A good PSAT score is between 1210 and 1520, which would put you in the top 10% of test takers. The average score earned on the PSAT is about 920, and a “perfect” score on the PSAT would be the maximum score of 1520. Your PSAT score is a good indicator of how well you will do on the SAT, so it’s important to understand PSAT scoring and to review your score report. Your overall PSAT score will range from 320 (lowest) to 1520 (highest) and is calculated by adding your two section scores together. This article breaks down how the PSAT is scored so you can review PSAT score ranges and understand what a good PSAT score is.
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Is the Digital PSAT scored differently than the paper-and-pencil PSAT?
As of fall 2023, all students taking the PSAT will take the new Digital PSAT on a laptop or tablet at their school. The Digital PSAT score scale will be the same as the paper-and-pencil version. Your composite PSAT score will continue to be on a scale from 320 to 1520. The only change on your Digital PSAT score report is that there will be no reading and writing subscores because those two sections have merged into one section. Digital PSAT score reports will also be delivered faster, which means less time waiting anxiously for your score.
[ LEARN MORE: College Board Going with Completely Digital SAT ]
How PSAT Scoring Works
About 4-6 weeks after taking the PSAT, you will get an email notification to view your full PSAT score report online at psat.org/myscore. On your score report, you will see how you did on each section and your score percentile. Your PSAT score report will include information about next steps and whether or not you are eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
- Your score report will be available about 4-6 weeks after your test day. The report will provide detailed information about your scores, percentiles, and more.
- You will receive a score ranging from 160 to 760 on each of the two sections (Reading & Writing and Math)
- Your overall PSAT score will range from 320 to 1520 and is calculated by adding your two section scores together.
PSAT Score Ranges & Percentiles
Below are PSAT scoring ranges and percentiles from 2023.
[ GOOD TO KNOW: What does your PSAT score mean for the SAT or ACT? ]
Why take the PSAT?
PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and is taken in high school, usually during a student’s sophomore or junior year. Below, we list four reasons why students should take the PSAT.
The National Merit Scholarship Program & the PSAT
The top 50,000 scorers on the PSAT are recognized by the National Merit Program and sent letters of commendation. More than 10,000 of these students share more than $47 million in National Merit Scholarship money. Only juniors who take the PSAT are eligible for National Merit Scholarships. The top 16,000 scorers become semifinalists, and approximately 15,000 semifinalists become finalists. Finally, 7,880 students receive scholarships to be used toward their college education. Many high scorers who don’t receive National Merit Scholarships are awarded merit scholarships from the schools to which they apply based on their high scores. Whether you qualify as a Commended Student, a Semifinalist, a Finalist, or a full-fledged National Merit Scholar, it’s definitely worth noting this achievement on your college applications.
[ RELATED READING: How to Become a National Merit Scholarship Finalist ]
What PSAT score do you need to become a National Merit Scholarship finalist?
The PSAT score needed to be a National Merit Scholarship finalist depends on the state in which you live. Each state has a preset number of Semifinalists, and once scores come in for students, that determines the cutoff score for that year in that state. For example, if you live in California, you would need to have a Selection Index score of 220 in order to qualify as a Semifinalist. If you live in West Virginia, you would have to score a 207. In addition to varying by state, this number can vary by year. Regardless of the exact cutoff for your state, all of the students who qualify earn high scores—less than the top 1% of high school students–advance to become Semifinalists.
To calculate your Selection Index, double the sum of your Reading & Writing and Math section scores. The College Board includes this on your score report if you’re eligible.
For more information on the National Merit Scholarships and Special Scholarships, visit www.nationalmerit.org.