What Is a Good PSAT Score? , Education

College students’ scores on the PSAT, or the Preliminary SAT, don’t have an effect on school admissions selections – however that does not imply the take a look at must be ignored.

Aside from clocking in at quarter-hour shorter – 2 hours and 45 minutes with out breaks – there are few variations between the PSAT and SAT. The similarities are deliberate, in order that the PSAT can function a follow instrument for the precise examination. College students can grow to be acquainted with the take a look at construction and achieve a greater understanding of which school placement examination is a greater match for them: the SAT or ACT.

Although college students should not cram for it, there may be incentive to earn excessive marks on the PSAT, together with eligibility for faculty scholarships, Superior Placement programs and Faculty Board Nationwide Recognition Applications, which establish academically distinctive college students who’re African American, Hispanic American, Latinx or Indigenous, or attend faculty in a rural space or small city.

“The take a look at ought to feel and appear very acquainted” to content material discovered within the classroom, says Priscilla Rodriguez, vp of faculty readiness assessments on the Faculty Board, the group that develops the PSAT and different standardized assessments and curricula. “It is actually not meant to be a pressure-filled expertise.”

PSAT Construction

College students have the choice to take the take a look at annually from eighth to eleventh grade. Eighth and ninth graders take a model referred to as the PSAT 8/9. The 2 different preliminary assessments within the Faculty Board’s suite of assessments embody the PSAT 10 and the PSAT/Nationwide Benefit Scholarship Qualifying Check. Each assessments are open to highschool sophomores, however solely juniors are eligible for score-related school scholarships as a part of the PSAT/NMSQT.

The timed sections cowl three topic areas: studying, writing and language, and math. Most questions are multiple-choice, apart from just a few write-in solutions within the math part.

Divided into two components – calculator and non-calculator – the maths part consists of 48 questions within the areas of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. The 47-question studying part evaluates studying comprehension, vocabulary in context and analytical expertise. Equally, the 44-question writing and language part assesses vocabulary in context together with grammar and enhancing expertise.

PSAT take a look at booklets are given again shortly after rating stories are launched, not like the SAT by which booklets should not returned. College students can overview missed questions and establish strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, if college students hyperlink their Faculty Board and Khan Academy accounts, they will obtain customized follow suggestions primarily based on their scores without charge.

“If you’re studying those you bought unsuitable, you are clearly going to study from a few of the ones you bought proper which may have been by chance,” says David Staples, an SAT and ACT instructor at Kaplan, which supplies take a look at prep and personal tutoring.


Every PSAT part is scored on a 160 to 760 scale, which equates to a possible complete rating vary of 320 to 1520. The studying part and the writing and language part are mixed to create the EBRW rating, or evidence-based studying and writing. Each right reply counts as one level towards a uncooked rating – which is transformed to the scaled rating – with no penalty for unsuitable solutions or skipped questions.

A scholar’s rating report will even embody a take a look at rating for every part, which is on a scale of 8 to 38. The Nationwide Benefit Scholarship Company, or NMSC, makes use of these numbers for its personal scale – the choice index – to find out scholarship finalists.

As per the latest knowledge from the Faculty Board, the primary chart under displays percentile rankings primarily based on complete scores of highschool juniors who took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 in 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Percentiles change barely yearly primarily based on the scores of scholars.

Percentiles show how a scholar’s rating compares to his or her friends. A rating within the fiftieth percentile, 1010, is taken into account common. College students who scored not less than a 1450 fall within the high 1% of take a look at takers, which might put them within the working for nationwide benefit scholarships, Staples says.

99+ Percentiles
95-99 Percentiles
90-94 Percentiles
85-89 Percentiles
80-84 Percentiles
75-79 Percentiles
70-74 Percentiles
65-69 Percentiles
60-64 Percentiles
55-59 Percentiles
50-54 Percentiles

Whole Rating


1490-1520 99+
1360-1480 95-99
1280-1350 90-94
1230-1270 85-89
1190-1220 80-84
1160-1180 75-79
1130-1150 70-74
1100-1120 65-69
1070-1090 60-64
1040-1060 55-59
1010-1030 50-54

Moreover, if college students’ PSAT part scores meet sure benchmarks, they’re thought of on observe for “school and profession readiness,” based on Faculty Board knowledge. For example, college students in eleventh grade should rating not less than a 460 on the maths part and 510 for EBRW to be thought of on observe. The chart under makes use of shade classes to point out how college students’ part scores evaluate to the designated grade-level benchmarks.

“I do not assume there’s such a factor as a ‘unhealthy rating’ as a result of everybody can enhance at these assessments,” says Susan Powers, founding father of Woodlands Check Prep in Texas, which supplies one-on-one take a look at preparation and educational tutoring.

Proof-Primarily based Studying and Writing Part Scores
160-420 Pink (requires greater than 1 yr of educational progress to achieve the benchmark)
430-450 Yellow (more likely to attain benchmark inside 1 yr of educational progress)
460-470 Inexperienced (meets or exceeds benchmark)
Math Part Scores
160-470 Pink (requires greater than 1 yr of educational progress to achieve the benchmark)
480-500 Yellow (more likely to attain benchmark inside 1 yr of educational progress)
510-760 Inexperienced (meets or exceeds benchmark)

Pink (requires greater than 1 yr of educational progress to achieve the benchmark)

Yellow (more likely to attain benchmark inside 1 yr of educational progress)

Inexperienced (meets or exceeds benchmark)

Proof-Primarily based Studying and Writing Part Scores 160-420 430-450 460-470
Math Part Scores 160-470 480-500 510-760

Advantages of Excessive Marks

Incomes a excessive rating on the PSAT does include advantages, like school scholarships.

To be eligible for the extremely aggressive Nationwide Benefit Scholarship Program – which consists of nationwide benefit scholarships, corporate-sponsored benefit scholarships, corporate-sponsored particular scholarships and college-sponsored benefit scholarships – college students should take the PSAT/NMSQT of their junior yr and get a high rating on the take a look at.

Winners of the nationwide benefit scholarships obtain a one-time fee of $2,500, whereas the corporate-sponsored scholarships supply renewable awards as much as $10,000 a yr.

There are 8,500 awards out there, but round 1.5 million take a look at takers are screened. To slim down the finalist pool and decide excessive scorers, the NMSC makes use of the choice index – a 48 to 228 scale.

To calculate the choice index, the sum of every scholar’s studying, writing and language, and math take a look at scores are doubled. If a scholar obtained an ideal rating of 38 in all sections, for example, the choice index rating can be 228. Qualifying scores fluctuate by state and territory however ranged between 207 and 224 for the 2022 competitors.

Past scholarships, the Faculty Board affords Nationwide Recognition Applications to award educational honors to eligible underrepresented college students and join them with faculties throughout the nation. To qualify, a scholar should take the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 and rating within the high 10% by state, based on the Faculty Board. There isn’t a scholarship connected to the award.

Highschool college students may also be beneficial for sure AP courses, which might result in school credit score, primarily based on their PSAT scores.

“Your PSAT will not be the place your story ends,” says Jed Applerouth, founder and president of Applerouth Tutoring. By means of follow and finding out for the SAT, “you possibly can choose up very significant positive aspects, so do not be defeated.”

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