top of page

PSAT Results: Putting The Numbers Into Perspective

PSAT results were published in mid-December, and we have many parents asking questions about how to best utilize these results.  So let’s start at the beginning - PSAT literally means preliminary SAT or in other words a practice SAT.  Students take the PSAT in the fall of 10th and 11th grade. The PSAT results are not reported to any college, but are used for National Merit Scholarship consideration for juniors.  PSAT scores can range from 320-1520, slightly different than the SAT which can range from 400-1600.  We have some suggestions on how you can use your students PSAT score to guide his/her future success on the SAT. 

  • Total score achieved (320-1520) predicts how your student will perform on the SAT.  Of course, this does not take into account additional learning or preparation your student engages in between the taking of the PSAT and the SAT. 

  • National Percentile compares your student to all students who took the test nationwide.  A student scoring in the 90th percentile nationwide in 10th grade would be expected to perform quite well on the SAT during his junior year of high school.  Likewise, a 10th grade student scoring below the 50th percentile nationwide may need to consider more robust SAT preparation before sitting for the test in 11th grade. 

  • Section scores (Math and Evidenced Based Reading & Writing) are important to help the student target areas of strength and weakness and create a focused plan of study.

  • Cross Section Test scores and sub-scores help the student further refine areas of weakness for additional study.  It is helpful to look for big discrepancies between certain topics within the subject area so the student can plan to learn materials not yet mastered.  For instance, a student may have a large discrepancy between “Heart of Algebra” and “Advanced Mathematics,” indicating that additional time and attention should be spent on the higher level math problems. 

The PSAT can be a great opportunity for students to start to plan and focus their SAT study efforts.  The Essential College Coaches provide a detailed analysis of scores and a focused study plan for our students.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our services. 

3 views0 comments


bottom of page