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PSAT Max Score Range: Where Do You Rank?

Apr 17, 2023

Even though the PSAT and SAT have many similarities, their scoring ranges are quite dissimilar. The PSAT max score goes up to 1520, unlike the SAT, which has a maximum score range of 1600. Why is it so? What is the possible max PSAT score for each section? Can you predict your SAT score using the PSAT scoring system?

The article highlights the current PSAT max score range and its section-wise distribution. Here we’ll discuss the entire SAT and PSAT score range and shall finish it with a list of projected PSAT cutoffs for the National Merit Scholarship Program.


This blog will give you an overview of the highest achievable score on the PSAT and explore how Turito’s expert coaching can help you strive for excellence. With personalized study approach, Turito equips you to aim for the best possible PSAT performance. Strive for the maximum PSAT score, visit Turito Academy to know how!

What is the PSAT Score Range for Every Section?

The PSAT score ranges from 320–1520, with each score worth 10 points. The PSAT features three main sections like the SAT: Math, Reading, and Writing and Language.


Each main section has a score scale of 8 to 38, with one-point increments to determine the max PSAT score. These test scores are then transformed into section scores on a scale of 160–760 in 10-point increments (which are later added to give you an overall PSAT score out of 1520).

For instance, to obtain your sectional Math score, you need to multiply your test score by 20. Similarly, you will obtain your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score by adding your Reading and Writing test results and multiplying the total by 10.


Additionally, subscores and cross-test scores assess how well you understand particular concepts and competencies in each section. 

Subscores are Rated on a Scale of 1 to 15, and they Consist of the Following Seven Categories:

  • Command of Evidence
  • Expression of Ideas
  • Words in Context
  • Standard English Conventions

Cross-test scores are somewhat different because they are calculated using a scoring range of 8–38 and apply to all PSAT sections. The results of the two cross-tests are as follows:

  • Analysis in Science
  • Analysis in History/Social Studies

In the end, you’ll obtain your Selection Index score from 48–228. The sum of your three test scores is multiplied by two to determine this score. Your Selection Index score exclusively determines your candidacy for National Merit distinction.

The following table shows the latest PSAT score range, as well as the subscore, section-wise PSAT score range, and cross-test score:


PSAT Score Range

PSAT SectionScore Range
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW)160 – 760
Reading8 – 38
Writing and Language8 – 38
Words in Context1 – 15
Command of Evidence1 – 15
Standard English Conventions1 – 15
Expression of Ideas1 – 15
Math160 – 760
Math (Test Score)8 – 38
Problem Solving and Data Analysis1 – 15
Heart of Algebra 1 – 15
Passport to Advanced Math1 – 15
TOTAL (EBRW + Math)320 – 1520
Cross-Test Scores*
Analysis in Science8 – 38
Analysis in History/Social Studies 8 – 38
Selection Index48 – 228

*Cross-test results are for all PSAT sections.

According to the PSAT score scale, most test takers have scored around 920 (the mid-point between 320 and 1520). As per the data, the average PSAT scores for students in the 10th and 11th grades are 920 and 1010, respectively.


This type of scoring results in a bell-shaped distribution of scores, with most PSAT test-takers scoring in the middle and relatively few scoring at the lowest and highest ends of the scale.

Let’s now examine the percentile distribution of PSAT scores. These percentiles will show us what proportion of PSAT test participants you outperformed.


Generally speaking, a score in the 75th percentile or higher indicates above-average performance, a score in the 50th percentile indicates above average, and a score in the 25th percentile or lower indicates performance that could need some work.

These are the most Recent PSAT Percentiles for 11th Class Students, Summarized Below. 

99 or 99+730-760750-7601460-1520
1 or 1-160-300160-300320-630

*Predicted score or range of scores (exact score for mentioned percentile unavailable).

The PSAT is taken by over 1.6 million juniors annually. According to the data above, 16,000 juniors who made up the top 1% of exam takers scored between 1460 and 1520. Despite appearances, getting into the 99th percentile does not require a max PSAT score. You can get into the top 1% even if you miss up to 60 points!

Only 16,000 juniors took the PSAT, and relatively few scored at the lowest end of the scale (630 or lower). In other words, since 99% of test-takers achieve a score above this range, the likelihood of achieving a number below 630 is relatively low.

How about the percentiles for the various sections? As you have already seen, the 99th percentile score ranges for EBRW and Math are not similar. You may secure a spot in the 99th percentile for EBRW with a score as low as 730. On the contrary, you need a minimum score of 750—nearly a flawless grade—in Math.

Given that more students obtain high marks in Math than in EBRW, the difference in the PSAT score ranges for the two sections suggests that Math is marginally more challenging than EBRW. Therefore, you will need to work more in Math than EBRW if you want to achieve 99th percentile results.

Math and EBRW keep the same score ranges at the other end of the percentile scale: any score below 300 is in the first percentile for both EBRW and Math. However, very few students achieve scores in this range. Therefore, you’re more than likely to achieve scores above 300 on both sections.

SAT and PSAT Score Range: Is There a Correlation?

Now that we’ve discussed the fundamentals of PSAT score distribution let’s talk about how the PSAT score range contrasts with the SAT score range. The score ranges of the PSAT and SAT are strikingly similar, yet they are more like cousins than twins.

Here is a comparison of the SAT and PSAT score ranges:

SectionPSAT Score RangeSAT Score Range
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW)160 – 760200 – 800
Reading8 – 3810 – 40
Writing and Language8 – 3810 – 40
Words in Context1 – 151 – 15
Command of Evidence1 – 151 – 15
Standard English Conventions1 – 151 – 15
Expression of Ideas1 – 151 – 15
Math160 – 760200 – 800
Math (Test Score)8 – 38
Problem Solving and Data Analysis1 – 151 – 15
Heart of Algebra1 – 151 – 15
Passport to Advanced Math1 – 151 – 15
TOTAL (EBRW + Math)320 – 1520400 – 1600
Reading2 – 8
Analysis2 – 8
Writing2 – 8
Cross-Test Scores
Analysis in Science8 – 3810 – 40
Analysis in History/Social Studies8 – 3810 – 40
Selection Index48 – 228

Although the PSAT and SAT appear to mirror one another at first, they differ in a few significant ways.

As per the table, the max score on the PSAT is 1520, while the max score on the SAT is 1600. But if the two exams are so comparable in structure and content, why does the max score PSAT scale only up to 1520 and not 1600?

The different levels of difficulty are the cause of this variation in maximum scores for both exams. The PSAT features fewer questions and is generally easier than the SAT because it is a prerequisite for the SAT. The PSAT score range, therefore, doesn’t go as high as the SAT score range.

However, can we translate the PSAT 1520 score into an SAT 1600 score? Nope! 1520 on the PSAT is not equivalent to 1600 on the SAT, even though both scores are the highest possible on each test. Rather, 1520 on the SAT is the same as 1520 on the PSAT.

This pattern is true for all PSAT scores, not simply the highest attainable ones. For instance, a score of 1050 on the PSAT is equivalent to a score of 1050 on the SAT, and so on. So weighted PSAT and SAT scores always represent the same level of proficiency.

The PSAT essentially serves as a crystal ball, indicating your level of aptitude for the SAT now and maybe in the future.


The PSAT test score ranges from 320 to 1520 in increments of 10. This composite range comprises the EBRW and Math scores of 160-760. Reading, Writing, and Math are graded separately on a scale of 8 to 38 for test results. Additionally, you’ll get cross-test scores ranging from 8-38 and subscores from 1 to 15.

According to the PSAT score distribution, most students score 920 or higher, which is midway between the min and max scores. Recent percentiles demonstrate that Math is marginally more challenging than EBRW since a higher Math score is required to enter the 99th percentile than it takes to enter the same percentile for EBRW.

PSAT and SAT scores are comparable. Hence a scaled PSAT score will always be equivalent to a scaled SAT score. Consequently, you can use your PSAT score to determine how you would stack up on the SAT.

PSAT Max Score


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