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What is a Good Preliminary SAT (PSAT) Score for a Freshman?

Jan 3, 2023

Good PSAT Score for a freshman If you plan on getting a high Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) score your junior year, you may choose to take the PSAT as a freshman for preparation. Taking the PSAT in 9th grade will let you identify your present level of performance and determine how you might improve in the future.

As a freshman, you have the option of taking the PSAT/NMSQT, which is given to 11th students, or the PSAT 8/9, which is given to 8th and 9th graders. The score ranges for these two examinations are comparable yet somewhat different. This post will go through the scoring and percentages for both so you know what a decent PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 8/9 score as a freshman would be.


Curious about what’s considered a good PSAT score for a freshman? This blog has the answers! Discover the benchmarks for PSAT scores for freshmen and find out how Turito’s expert coaching can help you achieve them. With personalized study plans and valuable resources, Turito empowers you to excel on the PSAT and build a strong foundation for future success. Visit Turito Academy now to learn how we can help you achieve your academic goals.

How Is the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) Calculated?

The PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) and (PSAT) 8/9 have different score methods, although they match up very well overall. Let’s have a look at both of them.


The PSAT/NMSQT yields two scaled scores ranging from 160 to 760. One is for maths, while the other is for reading and writing simultaneously. When you combine these scaled scores, you receive a composite Preliminary SAT (PSAT) score range of 320 to 1520.

The PSAT 8/9 is lowered by 80 points, resulting in a total score of 240 to 1440, or 120 to 720 for each component. It has been reduced to compensate for the fact that it is a significantly simpler test than the PSAT/NMSQT. While a perfect score on PSAT 8/9 is impressive, it does not correspond directly to a perfect score on the PSAT/ NMSQT.


Similarly, the PSAT/NMSQT scored 80 points lower than the SAT, with a score range of 400 to 1600, to compensate for its slightly less difficult topic. Imagine the score ranges as a slide, with the SAT at the top, the PSAT/NMSQT immediately below, and the PSAT 8/9 beneath.

When calculating your final marks, the College Board considers everyone’s performance on a particular administration. It awards a % to your scores once they have been estimated. To provide an example, if you scored in the 75th percentage, you performed at or above the level of 75% of other test-takers. The remaining 25 percent of test-takers scored higher than you.


We can address our initial question about a good PSAT score for a freshman by looking at how scaled scores are converted into percentages. Then, objectively, we may look at whose PSAT score is greater than the bulk of other test-takers. For example, is your score higher than normal, or did you fall short of the halfway point?

PSAT percentages and Scores
We’ll look at the statistics for both exams because freshmen can take either the PSAT/NMSQT or the PSAT 8/9. We can determine what constitutes a solid score on any exam for a freshman by looking at how results fall into percentages. First, let’s look at the Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/NMSQT percentage chart.


Percentage Chart for the PSAT/NMSQT
Because most PSAT/NMSQT test takers are juniors, followed by sophomores, the College Board does not issue statistics on exclusively freshmen’s scores and percentages. Instead, showing statistics on how scaled scores convert to percentages combines all children in the 10th grade and younger. So don’t be concerned if you believe you are scoring below average. The bulk of pupils included in these statistics has a full school year ahead of them.

What Is a Good PSAT/NMSQT Score for a Freshman?

Because freshman year is an early time to take the PSAT, your goal scores will probably be lower than they would be in 10th or 11th grade. This is because you still haven’t taken any full high school coursework by the fall of your freshman year. But perhaps you’ve done your homework and are ready to take the test. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of time to study before taking the PSAT again as a sophomore or junior. Keeping this in mind, we’ll define good scores as being in the 70th percentile or higher. These are the section and aggregate PSAT/NMSQT scores you would need to attain to be in these higher-than-average percentages:

Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/NMSQT percentageEBRW ScoreMath ScoreComposite Score
99% (Top)700-760710-7601360-1520
90% (Excellent)610580-5901170
75% (Good)5405201050
50% (Okay)460460920

A Preliminary SAT (PSAT) score for freshmen in the 50th percentile would be around 460 on average. To achieve an above-average score, you must earn 470 or better in EBRW and Maths.

Percentage Chart for the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) 8/9
The information in the chart below is based exclusively on the results and percentages of 9th graders who took the PSAT 8/9 in the autumn of 2020. Keep in mind that the PSAT 8/9 score range is 240 to 1440 or 120 to 720 for each component.


What Is a Good PSAT 8/9 Score for Freshmen?

Unlike the PSAT/NMSQT data, this data is exclusively based on 9th graders. Thus, it should provide a more accurate picture of what you’d need to score on the PSAT 8/9 to perform above average. This figure depicts the scores required to place in the 50th, 75th, 90th, and 99th percentages on the PSAT 8/9 for 9th graders:

Preliminary SAT (PSAT) 8/9 percentageEBRW ScoreMaths ScoreComposite Score
99% (Top)680+680+1350+
90% (Excellent)5705501110
75% (Good)500490990
50% (Okay)420420850

This data on scores and percentages may be used to create goals for whichever exam you choose to take as a 9th grader. But how will you get to your desired scores? It all depends on how much you plan ahead of time. Continue reading for some pointers on how to prepare for the PSAT in the run-up to freshman year.

How to Prepare for the PSAT as a First-Year Student

Defining your goal scores is one of the first stages in preparing for the PSAT. What are your objectives? At this point in your schooling, what do you want to achieve? I propose taking a timed PSAT practice exam to find this out. Score your exam and determine where you are today and where you may improve.

With its novel concepts and problems, the Maths part may be extremely difficult for many freshmen. To prepare, look for PSAT practice tools and either self-teach or be tutored on the new ideas and terminology you’ll need to know. In addition, you may tailor your studies to your specific needs by identifying your areas of strength and weakness.

Official PSAT practice exams and sample questions are the most accurate representations of what you’ll encounter on the actual test. You may also prepare by using earlier practice tests and SAT practice tests, as the examinations will be fairly similar. When you score them, note any errors you made and any queries you have.

Taking the time to comprehend and rectify your errors fully is the greatest method to ensure that you answer similar questions correctly the next time. Because the PSAT is a nationwide standardized test, the question categories often remain consistent from test to test. You can get a strong familiarity with regularly asked questions by thoroughly studying question types and formats. You could even come to believe that your official PSAT is quite similar to the practice exams you’ve already taken.

The PSAT score for freshmen is difficult because of its substance, sophisticated question phrasing, and severe time constraints. You may increase your ability to answer questions fast and effectively by time yourself while you practice. You may experiment with tactics such as speed reading and skimming for crucial text and learning how to detect and correct grammatical rules quickly.

While there may be some subjects that you haven’t covered in school yet, all of this learning will at the very least improve your test-taking abilities. In addition, you’ll improve your ability to work swiftly under time constraints, employ time-saving tactics such as the process of elimination, and deal with the stress of taking College Board examinations.
Even if you decide not to take the PSAT as a freshman, it’s a good idea to start early with a PSAT practice exam to measure your ability, organize your study schedule, and become comfortable with the test.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is PSAT?

PSAT is a practice version of the SAT. The highest performers on this exam are entitled to earn scholarships. The Preliminary SAT, also known as PSAT, is taken once every year. Many students take the test in 10th grade and 11th grade. It is 2 hours and 45 minutes long and tests reading, writing skills, and math.

2. When is PSAT?

The PSAT is usually held in October every year. The College Board anticipates three dates in 2022. Primary: October 12, 2022. Weekend: October 15, 2022. Alternate: October 25, 2022.

3. What is a good PSAT score?

Students who score at least 1450 are listed in the top 1% of test-takers, making them competitive for national merit scholarships. 99th percentile and above is outstanding, which means a 1360—1520 score.

4. Is 1250 a good PSAT score for a freshman?

Because freshman is an early time to take the PSAT, the goal scores will be lower than in 10th or 11th grade. Since it is 90th percentile, it is excellent even though it is not a top score.

5. Is 1200 a good PSAT score as a freshman?

Anything above the 75th percentile is ranked as good. 1200 is a good PSAT score as a freshman. A composite score above 1170 is considered excellent.

Good PSAT Score for a freshman


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