What Is a Good PSAT Score?

College students’ scores on the PSAT, or the Preliminary SAT, don’t have an effect on faculty admissions selections – however that does not imply the check needs to be neglected.

Apart 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 observe instrument for the precise examination. College students can develop into aware of the check construction and achieve a greater understanding of which faculty 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 Packages, which determine academically distinctive college students who’re African American, Hispanic American, Latinx or Indigenous, or attend faculty in a rural space or small city.

“The check ought to appear and feel very acquainted” to content material discovered within the classroom, says Priscilla Rodriguez, vice chairman of school 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 check every year 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 embrace the PSAT 10 and the PSAT/Nationwide Benefit Scholarship Qualifying Take a look at. Each assessments are open to highschool sophomores, however solely juniors are eligible for score-related faculty 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 elements – calculator and non-calculator – the mathematics 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 analytic expertise. Equally, the 44-question writing and language part assesses vocabulary in context together with grammar and modifying expertise.

PSAT check booklets are given again shortly after rating experiences are launched, in contrast to the SAT through which booklets aren’t returned. College students can evaluation missed questions and determine strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, if college students hyperlink their Faculty Board and Khan Academy accounts, they’ll acquired personalised observe suggestions primarily based on their scores for free of charge.

“If you’re studying those you bought incorrect, you are clearly going to be taught from a few of the ones you bought proper which may have been accidentally,” says David Staples, an SAT and ACT trainer at Kaplan, which supplies check 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 appropriate reply counts as one level towards a uncooked rating – which is transformed to the scaled rating – with no penalty for incorrect solutions or skipped questions.

A pupil’s rating report can even embrace a check 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 beneath 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 display how a pupil’s rating compares to his or her friends. A rating within the fiftieth percentile, 1010, is taken into account common. College students who scored a minimum of a 1450 fall within the high 1% of check takers, which may put them within the working for nationwide advantage 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 “faculty and profession readiness,” in accordance with Faculty Board knowledge. For example, college students in eleventh grade should rating a minimum of a 460 on the mathematics part and 510 for EBRW to be thought of on observe. The chart beneath makes use of shade classes to indicate how college students’ part scores examine to the designated grade-level benchmarks.

“I do not suppose 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 Take a look at Prep in Texas, which supplies one-on-one check preparation and educational tutoring.

Proof-Based mostly Studying and Writing Part Scores
160-420 Purple (requires greater than 1 yr of educational progress to succeed in the benchmark)
430-450 Yellow (prone to attain benchmark inside 1 yr of educational progress)
460-470 Inexperienced (meets or exceeds benchmark)
Math Part Scores
160-470 Purple (requires greater than 1 yr of educational progress to succeed in the benchmark)
480-500 Yellow (prone to attain benchmark inside 1 yr of educational progress)
510-760 Inexperienced (meets or exceeds benchmark)

Purple (requires greater than 1 yr of educational progress to succeed in the benchmark)


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


Inexperienced (meets or exceeds benchmark)

Proof-Based mostly 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 faculty scholarships.

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

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

There are 8,500 awards obtainable, but round 1.5 million check takers are screened. To slender 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 pupil’s studying, writing and language, and math check scores are doubled. If a pupil acquired an ideal rating of 38 in all sections, as an example, the choice index rating can be 228. Qualifying scores range by state and territory however ranged between 207 and 224 for the 2022 competitors.

Past scholarships, the Faculty Board gives Nationwide Recognition Packages to award educational honors to eligible underrepresented college students and join them with schools throughout the nation. To qualify, a pupil should take the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 and rating within the high 10% by state, in accordance with the Faculty Board. There isn’t a scholarship connected to the award.

Highschool college students can be really useful for sure AP lessons, which may result in faculty credit score, primarily based on their PSAT scores.

“Your PSAT isn’t the place your story ends,” says Jed Applerouth, founder and president of Applerouth Tutoring. By means of observe and learning for the SAT, “you possibly can decide up very significant good points, so do not be defeated.”

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