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What is a Psat? How is the Psat Calculated?

Dec 23, 2021

What Exactly Is The PSAT

PSAT is an abbreviation for the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test, often known as the Preliminary SAT. Every October, the CollegeBoard administers an established test. In October, the test is usually given once on a weekday during class and once on a Saturday. The exam is multiple-choice and divided into four sections:
● Evidence-Based Reading
● Language and Writing
● Math (with a calculator)
● Math (no calculator)
Students get three hours to finish their PSAT, which includes a break. The PSAT is essentially an SAT preparation exam. This test is given to pupils to prepare them for the SAT. It also decides who is eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSC).

What Is a Good PSAT Score? 

A composite PSAT score of 1070 or higher places you in the top 25% of test takers, and is considered to be a good psat score 


It’s crucial to comprehend the PSAT scoring process because it might be somewhat complicated. In the Reading, Writing & Language, and Math sections of the PSAT, you will obtain a score between 8 and 38, and you will also receive an Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math score between 160 and 760.  

By combining your two region scores, you can earn an overall PSAT score that ranges from 320 to 1520. You can review PSAT score percentiles and determine what a decent PSAT score is by reading this article, which breaks down the PSAT score range. 


How Does PSAT Scoring Work?

● On each of the three exams, you will earn a score ranging from 8 to 38. (Reading, Writing & Language, and Math)
● You will also earn a score for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math, ranging from 160 to 760.
● Your overall PSAT score, derived by putting your two area scores together, will range from 320 to 1520.
● You will also be assigned a subscore ranging from 1 to 15 in the following categories: Evidence Command, Words in Context, Idea Expression, Standard English Conventions, Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math.

Ranges of PSAT Score + Percentages
1. Best PSAT results
These PSAT results will place you in the top 10% of all PSAT test-takers.
● Math scores on the PSAT: 620+
● Best PSAT reading & writing scores: 620+
● Best PSAT scores overall: 1210-1520


2. PSAT results that are competitive
These PSAT scores will place you in a highly competitive admissions position (top 25 percent of all PSAT test-takers)
● PSAT Math competitive scores: 560-610
● PSAT competitive reading and writing scores: 560-610
● Competitive PSAT overall scores: 1070-1200

3. Excellent PSAT results
These high PSAT scores will put you ahead of the pack (50 percent or above), but they will not be as helpful when applying to highly competitive schools and scholarships.
● PSAT Math scores of 500-550
● PSAT writing and reading scores of 500-550
● PSAT overall scores: 950-1060


4. PSAT scores below the average
These results may be sufficient for admission to a wide range of college programs, but they will be below average compared to the testing population.
PSAT Math score below the average: less than 500
● PSAT writing and reading scores below the average: below 500
● Average PSAT scores: 950 or lower

Benefits of Higher Psat Score 

Students must take the PSAT/NMSQT during their junior year and receive the possible highest psat score in order to be eligible for the highly selective National Merit Scholarship Program, which offers national merit scholarships, corporate merit scholarships, corporate special scholarships, and college merit scholarships. 


The corporate-sponsored scholarships offer renewable prizes up to $10,000 each year, whereas winners of the national merit scholarships receive a one-time payment of $2,500. 

There are 8,500 awards up for grabs, but only about 1.5 million exam takers are chosen. The selection index, a 48 to 228 scale, is used by the NMSC to reduce the pool of candidates for the final round and identify high scorers. 


How is the PSAT calculated?

Because of its less difficult content, the PSAT 8/9 is assessed on a different scale than the PSAT 10, NMSQT/PSAT, and SAT—the PSAT 8/9 is scored on a 240-1440 range. To determine a test taker’s PSAT 8/9 score, the College Board (the test’s administrator) takes section scores ranging from 6-36 and puts them into a 120-720 scale, offering one score for Math and another for Reading, Writing, and Language (called the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score). The scaled scores are then combined to get a composite score ranging from 240 to 1440.
The score scales for the PSAT and PSAT 10 are the same, and they are formatted similarly to the SAT but differ in scale. Section scores in Mathematics, Reading, and Writing & Language range from 8-38. The raw score in Mathematics is calculated in a range of 160-760 points. The average PSAT score of a student’s Reading, Writing, and Language scores is also scaled to a score in the 160–760 range. These scaled scores are combined to get a composite score ranging from 320-to 1520.

What Does an above-average PSAT Score in 2021 Look Like?

A PSAT score higher than the 75th percentile is considered an excellent score. A score higher than the 75th percentile indicates that the student outperformed 75% of other PSAT exam takers. Scores over the 90th percentile are regarded as exceptional. Scores between 1070 and 1200 correspond to the 75th percentile or better.
The 75th PSAT percentile for students taking the PSAT10 may range from 530-540 in each component, for a total score of 1070. For kids taking the PSAT 8/9, the 75th percentile on each part may range from 460-480, with a composite score between 940 and 950.


Above Average PSAT Scores in 2021 for Juniors (Grade 11)

It’s fine if you’re entering your junior year and just got your PSAT results–or if you took the exam last year and haven’t thought about your PSAT scores in decades! It’s not too late to put them to use. First and foremost, access that report, either through your College Board account or the paper score report you received in the main or printed off.
After you’ve received your results, it’s a good idea to take an SAT practice exam to assess how your present strengths and weaknesses line up. You might have a better notion of the universities you want to attend this year than you did last. If not, begin reducing your selection of colleges and investigating their SAT scores to see how your PSAT and practice test results compare.
Finally, decide on an SAT date depending on where you are currently in terms of PSAT/SAT scores and college objectives. Once you’ve determined those, devise an SAT study strategy that will assist you in meeting those objectives in enough time for your applications!

Sophomores with Above Average PSAT10 scores in 2021

So you got your PSAT results and understand what they signify in terms of standards and percentiles–what now?
First and foremost, you may wish to utilize this year’s PSAT scores to apply for a National Merit Scholarship next year. Juniors are eligible for National Merit Scholarships, while sophomores are not. If you did well on the test, you might want to undertake some extra practice to see if you can raise your score into the qualifying range for next year!
While it may be tempting to use your PSAT test scores to forecast your SAT scores, analyzing your score report will allow you to evaluate your present strengths and shortcomings. Do you excel at problem-solving but need to brush up on your algebra? You’re great at critical reading, but you might need more grammatical practice.
Once you’ve recognized these, you may focus on your weak areas while strengthening your strong ones throughout your upcoming SAT preparation. Now is the ideal time to organize your SAT preparation. First, determine when you will take the SAT depending on your present level of preparation and goals. If you’ll be taking it the next year (i.e. in 11th grade), you might want to plan a longer-term SAT study strategy to assist you to achieve your goals!

Good PSAT Score for a Freshman

Because of the differences in scoring between the PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and PSAT/NMSQT, it’s impossible to compare your composite score to other freshmen who took the exam. The easiest approach to determine where you are in terms of PSAT preparation compared to the competition is to look at what percentile your score places you in.
Although the PSAT 8/9 can indicate success on future standardized exams, children should understand that this is only a risk-free initial step in preparing for higher-stakes examinations in the future. More than a score, pupils should have personal experience with such a lengthy test that takes considerable concentration. The PSAT 8/9 is also a good opportunity to identify areas of weakness where future examinations might be scored higher.

What Can You Do to Improve Your PSAT Preparation? 3 Crucial Points

You can prepare for the PSAT in a variety of ways during your sophomore and junior years. Even a modest bit of preparation can result in huge score gains, so take a look at these suggestions and put them to use before test day!

1. Determine your Goal
It is beneficial to have a goal since it allows you to focus on your PSAT preparation without being distracted.
2. Practice and Practice
Recognize your faults and talents and begin to fix them. Take a practice test and go through the results. If you can’t accomplish your objective, keep practicing until you do.
3. Speculate more
Guessing can occasionally be effective. Because there are no penalty points for incorrect responses, it’s worth trying your luck rather than leaving the question blank.
4. Timetable is Must
You might consider making a study plan to keep your mind focused and to keep track of time.

What constitutes a good PSAT score?

The response will assist you in preparing for the SAT. And if it makes you a national merit scholar, even better! So, how do you achieve these objectives?
Make sure you understand what will be on the PSAT before taking it. Then, in the time you have left, review as much as you can and take at least one practice exam. After that, you’ll be well on your way to a high score!

what is a psat


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