High school students throughout the US are apprehensive about their college application and finally put in all efforts to make it to their dream college. SAT is used as a screening tool in many college applications and helps colleges choose the best students.

Many students are anxious about taking the SATs. One great way to reduce apprehension is by taking the PSAT for preparation. Here’s what you need to know about PSAT vs. SAT score differences.

What is the PSAT?

The PSAT, initially called Pre-SAT, is a test conducted to prepare students for SAT and make them eligible for the National Merit Scholarship, therefore also referred to as NMQST (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). Though PSAT score is not considered in college applications, it provides a good starting point for SAT preparation. PSAT score can also help predict your SAT score, assuming you don’t put more effort into your preparation. Wondering how do PSAT scores convert to SAT scores? Read on to know more.

PSAT has a score range of 320 to 1520, with 320 being the lowest possible score and 1520 being the highest. The test is divided into scores for Evidence-based Reading, Math, and Writing. The number of correct answers in each section decides the total score on each section. Scores on all 4 sections combine to become the final PSAT score. PSAT score prediction chart is attached below.

What is the SAT?

SAT is a paper-pencil test created and administered by the College Board and is used by most colleges to make admission decisions. The test indicates a student’s college readiness and helps colleges with a common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. Overall, the higher the score on SAT, the more chances of getting into your desired college.

Most high school students take the SAT during the spring of their junior year or the fall of their senior year. The advantage of taking the test in junior year is that students can retake the test in the senior year if they aren’t satisfied with the score and think they can perform better. The test is offered annually in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June.

The test covers 4 main sections and 1 optional section. The 4 main sections include Reading (65 minutes), Writing (35 minutes), Math without Calculator (25 minutes), Math with Calculator (55 minutes), and the optional section is Essay (50 minutes). The score range for each section on the SAT is 200-800. The cumulative score ranges from 400 to 1200. The test is slightly longer than PSAT and has more questions. The time limit, however, remains the same for both. SAT questions are evidence and context-based to help students focus on real-world situations and apply multi-step problem-solving.

PSAT to SAT score conversion chart

Since PSAT is a practice test for SAT, here’s how you can predict your SAT score through your PSAT score.

PSAT score Predicted SAT score
400 630
410 640
420 650
430 650
440 660
450 670
460 680
470 690
480 700
490 700
500 710
510 720
520 730
530 740
540 750
550 760
560 760
570 770
580 780
590 790
600 800
610 810
620 810
630 820
640 830
650 840
660 850
670 860
680 870
690 870
700 880
710 890
720 900
730 910
740 920
750 920
760 930
770 940
780 950
790 960
800 970
810 970
820 980
830 990
840 1000
850 1010
860 1020
870 1030
880 1040
890 1050
900 1060
910 1070
920 1080
930 1080
940 1080
950 1090
960 1100
970 1110
980 1120
990 1130
1000 1140
1010 1140
1020 1140
1030 1150
1040 1160
1050 1180
1060 1190
1070 1190
1080 1200
1090 1210
1100 1220
1110 1230
1120 1240
1130 1240
1140 1250
1150 1260
1160 1270
1170 1280
1180 1290
1190 1300
1200 1300
1210 1310
1220 1320
1230 1330
1240 1340
1250 1350
1260 1350
1270 1360
1280 1370
1290 1380
1300 1390
1310 1400
1320 1410
1330 1410
1340 1420
1350 1430
1360 1440
1370 1450
1380 1460
1390 1460
1400 1470
1410 1480
1420 1490
1430 1500
1440 1510
1450 1520
1460 1530
1470 1540
1480 1550
1490 1560
1500 1570
1510 1570
1520 1570

The same board conducts both exams. While PSAT score prediction helps students understand how well they can score on the SAT without additional preparation, its purpose doesn’t stop there. It’s also used as a qualification test for the National Merit Scholarship. Generally, the PSAT is conducted a few months before SAT to give students a fair idea of the areas that need improvement. The final SAT score is mentioned on college applications and helps students score admission to their desired college.