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What’s a Good PSAT Score for a Sophomore?

Apr 14, 2023

What is a Good PSAT Score?

You cannot complete your driving test for the license before getting behind the steering wheel, right? It would help if you first practiced your parallel parking and three-point turns to be prepared and aware of what you will encounter when the real test is conducted.

This situation serves as an analog for the PSAT. If you have attempted the PSAT exam in class 10, you can perform better in your junior year. As a sophomore, taking the PSAT is a fantastic, low-pressure way to become comfortable with the exam, determine your level, and identify your areas of improvement.


In light of this, let’s examine what a good psat score for a sophomore should achieve and how to raise them even higher for junior year. Let’s first study the PSAT’s scoring system.

Wondering what makes for a good PSAT score for a sophomore? This blog has all the information you need. Discover the ideal PSAT score benchmarks for sophomores and learn how Turito’s expert coaching can help you achieve them. With personalized study plans and experts curated resources, we empower you to excel on the PSAT and set a strong academic foundation. Visit Turito Academy and embark on a journey towards a bright future!


How Are PSAT Scores Calculated?

Scores on the PSAT range from 320 to 1520 points. You’ll receive two scaled scores for the combined Reading and Writing section (consisting of Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, or EBRW) and another for the Math section. These scores range from 160 to 760. Additionally, you’ll be given a test score between 8 and 38 to evaluate how you performed in every three sections. (This scoring system differs from the original PSAT, which distributed scores between 20 and 80 for each of the three components.)

You can forecast your SAT results using the PSAT scoring system. If you receive a PSAT score of 1500, your SAT score will probably be in the same range. Since the PSAT is a little simpler than the SAT (with an overall score range of 400-1600), the scale is pushed down by roughly 80 points. Because of this, you can only evaluate the scores up to roughly 1520; anything more than that makes it hard to compare a perfect PSAT score to a perfect SAT score.


To further analyze your performance, you will receive a lot of information in your PSAT score reports, such as your scaled scores, sub-scores, and sectional scores.

Let’s take a look at another crucial piece of information, your percentiles, to determine what is a good PSAT score for a sophomore. Using percentiles, you can evaluate your sectional and composite scores with other students who appeared for the test.


For instance, if your Mathematics result is in the 80th percentile, it means you scored at or above the level of 80% of test-takers (while the other 20% scored better than you). In essence, the higher your percentile, the higher will be your PSAT score.

What Good PSAT Score Should a Sophomore Aim for?

What is a good PSAT score for a sophomore in 2020? A “good” PSAT score is above the 75th percentile for a sophomore. According to the percentile, you outperformed 75% of other sophomores who attempted the PSAT exam. For sophomores,  the 75th percentile score is roughly 520–540 on every section or 1060 overall.


A score over the 50th percentile on the PSAT indicates that you performed on par with or better than half the test-takers and is considered “OK” for a sophomore. A result superior to the 90th percentile, or 90% of test takers, is considered outstanding.

The Table Below Displays the Minimum sectional and overall scores you’d need to achieve the 50th, 75th, 90th, and 99th percentiles:

PSAT Percentile (Class 10)Math ScoreEBRW ScoreCombined Score
99% (Top)710-760700-7601370-1520
90% (Excellent)580-5906101180
75% (Good)520540-5501060
50% (At Par, OK)450-460460-470910-920

According to this approach, an average score higher than 1060 indicates a decent PSAT score for a sophomore, above 920 indicates an OK score, and beyond 1180 indicates an excellent score.

What Do Percentiles For PSAT Scores Mean?

To comprehend how we selected the PSAT scores to reflect “good,” “OK,” and “outstanding,” you must first comprehend PSAT percentiles to evaluate PSAT scores. Continue reading the further sections to learn more about PSAT percentiles.


Your PSAT score report will include numerous kinds of scores and statistics. In this data, you’ll find not one but two percentiles correlating your scores to other test-takers. These percentiles are known as the Nationally Representative Percentile and the User Percentile.

The rationale for utilizing two percentiles is still unclear. Some academics have stated that the College Board inflates student scores by using the Nationally Representative Percentile to make the PSAT seem less difficult than it is.

According to the data from the College Board’s 2021 PSAT score report, the table below provides PSAT User Percentiles exclusively for students in the 10th grade. Remember, as you browse the data, the scores correspond to subtly different percentiles.

In previous years, Math was substantially more competitive than the Reading and Writing section, but recently, the Writing section has grown more competitive. It implies that to enter the same percentile as for Math, you’ll need to acquire a considerably higher score on EBRW. For instance, a 500 on the Math section places you in the 69th percentile, but a 500 on the EBRW section only places you in the 61st percentile.

Advantages of PSAT Testing as a Sophomore

Taking the PSAT is one of the best ways to prepare for the SAT simply because it can provide you with an essential test-taking experience while giving you a decent idea of what will be on the exam. Even though there are many SAT prep classes and study materials accessible, they may not provide you with the same test-taking experience. The PSAT is a solid platform to practice time management and concentrate on test-taking abilities, even though it is not quite as rigorous as the SAT. You’ll feel more prepared for the main test if you can ace the PSAT.

You can have early access to the examination structure by taking the test as a sophomore, thereby improving your chances of getting high SAT scores. Additionally, scoring well on the PSAT can make you eligible for scholarships. However, you can consult with your guidance counselor to determine whether you need to take the PSAT/NMSQT, which enables you to apply for the National Merit Scholarship. Generally, sophomores often take the PSAT 10 exam.

The PSAT: What Can You Do to Get Ready? Three Important Advice

In both your sophomore and junior years, there are several things you may do to get ready for the PSAT. Check out these important pieces of advice and put them to use before the test because even a little preparation can result in big score gains!

Establish a Target PSAT Score

Creating a target score before taking the PSAT in your sophomore year is highly recommended to give yourself something to strive for while preparing, enabling you to walk at the right pace to reach your goals for the PSAT in your junior year and eventually for the SAT.

For instance, your target scores a minimum of 70th percentile on the PSAT. Or you can set a target of 95th percentile or even higher if you want to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship as a junior. Once you obtain your target, you will be competent for your junior year PSAT examination. Also, you would be eligible for a National Merit Scholarship if your aggregate score is at least 1440. You might increase your PSAT score by hundreds of points with diligent preparation.

You’re likely to perform better in the junior year because you’ll be a year older and have completed an extra year of high school!

Solve Plenty of PSAT Practice exams

Start practicing the PSAT practice papers if you want to raise your scores! You can use the College Board or check out the latest SAT and PSAT practice questions on the official website.

You can also use the earlier practice material to prepare for the exam. These questions apply, particularly in the Math and reading comprehension sections. Just be careful to acquaint yourself with the test’s modifications so you can concentrate on the essential abilities.

Don’t worry if you’re upset with your PSAT results from your sophomore year. There is still sufficient time for practice and learning. Utilize your emotions as fuel to conduct more focused, disciplined, and successful tests the next year.

Focus on Your Weaknesses

Examine your first PSAT practice exam after finishing it to determine which questions you answered correctly and incorrectly. Have you had trouble with Math yet had good reading and writing scores? Were there any particular questions or subjects that you struggled with? Spend some time determining the areas where you need to improve the most.

After that, start focusing on those deficiencies. Look at the correct answer for each question you answered incorrectly on your practice exam, then try to resolve the problem using the right answer as a reference. If you’re still having trouble, read the answer explanation for that question to learn what went wrong and how to fix it.


Paying close attention to your weak areas is important to excel in any exam. If necessary, review the subjects directly and solve many practice problems until you feel more assured. If you follow these instructions, you’ll be well enough on your way to an excellent PSAT score.

Good PSAT score for sophomore


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