Interpreting Your PSAT Scores
Many changes were made to the October PSAT. A test for sophomores (the PSAT 10) will be offered by some schools between the end of February and early March. Now your PSAT/NMSQT scores are made available online.
To make the most of the PSAT, here are your next steps:
Click here to set up your free, online student account to access your PSAT/NMSQT test scores.
Click here to set up account with Kahn Academy. Use this account to view recommendations for studying for the SAT.
Click here to learn more about the National Merit Scholarship that is a part of the PSAT. (The test is the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.)
Click here to read College Board article on score calculations, score ranges, percentiles, and college readiness benchmarks.
The new PSAT score reports are different from the ones in the past. The College Board has finally aligned the PSAT scores with the SAT scores. You can use your PSAT test scores to learn more about how you might do on the upcoming SAT tests. Because now there are a LOT of scores on the test, how do you know which scores to pay attention to?
Here are some tips for you. When viewing your score report, focus on:
Raw scores. Look at your Reading/Writing score, your math score, and total score.
Ignore percentiles. This is a new test- the percentiles are research based only. Don’t worry about the percentiles.
Check your NMSC Selection Index. Is there an asterisk (*) next to it?
College and Career Readiness Benchmarks
Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about where you are on the benchmarks. Make a count of how many you have in the following benchmark areas:
Green (meets or exceeds benchmark) ____
Yellow (approaching benchmark) ____
Red (need to strengthen skills) ___
Get Advice from the Experts on Benchmarks
Talk to your counselor or advisor about recommendations to move your red and yellow benchmarks into green.
Find the section of your score report, Your Scores: Next Steps. This is a great resource for you, showing what you are already able to do. It also includes suggestions for improving your skills. These suggestions become the beginning of the Kahn Academy personalized preparation plan. The scores are broken into:
Writing and Language Test
Study Smarter, not Harder
If you use your PSAT scores for preparation for the SAT, you will be studying smarter, not harder. It will save you hours of study to know from your PSAT scores what you already know, and what you need to focus in preparation for the SAT. Go over your PSAT scores with parents, counselors, and teachers. Use this to create a personalized, study plan for the SAT.