If you or your student took the PSAT in October, you should be receiving the score reports on December 10th. Here is a video explaining how to find your score report and here is one to learn how to read your report. Please read below for some tips on understanding your scores and what do to with them.
The PSAT is scored on the same scale as the SAT, but the maximum you can score on each of the two sections of the PSAT (Evidence-based Reading & Writing plus Math) is 760 (for a maximum total of 1520), while the SAT’s two sections are scored on an 800-point scale (maximum total score of 1600).
What you score on the PSAT should equate to a projected SAT score if you took it now. However, since the tests are normed to the student population, scaling from PSAT to SAT is actually going to look different at each point within the bell curve. Additionally, be aware that the PSAT percentiles are often higher than what is reported on students’ SAT reports, with a number of students scoring below their predicted SAT scores based on the PSAT percentiles. This can be due to a number of factors, including the fact that PSAT percentiles are based on averages of “all students” vs. just students who took the PSAT:
- Nationally Representative Percentile – shows how your scores compare to scores of all US students in your grade, including those who typically don’t take the PSAT.
- User Percentile – shows how your score compares to scores of U.S. students in your grade who typically take the PSAT.
The percentiles on the SAT, in comparison, show how you did compared to other students who actually took the test. Read more here to understand why percentiles are important on the SAT (more so than they are on the PSAT). Regardless, to make the most of your PSAT, make sure that you and your student log in here to see their full report, watch this video on how to read the report, and continue reading for more details and what to do next.
Why are there so many different scores on the report?
There is a total score, a math score, an evidence-based reading and writing (ERW) score, a “Nationally Representative Sample Percentile(s),” three test scores, two cross-test scores, seven subtest scores, and a National Merit® Scholarship Corporation Selection Index.
Each of these sets of scores has a different score range. The total score ranges from 320 to 1520; Math and EBRW (Evidence-Based Reading & Writing) scores range from 160 to 760; test scores and cross-test scores range from 8 to 38; subscores range from 1 to 15, and the NMSQT Selection Index ranges from 48 to 228.
The subscores and cross-test scores can give you insight on how to study for your next test, showing areas of strength and areas where to focus. The percentiles tell you how competitive you are compared to other test takers or potential test-takers, but don’t let a high percentile fool you into thinking you don’t need to prep/study for the SAT or ACT.
Here is what you should do with the results: Continue reading