PSAT to SAT Score Conversion: Predict Your Score
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Zach Skillings is the Scholarships360 Newsletter Editor. He specializes in college admissions and strives to answer important questions about higher education. When he’s not contributing to Scholarships360, Zach writes about travel, music, film, and culture. His work has been published in Our State Magazine, Ladygunn Magazine, The Nocturnal Times, and The Lexington Dispatch. Zach graduated from Elon University with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts.Full Bio
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Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer Intern at Scholarships360. Cece is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University pursuing a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. While at ASU, she has become the Education Editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece is also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.Full Bio
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Edited by Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement.Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement.Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.Full Bio
Updated: February 28th, 2023
The SAT has become a household name because of its role as a screening tool at many colleges across the U.S. Although you may be anxious about taking the SAT, the good news is that there are several ways to prepare for this big exam. One way is to take the PSAT, which is a helpful indicator of how you’ll perform on the SAT. If you’ve taken the PSAT and you’re looking to estimate your projected SAT score, you can use our PSAT to SAT Conversion tool. Enter your PSAT score to convert it to the equivalent SAT score:
You can also check out our PSAT to SAT Score Conversion Chart below. Read on if you’d like to gain a better understanding of the PSAT.
Also see:What is a high PSAT score?
What is the PSAT?
The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is a standardized test administered to high schoolers by the College Board. The exam is designed to test students on their reading, writing, and math skills. The PSAT is commonly taken by high school students to prepare for the SAT and to qualify for college scholarships. Note that there are three versions of the test:
- PSAT 8/9 (designated for 8th and 9th graders)
- PSAT 10 (designated for 10th graders)
- PSAT/NMSQT (designated for 11th graders seeking to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship)
Why should I take the PSAT?
There are two main reasons to take the PSAT, which we’ll discuss below:
Prepare for the SAT
As you know, you’ll need to take the SAT if you’re applying to college. This is an important test that plays a big part in the application process of many schools, so you’ll want to be prepared. That’s where the PSAT comes into play. The PSAT is an excellent way to prepare yourself for the SAT. The PSAT is slightly less advanced than the SAT, but still covers similar material such as reading, writing, and math concepts. Once you’ve taken the PSAT, use the PSAT to SAT Score Conversion Chart to see how your scores will translate.
After getting a better idea of how you’ll fare on the SAT, you can use this information strategically. It can be helpful in learning what to study to improve your score. It can also help you decide if you should prioritize studying for the SAT or ACT.
Taking the PSAT is also a pathway to earning college scholarships. The PSAT/NMSQT is used as a qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship. This means that if you score highly enough on this exam, you could land a scholarship and help pay for your college education. 10th graders are allowed to take the exam, but students must take the exam during the 11th grade if they wish to be considered for the scholarship. Keep in mind that the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 are not considered for entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program.
See also: How to pick the best test prep tutor (including links for free practice websites!)
What does the PSAT cover?
The PSAT is broken down into the following three sections:
The math test consists mainly of algebra questions. There are also some data analysis and complex equation problems mixed in. Calculators are allowed on part of the math section, but not all of it.
Also see:SAT math section tips
The reading test is designed to assess how you absorb, think about, and apply the knowledge you’re presented with. You’ll read several passages from various genres and be asked to locate specific information, imply meaning and intent, and identify how authors use evidence to support their claims.
Also see:SAT reading section tips
Writing and Language Test
On the writing and language test, you’ll read passages, identify strengths and weaknesses, and fix mistakes. You’ll be asked to change words, clauses, sentences, and punctuation to improve the structure of passages.
How is the PSAT timed?
The length varies according to each version of the test.
- Total Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
- Reading Test: 55 minutes (42 questions)
- Writing and Language Test: 30 minutes (40 questions)
- Math Test: 60 minutes (38 questions)
PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT
- Total Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
- Reading Test: 60 minutes (47 questions)
- Writing and Language Test: 35 minutes (44 questions)
- Math Test: 70 minutes (48 questions)
How is the PSAT scored?
On all three versions of the PSAT, the score is calculated by combining the results from the reading and writing section and the math portion. For the PSAT 8/9, the score range is 240-1440. The range for the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT comes in a bit higher at 320-1520.
What is a good PSAT score?
As far as what a “good score” would be, that varies depending on every student’s individual goal. However, the College Board has established benchmarks for each version of the test. According to the College Board, if you hit these benchmarks then you’ll have a 75% chance of achieving a C or higher in related first-semester college courses. In other words, it’s likely that you’re college-ready if you hit the benchmarks established by the College Board.
Benchmarks for 8th graders taking the PSAT 8/9
- Reading and Writing: 390
- Math: 430
- Total Score: 820
Benchmarks for 9th graders taking the PSAT 8/9
- Reading and Writing: 410
- Math: 450
- Total Score: 860
Benchmarks for 10th graders taking the PSAT 10
- Reading and Writing: 430
- Math: 480
- Total Score: 910
Benchmarks for 11th graders taking the PSAT/NMSQT
- Reading and Writing: 460
- Math: 510
- Total Score: 970
Related: What is a high SAT score?
How do I take the PSAT?
Students register for the PSAT through their high school. Each school’s signup process differs, so talk to your school counselor to learn more. You may have to pay a small fee to take the exam, but many students have test-related fees covered in full or in part by their school.
Don’t miss:Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool
PSAT to SAT Score Conversion Chart
Use this chart to estimate SAT score based on your PSAT score. Note that the scores in this table are for the PSAT/NMSQT, and not for other versions of the test.
|PSAT Score||Predicted SAT Score|
What does my PSAT score translate to SAT? ›
The maximum score on the PSAT is 1520, whereas the top score on the SAT is 1600. So, a score of 1100 on the PSAT, for example, is a good indicator that you would score 1100 on the SAT if you took it on the same day.What is a good PSAT score for scholarships? ›
|STATE||SELECTION INDEX SCORE|
To state the obvious, some of the 50 U.S. states are obviously far more competitive than others—and colleges will keep this in mind during the admission process. The main qualification for National Merit is a high PSAT score (out of 1520). Thus, a high SAT score (out of 1600) will in most cases serve the same purpose.What is a good PSAT score for Ivy League? ›
If your ultimate goal is to attend an elite university, then you should know that a good PSAT score for Ivy League admission is to be in the 99th percentile or higher. In other words, if your main priority is getting into the Ivy League, you should aim for a composite PSAT score anywhere between 1280 and 1520.What is the top 1% score for PSAT? ›
The data above tells us that the top 1% of test takers—about 16,000 juniors—scored between 1460 and 1520. Contrary to what many believe, you do not need a perfect PSAT score to get into the 99th percentile. In fact, you can miss up to 60 points and still get in the top 1%!Does a 1400 PSAT qualify for National Merit? ›
Practically speaking, this means that anyone who qualifies as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist (PSAT scores of 1400/1520 and up, depending on the state of residence) should be able to easily achieve a confirming score (SAT scores as low as 1320/1600, and ACT scores as low as 26/36), especially given multiple ...Do colleges look at PSAT scores for scholarships? ›
The PSAT won't count towards your college admissions applications, but it is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship . Some of the highest scoring students may win scholarship money, so while you shouldn't stress out about the PSAT, you certainly shouldn't ignore it either.What is 99th percentile on PSAT? ›
Using 2021 statistics from the CollegeBoard, we've listed total score ranges/cutoffs for the top percentiles. For 10th grade students taking the test (either the PSAT 10 or the PSAT/NMSQT): 99th percentile and above (“outstanding”): 1370–1520. 90th percentile (“great”): 1170.Is 1490 a good PSAT score? ›
According to the College Board, the average PSAT score is about 920, while a score between 1210 and 1520 lands you in the top 10% of test takers. This converts to a predicted SAT score between 1310 and 1570.Is 1430 a good PSAT score? ›
Excellent PSAT Score
On the PSAT this would be between a 1460+ as a junior or 1430+ as a sophomore. The upper range of this score band is enough to complete a strong application to top 10 or top 20 schools, with admission rates below 20%. Still, these top colleges are extremely competitive.
What is the minimum PSAT score for National Merit Scholarship? ›
To be competitive for National Merit Semifinalist status, students need to score about 1400 on the PSAT in less competitive states like Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota . . . or about 1470 on the PSAT in more competitive states like Connecticut or New Jersey.Is 1420 a good PSAT score? ›
The average PSAT score is around 920 (460 in Math and 460 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing), while an outstanding PSAT score (one that will qualify you as a National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist) is between 1420 and 1480.What percentile is 750 on PSAT? ›
|PSAT Score||EBRW Percentile (11th Grade)||Math Percentile (11th Grade)|
In order to be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program, a student must: 1) take the PSAT/NMSQT during his or her 3rd year (junior year) of high school 2) be enrolled as a high school student (traditional or homeschooled) and plan to enroll in college full time by the fall after his or her high school ...What is a good PSAT score for a junior? ›
Like freshman and sophomore year, a good PSAT score junior year can be defined as a score at or above the 75th percentile. For high school juniors, based on data from test takers during the 2020-2021 school year, a “good” score in the 75th percentile is a 1150.Can you get a merit scholarship from the PSAT? ›
Students who plan to spend five years in grades 9 through 12 before entering college full time can participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program if they take the PSAT/NMSQT in the third year of high school and again in the fourth year.What is the PSAT score for Harvard? ›
This would put you squarely in the 50th percentile of scoring. But those averages can change depending on the college you're hoping to apply to. For example, the average PSAT score by Harvard admitted students was between 1420 and 1520 (or 210-238 on the old scale).
Harvard will not care about your PSAT score, since the only standardized tests used in the admissions process are the SAT and ACT.Does Harvard accept PSAT? ›
You can and should take the PSAT in your sophomore year. This test can give you an idea of how the SAT works. Harvard also uses PSAT scores to identify promising students from across the U.S. to invite to apply.What PSAT score is National Merit? ›
To determine who qualifies for National Merit, NMSC uses a scale called the Selection Index. To get this, NMSC adds your Math, Reading, and Writing section scores, which each fall between 8 and 38, and then multiplies that sum by 2. Thus, the PSAT NMSC Selection Index ranges from 48 to 228.
Do colleges look at PSAT? ›
College Board does not send PSAT/NMSQT scores to colleges. These scores are not intended to be part of college admission decisions.How do PSAT and SAT scores compare? ›
The PSAT is scored between 320 and 1520, while the SAT is scored from 400 to 1600. PSAT scores correspond directly to SAT scores, so a 1250 on the PSAT equals a 1250 on the SAT. But because the SAT is more challenging, a perfect score on the PSAT does not equal a perfect score on the SAT.How to convert PSAT score to selection index? ›
To calculate your Selection Index, add together your test scores for Math, Reading, and Writing, and then double the sum.What happens if you get a 1500 on the PSAT? ›
In 2022, a PSAT score of 1500-1520 would be considered an exceptionally strong score for any student. This score should place a student in the 1st percentile of all test takers, meaning that students scoring in this range have performed better than 99% of students who take this test.What is a good PSAT score for Stanford? ›
That means a good PSAT score for students aiming at “Ivy Plus” schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, and Duke would be at least 1450.Do sophomores get scholarships from PSAT? ›
The National Merit Scholarship Program is only open to high school juniors. So even if you score well on the PSAT as a sophomore, you will not be eligible for the program. Nevertheless, taking the test your sophomore year can provide you with useful practice for the following year.What is a good PSAT score for 11th grade? ›
The average PSAT/NMSQT score is about 920. A score between 1210 and 1520 puts you in the top 10% of test takers. The PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT are very similar tests, so your score on the PSAT/NMSQT can give you an idea of how you'll do when you take the SAT.Is 1350 a good PSAT score? ›
Excellent PSAT Scores: 1170-1350
10th-grade students who scored between 1170 and 1350 on the PSAT test fall within the top 10% of all test takers.
|10th Grade||11th Grade|
|Total Score||Nationally Representative Percentiles||User Group Percentiles|
The average PSAT 10 score is around 920. A score between 1210 and 1520 places you in the top 10% of test takers.
What percentile is 11th grade PSAT? ›
Based on 2021 PST data, the average PSAT score for an 11th grader, or the 50th percentile score, is 1000-1010. The average section scores are 510-520 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 490 for Math. Below is a percentile to score chart for high school sophomores taking the PSAT.What is 97th percentile on PSAT? ›
Maintaining PSAT and SAT Percentiles
If you wanted to stay in the 97th percentile, you would have to achieve a higher score than you did the first time around on subsequent tests — a minimum of 1400 on your junior-year PSAT and 1450 on your SAT.
At the most competitive Ivy League schools (Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale) the bottom 25% of accepted students score below about 1470-1490 on the SAT. At the other Ivy League schools (Brown, Cornell, Penn, and Dartmouth) the bottom 25% of accepted students score below about 1400-1430.How good is a 1070 PSAT score? ›
A good PSAT score is a composite score of 1070 or higher, which puts you in the top 25% of all PSAT test takers. PSAT scoring can be pretty complex, so it's important to understand how it works.How to convert PSAT score for National Merit? ›
- The section score for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section is calculated by adding the Reading Test score to the Writing and Language Test score and multiplying that figure by 10.
- The section score for the Math section is calculated by multiplying the Math Test score by 20.
National Merit Scholarship requirements are based on a student's PSAT/NMSQT. Students usually take this exam in their junior year of high school. Each year, 1.5 million students enter the competition to become National Merit Scholars. Of these students, approximately 7,500 will receive National Merit Scholarships.Does PSAT 10 qualify for National Merit? ›
Taking the PSAT 10 doesn't qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Some schools charge students a fee to take the PSAT 10, but many don't. There are no PSAT 10 fee waivers.What is the 94th percentile on the PSAT? ›
If you scored 650 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 700 in Math, for example, your total PSAT score would be 650 + 700 = 1350. Based on the chart, you can see that a total score of 1350 falls in the 94th percentile.What is the highest possible PSAT score? ›
The PSAT is scored on the same rubric, but a slightly different scale, as the real SAT. While the SAT is scored in a range of 400–1600, the PSAT is scored in a range of 320–1520.How good is a 900 PSAT score? ›
A combined score of 900 is the 31st percentile, (students scored higher than 31% of the people but unfortunately, 69% of the students scored higher). On the other end of the spectrum, a score of 1220 is the 85th percentile (students scored higher than 85% of the people and only 15% of the students scored higher).
Is 990 PSAT score good? ›
Freshmen. For high school freshmen, based on data from test takers during the 2020-2021 school year, a “good” score in the 75th percentile is between 990-1000.Is 1150 a good PSAT score? ›
A score in the 75th percentile is considered the benchmark — usually an 1150 overall. The top 1% of junior test-takers become semifinalists for National Merit scholarships.How do PSAT scores correlate to SAT scores? ›
The PSAT is scored between 320 and 1520, while the SAT is scored from 400 to 1600. PSAT scores correspond directly to SAT scores, so a 1250 on the PSAT equals a 1250 on the SAT. But because the SAT is more challenging, a perfect score on the PSAT does not equal a perfect score on the SAT.What does a 1200 on the PSAT equal on the SAT? ›
That same percentile ranking on the SAT equals a score of 1400. Given the likelihood of a 50 point drop between the PSAT and the SAT, a student who scored a 1200 on the PSAT, but wants to achieve a 1300+ on the SAT is looking to increase their score by about 150 points, not just 100 points.What does a 1450 on the PSAT mean? ›
A score in the 50th percentile, 1010, is considered average. Students who scored at least a 1450 fall in the top 1% of test takers, which can put them in the running for national merit scholarships, Staples says. 1490-1520 Score. 99+ Percentiles. 1360-1480 Score.Is a 1220 PSAT score good? ›
According to this chart, a good PSAT score for a junior is a composite score higher than 1150, an OK score is one higher than 1000 or 1010, and an excellent score is anything higher than 1280.Is PSAT a good predictor of SAT? ›
Additionally, your PSAT scores are a good predictor for how you may score on the SAT, which will be very important for college admissions and scholarships.Does the PSAT matter more than the SAT? ›
The PSAT is not used directly by colleges and universities when they make their college admissions decisions. Your acceptance or rejection into college is much more dependent on the SAT or ACT , so the short answer is “no,” colleges don't care at all about the PSAT.What percentile is 1500 on PSAT? ›
|10th Grade||11th Grade|
|Total Score||Nationally Representative Percentiles||User Group Percentiles|
Harvard SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)
There's no absolute SAT requirement at Harvard, but they really want to see at least a 1460 to have a chance at being considered.
What is the average PSAT score for 11th grade? ›
The average PSAT/NMSQT score is about 920. A score between 1210 and 1520 puts you in the top 10% of test takers. The PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT are very similar tests, so your score on the PSAT/NMSQT can give you an idea of how you'll do when you take the SAT.What is 95th percentile PSAT score? ›
A score of 1280 puts a student in the 95th percentile, meaning they scored higher than 95% of other students who took the test. This score is also above the average score, which is a 920. A score of 1280 or higher may qualify a student for certain scholarship awards and other academic honors.What is the top 1% PSAT? ›
The data above tells us that the top 1% of test takers—about 16,000 juniors—scored between 1460 and 1520. Contrary to what many believe, you do not need a perfect PSAT score to get into the 99th percentile.What is the average National Merit PSAT score? ›
The average cutoff for all states was 215.
If you haven't taken the PSAT yet and are aiming for National Merit, you should aim to get a Selection Index score 2-5 points higher than the cutoff score for your state.