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What's a Good PSAT Score?


What's a Good PSAT Score?

Question: What's a Good PSAT Score?


Clickable USA Map of PSAT Scores



So you've taken the PSAT, but your PSAT score has you worried. You have no idea if it's good or not or how it even relates to the SAT. So here is some basic info about that illustrious PSAT score.

You'll get three scores on your PSAT score report, one for each section – Critical Reading, Math and Writing. Those scores will range from a 20 on the lowest end to an 80 on the highest end, which directly correlates to the SAT's score range of a 200 on the lowest end to an 800 on the highest end.

Average 11th grade PSAT Scores for 2012:

  • Critical Reading: 47.7
  • Math: 48.6
  • Writing: 46.5

Average 10th grade PSAT Scores for 2012:

  • Critical Reading: 43.1
  • Math: 43.6
  • Writing: 41.8

PSAT Selection Index

Also listed on your PSAT score report is your Selection Index (SI). This score is the sum of all three PSAT sections. So for instance if your scores were the same as the average 11th grade PSAT scores for 2012, your SI would be a 142.8.

The PSAT Selection Index is used in part to qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship, which is why the PSAT is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). A 141 isn't going to cut it for this scholarship, though. Each state has a minimum index score and the lowest is a 201.

Since the PSAT is designed to demonstrate how you'll fare on the real SAT, it's better to ask yourself the question, "What's a Good SAT score?" The PSAT is an important test for qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship, but it won't get you into college. If your PSAT score is well below the national averages, then now is the time to prepare for the SAT. Your SAT score (among other things like GPA, extracurriculars, volunteer hours, etc.) determines your acceptance into universities and qualification for scholarships.


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