FREE
PSAT Critical Reading Practice Tests

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Free PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Tests

Take the Varsity Learning Tools free diagnostic test for PSAT Critical Reading to determine which academic concepts you understand and which ones require your ongoing attention. Each PSAT Critical Reading problem is tagged down to the core, underlying concept that is being tested. The PSAT Critical Reading diagnostic test results highlight how you performed on each area of the test. You can then utilize the results to create a personalized study plan that is based on your particular area of need.

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 1

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 hrs 26 mins

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 2

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 16 mins

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 3

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 12 hrs 27 mins

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 4

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 10 hrs 4 mins

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 5

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 10 hrs 45 mins

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 6

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 47 mins

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 7

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 hrs 41 mins

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 8

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 46 mins

PSAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 9

Questions: 50
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 hrs 33 mins

Does the thought of taking the PSAT/NMSQT scare you because you know that you might not do very well on the test’s Critical Reading section? You’re not the only student that the Critical Reading section has caused to feel apprehensive. Of the PSAT’s three sections—Critical Reading, Math, and Writing Skills—many students feel that the Critical Reading section is the most difficult for a number of reasons.

For one, the amount of time that you are given is not enough for many students to finish the section in a leisurely fashion, and they have to develop a sense of how quickly they are reading and manage the page they are reading in order to have time to answer each of the questions, much less to get them correct. The PSAT features two Critical Reading sections, which together ask 48 questions; each section lasts for 25 minutes. While the math works out to a bit more than a minute per question, that calculation doesn’t factor in the time it takes you to read the passages that the questions ask about. Taking that time into consideration, the section takes on a new view entirely. Worrying about whether you’re reading too quickly or too slowly is a sure way to distract yourself on test day, so it’s advisable that you learn to pace your reading speed appropriately before taking the PSAT, so that you can be confident that you’ll finish the section without rushing and misunderstanding or missing information. You can practice pacing your reading speed using Varsity Tutors’ free PSAT Critical Reading Practice Tests. Each functions like a twelve-question quiz, with the added bonus that, when you’re done, you receive detailed statistics about your performance, including exactly how much time you took to answer each individual question. By analyzing the results of multiple Practice Tests, you can train yourself to read more quickly or more slowly as needed, and show up on test day knowing that you’ll clock in at the right speed on the Critical Reading section.

Time management isn’t the only factor that makes the PSAT Critical Reading section a challenge. The Critical Reading section also combines question types that some other standardized tests, like the ISEE and the HSPT, choose to present as separate Verbal sections. 13 of the 48 Critical Reading questions on every PSAT are Sentence Completion questions, which test your vocabulary and your ability to pick up on context clues. The remaining 35 questions are just what you’d expect to show up on a Critical Reading section—Reading Comprehension problems, that is. The exam presents these questions alongside associated passages, and the questions ask about material presented in the passage. If you find yourself needing to practice one or the other of these question types, Varsity Tutors’ Critical Reading Practice Tests are a great resource to consult for this need, as well as for timing concerns. The problems that make up each Practice Test are also organized by question type and concept tested, so you can choose to answer just the questions which will be most beneficial for you to spend time practicing.

You might also benefit from taking a Full-Length PSAT Critical Reading Practice Test. When you begin your preparation with one of these free full-length practice tests, you can get an overview of your current level of knowledge on the test. These online practice tests will ask you to use all of the skills you’ll need to answer the comprehensive range of questions on the real test. These longer form exams additionally provide you useful feedback on how you might modify your test-taking pace to ensure you’ll have plenty of time to finish the entire exam. Plus, you can use the information offered on the complete practice tests’ results pages, like the detailed explanations for each correct answer and links to additional review, to create a custom study plan that meets your academic needs. As you progress through your plan, track your progress and refine your review by taking another Full-Length PSAT Critical Reading Practice Test.

Free PSAT Critical Reading Practice Tests

Our completely free PSAT Critical Reading practice tests are the perfect way to brush up your skills. Take one of our many PSAT Critical Reading practice tests for a run-through of commonly asked questions. You will receive incredibly detailed scoring results at the end of your PSAT Critical Reading practice test to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. Pick one of our PSAT Critical Reading practice tests now and begin!

Practice Tests by Concept

Passage-based questions practice test

Questions: 12
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 10 mins

Humanities passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins

Content of humanities passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 36 secs

Extrapolating from the text in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 29 mins

Comparing and contrasting in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Considering analogous concepts in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Making inferences about the author or humanities passage content practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 hrs 6 mins

Understanding organization and argument in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 7 mins

Analyzing argumentative claims, bias, and support in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins

Analyzing sequence, organization, and structure in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 26 secs

Understanding the content of humanities passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 37 secs

Analyzing cause and effect in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 17 secs

Analyzing main idea, theme, and purpose in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 8
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 11 mins

Drawing evidence from humanities passages practice test

Questions: 7
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 8 mins

Summarizing and describing humanities passage content practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 46 secs

Language in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 35
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 15 mins

Passage-wide features in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 7
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 6 mins

Style choices in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 49 secs

Tone, audience, and point of view in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 7
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 6 mins

Specific phrases and sentences in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 16
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 10 mins

Context-dependent meaning of phrases or sentences in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 8
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins

Purpose and effect of phrases or sentences in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 8
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 11 mins

Specific words in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 12
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 13 mins

Context-dependent meaning of words in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 12
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 10 mins

Purpose and effect of word choice in humanities passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 5 secs

Literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 11
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 12 mins

Content of literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Extrapolating from the text in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 0 secs

Comparing and contrasting in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 45 secs

Considering analogous concepts in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Making inferences about the author or literary fiction passage content practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 9 secs

Understanding organization and argument in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins

Analyzing argumentative claims, bias, and support in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins

Analyzing sequence, organization, and structure in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins

Understanding the content of literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 9 secs

Analyzing cause and effect in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins

Analyzing main idea, theme, and purpose in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 12 secs

Drawing evidence from literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 36 secs

Summarizing and describing literary fiction passage content practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 39 secs

Language in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Passage-wide features in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 47 secs

Style choices in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 59 secs

Tone, audience, and point of view in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 3 secs

Specific phrases and sentences in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 19 secs

Context-dependent meaning of phrases or sentences in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 20 secs

Purpose and effect of phrases or sentences in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins

Specific words in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 52 secs

Context-dependent meaning of words in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 51 secs

Purpose and effect of word choice in literary fiction passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 8 secs

Natural science passages practice test

Questions: 40
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 16 mins

Content of natural science passages practice test

Questions: 40
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 11 mins

Extrapolating from the text in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 11 mins

Comparing and contrasting in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 42 secs

Considering analogous concepts in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 6 secs

Making inferences about the author or natural science passage content practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 7 mins

Understanding organization and argument in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 46 secs

Analyzing argumentative claims, bias, and support in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins

Analyzing sequence, organization, and structure in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 56 secs

Understanding the content of natural science passages practice test

Questions: 30
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 18 secs

Analyzing cause and effect in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins

Analyzing main idea, theme, and purpose in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 9 mins

Drawing evidence from natural science passages practice test

Questions: 22
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 24 mins

Summarizing and describing natural science passage content practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 14 secs

Language in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 20
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 13 mins

Passage-wide features in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 48 secs

Tone, audience, and point of view in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 22 secs

Specific phrases and sentences in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 15 secs

Context-dependent meaning of phrases or sentences in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 20 secs

Purpose and effect of phrases or sentences in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 17 secs

Specific words in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 10
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 7 mins

Context-dependent meaning of words in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 10
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 8 mins

Purpose and effect of word choice in natural science passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 6 mins

Paired passages practice test

Questions: 7
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 6 mins

Comparing and contrasting paired passages practice test

Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 33 secs

Comparing and contrasting arguments of paired passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Comparing and contrasting content of paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:

Comparing and contrasting the language and rhetoric of paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 13 secs

Content of paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:

Understanding organization and argument in paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:

Analyzing argumentative claims, bias, and support in paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:

Language in paired passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 44 secs

Specific phrases and sentences in paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 31 secs

Context-dependent meaning of phrases or sentences in paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:

Specific words in paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:

Context-dependent meaning of words in paired passages practice test

Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:

Social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 40
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 15 mins

Content of social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 40
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 hrs 38 mins

Extrapolating from the text in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 19
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 13 mins

Comparing and contrasting in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 54 secs

Considering analogous concepts in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Making inferences about the author or social science / history passage content practice test

Questions: 14
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 8 secs

Understanding organization and argument in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 10
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 11 mins

Analyzing argumentative claims, bias, and support in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 9
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 17 mins

Analyzing sequence, organization, and structure in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins

Understanding the content of social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 36
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Analyzing cause and effect in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 14 secs

Analyzing main idea, theme, and purpose in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 8
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 8 mins

Drawing evidence from social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 15
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Summarizing and describing social science / history passage content practice test

Questions: 11
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 13 mins

Language in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 36
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 29 secs

Passage-wide features in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 14 secs

Style choices in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 56 secs

Tone, audience, and point of view in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 8 mins

Specific phrases and sentences in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 14
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 8 mins

Context-dependent meaning of phrases or sentences in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 8
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 21 mins

Purpose and effect of phrases or sentences in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 8 mins

Specific words in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 16
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 10 mins

Context-dependent meaning of words in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 16
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins

Purpose and effect of word choice in social science / history passages practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 20 secs

Sentence completions practice test

Questions: 12
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins

One-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 12
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 26 secs

Context clues in one-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 47 secs

Conjunctions and sentence logic in one-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 23 secs

Style, intensity, and connotation in one-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 45 secs

Parts of speech in one-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 12
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 30 secs

Adjectives and adverbs in one-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 58 secs

Nouns in one-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 16 secs

Verbs in one-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 12
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 9 secs

Two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 40
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 18 mins

Context clues in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 14
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins

Conjunctions and sentence logic in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 13
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 7 mins

Style, intensity, and connotation in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 47 secs

Parts of speech in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 40
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 19 mins

Nouns and adjectives or adverbs in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 16
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 9 mins

Nouns and verbs in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 13
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 7 mins

Two adjectives or adverbs in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 20
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 8 mins

Two nouns in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 11
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins

Two verbs in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 20
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 7 mins

Verbs and adjectives or adverbs in two-blank sentences practice test

Questions: 40
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 11 mins
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