Good PSAT Score Ranges, Percentiles & More

What is a Good PSAT Score? (2023-2024)

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.

[ READ NEXT: PSAT Test-Taking Strategies ]

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 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 Scoring Guide 2023-2024

PSAT Score Ranges & Percentiles

Below are PSAT scoring ranges and percentiles from 2023.

 Best PSAT Scores

These PSAT scores will put you in the top 10% of all PSAT test takers

Best PSAT Math Scores: 620+

Best PSAT Writing & Reading Scores: 620+

Best Overall PSAT Scores: 1210-1520


 Competitive PSAT Scores

These PSAT scores will put you in a highly competitive place in admissions (top 25% of all PSAT test takers)

Competitive PSAT Math Scores: 560-610

Competitive PSAT Writing & Reading Scores: 560-610

Competitive Overall PSAT Scores: 1070-1200


 Good PSAT Scores

These good PSAT scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t be as advantageous when applying to highly competitive programs and scholarships

Good PSAT Math Scores:  500-550

Good PSAT Writing & Reading Scores: 500-550

Good Overall PSAT Scores: 950-1060

 Below Average PSAT Scores

These scores may be enough to get into a wide variety of college programs, but will be below average compared to the testing population

Below Average PSAT Math Scores: Below 500

Below Average PSAT Writing & Reading Scores:  Below 500

Below Average Overall PSAT Scores: 950 or Below

[ 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.

  • 1. The PSAT is a test run for the SAT

    Taking the PSAT in high school prepares you for the SAT and ACT, allowing you to simulate critical college entrance exams you’ll have to take later in your high school career. You’ll be able to familiarize yourself with standardized test questions and see how you perform under strict time limits with a proctor present.

  • 2. Your PSAT score can guide your SAT test prep

    In addition to your overall scores, you will receive a comprehensive analysis of your PSAT performance in specific content areas. This in-depth analysis can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses which will inform your ACT and SAT test prep. The PSAT also gives you a percentile ranking, which allows you to compare your scores with those of other high school juniors who took the test. For example, a student with a percentile of 63 has earned a score better than 63 percent of that year’s test takers.

  • 3. The PSAT helps you stand out to colleges

    Many schools purchase lists of high-scoring students and encourage these students to apply. A high score on the PSAT could get you noticed by colleges and earn you small perks such as meals during visits and waived application fees.

  • 4. A good PSAT score can qualify you for scholarships

    Taking the PSAT allows you to qualify for several scholarship programs, most notably the National Merit Scholarship Program. Your Junior year PSAT score is what qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship. Some schools or districts will offer the PSAT to sophomores in October or PSAT 10 in the Spring of their sophomore year. This is a good chance for extra practice and to see how you might expect to perform when it counts Junior year.

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

Getting ready to take the PSAT? Check out our study plan.