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PSAT Score Trends: What is the Average PSAT Score for 10th Graders?

Jun 28, 2023

The PSAT exam is similar to testing the running track with a few practice laps before the race. It will give a sense of the track and help the runner plan his running strategy. In addition, giving the PSAT exam before SAT will help students understand what to expect.

While SAT exams are very well known, not many high schoolers know the significance of PSAT exams. Learning about average PSAT scores for 10th graders will help students to prepare well for the exam. PSAT and SATs are similar, but colleges don’t require PSAT as admissions criteria. Taking PSAT will help students identify their shortcomings and prepare better for SAT. PSAT and SAT exams test students’ reading, writing, and math skills. PSAT is a timed exam that lasts for 2 hours and 45 minutes.


Purpose and Benefits of the PSAT Exam

PSAT (Preliminary SAT) or NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a standardized test by 10th or 11th-grade students. This exam is usually considered a practice test to gauge the readiness of the students to take their SAT exams later. Students scoring high marks in the PSAT exams as a junior can land a National Merit Scholarship to help them with their college education.

PSAT 8/9 is for students in the 8th and 9th grades. However, PSAT 10 is more common, and sophomores and juniors show more interest. Students can take PSAT exams every fall. The PSAT 10 score in the 10th or 11th grade will count towards the scholarship competition.


Preparing for PSAT Exam

PSAT has four sections – Reading comprehension, writing (language and grammar), Math with no calculator, and math calculator. As there is a time limit for each section, students must prepare well to complete answering each section within the stipulated time.

SectionTimingNo of QuestionsSub scores
Reading6047Command of evidence, words in context
Writing and language 3544Command of evidence, words in context, expression of ideas, standard English conventions
Math No calculator2517Heart of algebra, problem-solving, data analysis, passport to advanced math
Math calculator4531Heart of algebra, problem-solving, data analysis, passport to advanced math

PSAT Scores Range for 10th Graders

PSAT has a maximum score of 1600. So, the PSAT scores range for 10th graders is 320 – 1520 with 10-point increments. To compute PSAT scores, the raw score is calculated first. These are the marks awarded for every right answer. There is no negative marking for wrong answers or unanswered questions. The College Board then calculates the test score on a scale of 8-38. Finally, section scores are computed based on test scores on a scale of 160-170. The final PSAT score includes Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and math scores.


To help students understand their strengths and weaknesses, scores on a scale of 1-15 are given for the sub scores section corresponding to each topic (EBRW and Math). In addition, two cross-test scores on a scale of 8-38 are also given for analysis in science and analysis in history/social studies.

Navigating PSAT Scores

Generally, a PSAT score above the 75th percentile is a good PSAT score for a 10th grader. This means that you should score at least 1060. However, if you are competing for a national merit scholarship, you have to achieve high scores.


Students can know how well they have scored from the PSAT score report. Scores above the benchmark are highlighted in green, scores closer to the benchmark are highlighted in yellow, and scores below the benchmark will be in red.

Decoding Average PSAT Score For 10th Graders

The average PSAT score for 10th graders is 920. When you score between 1210 and 1520, you can be among the top 10% of test takers. The 75th percentile scores for 10th graders are 520-540 each, totaling 1060. A score in the 90th percentile is usually considered higher.

PSAT PercentileEBRW ScoreMath ScoreComposite Score

Why Do PSAT Scores, Matter?

The average PSAT score for 10th graders in 2022 is in the range of 1060. The perfect PSAT score is 1520. PSAT is a slightly easier version of the SAT. Students scoring in the 99th percentile will become semifinalists for the merit scholarship competition. While a perfect score is unnecessary, scoring above 1440 will significantly help you become a finalist for the scholarship competition.

Is a perfect PSAT score related to a perfect SAT score? There is no direct correlation between PSAT and SAT scores. However, PSAT scores shed more light on students’ performance in each section. It will help them identify topics they must learn well to get scores on SAT. Therefore, PSAT scores can be considered an indicator of SAT scores.



PSAT scores are not evaluated for college admissions, but national merit scholarships are given based on PSAT scores in the junior year. The selection index score for the scholarships varies from one state to another. Students can take PSAT exams from 8th grade until 11th grade. However, exams are always available only during the fall. Knowing the average PSAT score for 10th graders will help students to prepare and achieve academic excellence. PSAT preparation can significantly boost SAT scores for college admissions, and if you can win a scholarship, it will look even better on your application for college admissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a 9th grader take PSAT 10?

Yes, any student can take PSAT 10 if offered in their school. However, PSAT 8/9 is more applicable to a 9th grader.


Are the PSAT 10 scores sent to colleges?

No. PSAT 10 scores are not sent to colleges. PSAT 10 scores are available to the school, district, and state. PSAT 10 scores do not influence college admission decisions.

When will the PSAT scores be available?

PSAT exams are conducted every fall. Students who give their exams in October can expect results 6-8 weeks after the examination date. So, PSAT scores may become available in December.

Average PSAT Score for 10th Graders


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