Scout-ing Report

Scout-ing Report: PSAT Scores


PSAT scores have finally come out, which means it’s time for high school juniors to start thinking more seriously about their futures. The most important step is to start preparing for the SAT and ACT if you haven’t already. 

So what do these scores mean? Your PSAT score is a helpful indicator for your SAT and ACT preparation. But don’t worry, if your scores are not where you want them, there are plenty of materials and prep classes that can help. The SAT scale ranges from 200 to 800 points in the combined Reading and Writing sections as well as the combined Math sections. Your combined score will range from 400 to 1600. The PSAT works a little differently. The Reading and Writing section and the Math section are each scored out of 760, for a possible total of 1520.

Your PSAT score report will contain percentiles that compare your score against a sample of students. Two different percentiles, the Nationally Representative Sample and the PSAT/NMSQT User Sample are used. The Nationally Representative Sample is a measure taken from a research study and represents the “average” high school student. The PSAT/NMSQT User Sample compares your score to others who have taken the test in the past three years. 

 Based on your score and percentile, you may be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship, which recognizes the top 0.5% of students. The National Merit Scholarship is open to all high school juniors who are U.S. citizens and who took the PSAT. This will open up great scholarship opportunities for you at a number of institutions. Unfortunately, the score index for the class of 2023 is not yet available. Here is a link of the predicted scores for semi-finalist qualifications. If, in the future, you are named a National Merit semifinalist, here is a list of just a few of the schools that will provide you with full rides on your college tuition. This site will tell you more about the National Merit scholarship process.

That being said, your PSAT score does not have an effect on college admissions. Universities do not look at these scores, but they do look at SAT and ACT scores (although many colleges now allow you to apply test-optional). By looking at your College Board account, you can view feedback about the questions you missed on the PSAT and decide which of these tests is better for you. They are very different, but equally valued in the admissions process. I recommend picking one of them and taking prep courses or buying study materials to maximize your scores and therefore maximize your scholarship opportunities. So, with all of this information at your disposal, your college admissions process is just beginning. Remember that there is still much to do to prepare your application for college. If you need any help, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help you find and fund your ideal college experience!

Hope to connect with you soon!

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