Ivy Tutors Network Logo
Find a tutor


Not sure how to interpret your PSAT scores? Check out this article for a full explanation of what your PSAT scores really mean!

Lisa Speransky
Lisa Speransky
Test Prep
College Admissions

PSAT Score Range

What is a good PSAT score?

To some extent, a good PSAT score depends on your goals and reasons for taking the PSAT. Many students take the PSAT merely as practice and a benchmark in their journey studying for the SAT. In this case, while it’s obviously great to get a high score, there’s no need to put pressure on yourself to reach a particular score. Still, it’s helpful to understand where your PSAT score places you relative to other students. A score of 1150 or higher typically means that you’re in the top 25% of test takers as a junior, which is a great place to be as you’re planning for the SAT. If you’re hoping to use your PSAT score to qualify for National Merit and other scholarships, though, you’ll want to aim even higher, as NMSC only recommends students in the 99th percentile as semifinalists.

What is a good PSAT score for a sophomore?

If you’re a sophomore, you’re not yet in the running for scholarships, so the PSAT is really just a practice run for taking the PSAT in your junior year and/or the SAT later on. For the most part, scoring in or above the 75th percentile means you’re in a great position to do well on later tests. In 2021, sophomores needed a score of at least 1060 to fall in this range.

What is the average PSAT score?

The average PSAT score is around 1000 for juniors, and 920 for sophomores.

What is a good PSAT score for a freshman?

For freshmen, it’s a bit harder to say what your goal scores should be, since you’re two years from taking the test for scholarships and may not have encountered all the material covered in school yet. That being said, the 75th percentile for freshmen is around 1000, so if you get a score above that, you’re in a great position.

What is the highest PSAT score?

The highest PSAT score is 1520.

What PSAT score qualifies for National Merit?

The qualifying score for National Merit will vary depending on what state you live in, and changes year to year. The top 3-4% of all test takers typically qualify as commended students, and the top 1% are recommended as semifinalists. So, you’ll likely need a score of at least 1460 to be considered as a semifinalist. Becoming a finalist will ultimately depend on your ACT or SAT score.

PSAT Score Calculator

How is the PSAT score calculated?

The PSAT overall score is a sum of its two main section scores for Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. Each section is scored on a scale of 160-760, making the overall score fall in the range of 320-1520. The PSAT uses linear adaptive testing, meaning that the difficulty of the second module of each section, and your maximum score on each section, is determined by your performance on the first module. Scores are determined by the number of correct answers on each section as well as the difficulty of the second module. If you’re taking a practice test, you’ll need to use an approximate conversion chart to calculate your scaled score.

PSAT Percentiles

What do the percentiles on the PSAT score report mean?

Your PSAT score report will include percentiles that compare your performance to that of other students at your grade level. So, an 11th grader who scores in the 80% percentile performed as well as or better than 80% of a nationally representative group of 11th graders. Generally, scoring at or above the 75% percentile is considered to be good, as it means that you’re performing better than about ¾ of the students at your grade level.

PSAT to SAT Conversion

What PSAT score is equivalent to SAT?

Since the PSAT and SAT have different score ranges, it can be confusing for students to understand what their PSAT score means as they prepare for the SAT. Because both tests rely on a score scaling system that takes variations in particular tests into account, there’s no way to precisely map a particular PSAT score to a particular SAT test. That being said, there are some conversion charts online that can give you a rough translation. It’s also very useful to look at your percentile rank. For example, a score of 1150 tends to be around the 75th percentile rank on the PSAT, so it probably translates to an SAT score around 1200, which tends to be close to the 75th percentile on the SAT.

How does PSAT score translate to SAT?

While you can compute a rough estimation of what SAT score is equivalent to your PSAT score, this doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get that SAT score if you were to take the test right away. These conversions assume that you continue to learn and perform at a similar level relative to your peers. Since the SAT is typically taken by older students, and covers material that is a bit more advanced than the PSAT, it is somewhat harder to achieve those equivalency scores without extra preparation. In other words, these conversions are a good predictor of what you might score on the SAT, if you continue to study and prepare for it.

PSAT Score Report

When do PSAT scores come out?

Students can typically get their PSAT scores about 6 weeks after the test is administered. For example, in 2022, the PSAT was administered on October 15 and students were able to access their scores by December 6. The exact date often varies by region.

How to check your PSAT score?

On the day of the test, your answer sheet will have space for you to provide your email address. If you do so, you will receive a notification email when the scores are available. Whether or not you provided an email address, you can access your scores via your CollegeBoard account.

​​How to see your PSAT score early?

In short, you cannot get your PSAT score early. All PSAT scores are released within the same 2-3 day window.

Why is my PSAT score pending?

If your PSAT score is pending, it means it has not yet been released. The scores are released in batches throughout the day, so don’t be alarmed if yours isn’t available first thing on the day you’re expecting it to come out.

How to score well on the PSAT?

To score well on the PSAT, you need to have a good command of the content, as well as being comfortable with the formatting and timing of the test. The best way to grow in both of these areas is to take official practice tests. There aren’t as many official tests or practice resources for the PSAT as there are for some other standardized tests, but SAT tests and study guides are another great source of study material.

When you’re studying for any standardized test, it’s important to have a good study plan and study habits to set yourself up for success. Study early, frequently, and in short sessions, rather than cramming at the last moment. Have a goal score in mind, and pay attention to what areas you need to improve in order to get there. Make sure you understand the questions you missed: why the answer you chose was wrong, how the right answer is deduced, and what tools could help you identify the right method in the future.

Especially if you want to be considered for National Merit and other scholarships, consider getting a tutor. At Ivy Tutors Network, our experienced PSAT tutors can help you review challenging content, identify areas of weakness, and get the most out of your study time!


Take a Diagnostic Exam in NYC

Start with a diagnostic SAT, ACT, SHSAT, ISEE, SSAT, TACHS, or AP test so you know where you stand and where you need improvement. Knowledge is power!

Related Blog Posts

Contact Us