$3600
Therefore, the totalcost for the books is $3600.

Final Thoughts

As you prepare for the PSAT 8/9, remember that regular practice and thorough review of each section will significantly enhance your test-taking skills. By understanding the format, practicing with realistic questions, and reviewing detailed explanations, you're setting a strong foundation for your future academic challenges.

Disclaimer: This webpage is independently created for educational purposes and practice. The sample questions provided here are inspired by typical test formats and are not actual questions from the College Board's PSAT 8/9 examinations. This content is not endorsed or affiliated with the College Board.

Good luck on your journey to achieving a great score on the PSAT 8/9!

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