The Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) is a necessary step on the path to college. Your test results suggest how well you will perform on the SAT. In addition, top students might get National Merit Scholarship Corporation honors and grants.

So, how can you know whether your PSAT scores are adequate? While what constitutes a good score varies based on your objectives, we can provide a more objective solution to this topic by looking at PSAT score percentages. But first, let’s go through how the PSAT is graded.

Preliminary SAT (PSAT) Calculation

The PSAT is worth between 320 and 1520 points. Maths accounts for half of the composite score, ranging from 160 to 760. The Reading and Writing portions are assessed simultaneously and have the same score range, 160-760.

Test takers will also receive a more thorough score report for each component ranging from 8 to 38. This section score may be easily converted to a scaled score of 760 using a simple method. Double your section score by 20 for Maths. Add your section scores for Reading and Writing and double the total by 10. When you take the PSAT and receive your score report, you will see percentages in addition to your results. You can evaluate how competitive your PSAT results are by looking at these percentages.

In other words, we may use percentages to answer the question, “What makes a good PSAT score for juniors?” percentages are used to compare your PSAT segment and composite results to those of other test-takers. For example, if your Maths result is in the 70th percentile, you have performed as well as or better than 70% of other test-takers. Essentially, the greater your percentile, the higher your PSAT score will be compared to everyone else’s.

What Is a Good PSAT Score for Juniors?

A “good” PSAT score is greater than the 75th percentile. This implies you scored the same as or higher than 75% of all test takers. Juniors’ 75th percentile scores in each component range from 560 to 590, for 1150.

A PSAT score of “OK” is greater than the 50th percentile, which implies you scored the same as or higher than half of the test takers. A score in the 90th percentile or higher is considered exceptional. The figure below depicts the minimum section and composite scores required to achieve the 50th, 75th, 90th, and 99th percentages on the PSAT.

PSAT Percentage (11th Grade) EBRW Score Maths Score Composite Score
99th (Top) 730-760 750-760 1460-1520
90th (Excellent) 650-660 640 1280
75th (Good) 590 560-570 1150
50th (OK) 510-520 490 1000-1010

According to this chart, a good PSAT score for juniors is greater than 1150, an OK score is greater than 1000 or 1010, and an exceptional score is greater than 1280.

What Do PSAT percentages Indicate?

To understand how we picked the scores to reflect “good,” “OK,” and “outstanding” PSAT results, as well as how you might interpret PSAT scores yourself, you must first grasp PSAT percentages.

As previously stated, percentages reveal where your results lie compared to other students in your grade. Your PSAT score report will include a wide range of score categories and statistics. You’ll receive not one but two percentages comparing your results to those of other pupils. The Nationally Representative Percentile and the User Percentile are given these percentages. We’ll concentrate on User percentages, which compare all kids in a grade who take the PSAT regularly.

What Is the Importance of Good Preliminary SAT (PSAT) Scores for Juniors?

PSAT results might be significant in two ways for juniors who take the test.
The most obvious aim of the PSAT is to assist high school students in preparing for the SAT. Because the PSAT and SAT are so close, taking the SAT early in your junior year will give you an idea of how well you’ll perform on the SAT. You may use this data to determine which areas you need to work on the most, develop a study strategy, and establish SAT score targets for yourself.

However, the PSAT is more than simply a tool for determining how well you will do on the SAT; PSAT results may be highly crucial for juniors. If your score is good enough, you may be eligible for National Merit and the advantages that come with it. Continue reading to learn more about National Merit.

What Is a Good PSAT Score for the National Merit Scholarship?

High school juniors who take the PSAT and score extremely well (in the top 1%) have the opportunity to become a National Merit Semifinalist, which may provide you with a significant advantage when applying to universities and may even lead to scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation determines who qualifies as Commended Students and Semifinalists using its Selection Index. Students who score in the top 3-4 percent on the PSAT are designated as Commended Scholars, while those who score in the top 1% are selected as Semifinalists.

How do you compute the Selection Index? Sum your three PSAT section scores and multiply by two. Assume you get a 30 in Reading, a 28 in Writing and Language, and a 32 in Maths. To get your Selection Index, put your section scores together: 30 + 28 + 32. Then, divide the total by two. Your Selection Index score would be 180 in this situation.
As seen in the graph below, a Selection Index score of 180 is insufficient to qualify for the National Merit Semifinalist designation. In reality, depending on where you take the PSAT, you’ll need a Selection Index of 207 or higher.

After Taking the PSAT, How Do You Prepare for the SAT?

You’ve received your PSAT results, and it’s time to go on to the next step: taking the SAT. How may your PSAT results and the lessons you acquired from taking the exam help you score higher on the SAT? Check out the four steps below to be prepared and confident before taking the SAT.

Step 1: Decide on an SAT score target.
Calculating your SAT score objective is a crucial element of preparing for the exam, and it may help encourage you by providing you with a real goal to strive toward. Check out our advice on a good SAT score to figure out what SAT score you should seek.
It would help if you looked at the typical SAT scores of admitted students at the colleges to which you’re interested in applying. For example, many colleges publish 25th, 50th, and 75th percentages of admitted students.

Step 2: Recognize and Learn From Your Errors
When you receive your PSAT results, you will see how well you performed on each component of the exam. Examine these data carefully to see if you can find any trends. For example, did you perform well in Maths but suffer in EBRW? Then it would help if you devoted more of your SAT preparation time to reading and writing. Learn from your PSAT blunders to improve your SAT score.

Step 3: Make a Study Schedule
Create a study schedule to track when you should take practice exams and perform the additional review. Mark down when you’ll study each week, as well as any goals you wish to attain each week or month, such as revisiting a certain exam topic or increasing your score by a certain amount of points.

Step 4: Complete Official, Full-Length Practice Exams
Taking timed practice exams is one of the most effective strategies to enhance your SAT results. Turito has made several free sat practice tests available, the highest-quality practice examinations public.

When taking these practice exams, be sure to take them timed and in one sitting to receive the most accurate score results and get adjusted to the test duration. Remember to look through the questions you got incorrect, just as you did with your PSAT results, to learn from your mistakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is PSAT?

The duration of the PSAT is 2 hours and 45 minutes and tests your skills in reading, writing, and math. The highest score possible on the PSAT is 1520.

2. When is PSAT?

The PSAT is slated for October. The College Board anticipates three PSAT dates:

Primary: October 12, 2022

Weekend: October 15, 2022

Alternate: October 25, 2022

3. What is the average PSAT score for juniors?

The average PSAT score for juniors is a composite score higher than 1000.

4. What is the average PSAT score for 11th graders?

A score in the 50th percentile means it is average. The estimated score comes to 1000-1010.

5. Is 830 a good PSAT score for a junior?

A good score for a junior is a composite score higher than 1150-1160. Based on this calculation, a score of 830 is less than an OK score.

6. Is 860 a good PSAT score for a junior?

A good PSAT score for a junior begins with a score higher than the 75th percentile. For juniors, 75th percentile scores are around 560 to 590 in each section or 1150 total.

7. Is 1170 a good PSAT score for a junior?

According to standard estimates, a good PSAT score for a junior is a composite score higher than 1150. So, 1170 is a good score.