What’s a Good PSAT Score?

The PSAT is the first benchmark for high school juniors have on their college journey, so what’s a good PSAT score? The answer is unique to every student and depends on your college goals.

How is the PSAT Scored?

PSAT scores range between 320 and 1520; the math sections accounts for half a student’s score and the Reading and Writing (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) for the other. Test takers receive a more detailed breakdown for each section with scores ranging between 8 and 38. To calculate your full score, multiple each section by 20 and then add together.

In addition to receiving an individual score, a student will also see a percentile where you can judge how competitive your scores are to other students. For example, if you score in the 70th percentile in the Math section of the PSAT then your score is the same or higher than 70% of the others who took the test (and the other 30% scored higher than you). Simply put—the higher percentile you are in, the better your PSAT score is compared to other test takers.

What is a Good PSAT Score?

Generally speaking, a “good” PSAT is when a student places in the 75th percentile. However, an excellent score is one in the 90th percentile or above. That student truly stands out and will be in a strong position headed into the SAT and full college application process.

Why Are PSAT Scores Important?

First, the PSAT prepares students for the SAT. There are many similarities between the two tests and the PSAT gives students a benchmark score. Additionally, students can create a plan to study and improve on their weak ares before taking the SAT the following year.

Students who truly excel at the PSAT—the 99th percentile—can qualify as National Merit Semifinalists. These students are recognized as the top academic high school juniors in the country—a distinction that college admissions office notice. Another benefit for being recognized as a National Merit Scholar—scholarships and financial aid to help pay for college.

Now that you know what’s a good PSAT score what is next for you? Keep studying. Continue your college admissions planning. And talk to an Accolade Financial college counselor today.