If you are taking the upcoming PSAT on October 14 or October 28, you would be wondering about the scores. The earlier version of PSAT scores on critical reading, math and writing on a scale of 20-80. However, the new PSAT will be scored differently.
In the new, redesigned PSAT, the scores will be listed on a scale of 160 to 760 for the two sections – Math along with Evidence-based reading & writing. You will get a total score which will be the sum of the two section scores on a scale of 320-1520. You are also given sample percentiles for the section scores and the overall scores. You also get test scores for reading, writing & language and math, on a scale of 8-38. In addition, you will get subscores for math, reading and writing & language on a score range of 1-15.
The PSAT scores scale will closely mirror the new SAT scoring scale of 1600. Students can use this their PSAT scores to measure their preparation for the actual SAT. While a 1400 on the PSAT does not necessarily translate to a 1400 on the actual SAT, it will give you the confidence to approach the exam. Bear in mind that there is a big difference between the difficulty level of the PSAT and SAT.
Along with the scores, you also get a National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) Selection Index in the score report. This is double the sum of your reading, writing & language and math test scores. Now, this is an important number because it is used to screen you for national merit scholarships. The PSAT is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), remember? You need to score pretty well in the PSAT in order to get a good NMSC Selection Index. Each state has its own requirements for scholarships and the minimum scores can be very high!
So, what is a good PSAT score? A good PSAT score is the one that helps you attain your goals. If getting a scholarship is your goal, you should aim to get as high a score as possible. Otherwise, just use the learnings from PSAT as a launchpad for a high SAT score.
One great thing about the PSAT score report is that it offers insights and tips into your performance. Leverage these tips to improve your skills in all the three areas. Also, this year onwards there are no penalties for wrong answers. So, bring on those guesses when needed. For more details, visit the scores section of the College Board website.
We wish you all the best for your October PSAT/NMSQT!