The cat is out of the bag! 2015 PSAT scores were released online on January 7th. If you took this PSAT, you were amongst the first students to experience the new changes. Here are answers to some popular questions we get from students and parents about the PSAT report.
Why are PSAT scores important, and what if I didn’t score well?
Your PSAT score is a predictor of how you would perform on the SAT if you took it today. Honestly, the score should serve as a realization that the college application process is starting, and that its time to get serious.
Many school counselors will also use your PSAT scores to give you an idea of the kinds of schools you should think of applying to. It definitely acts as a good place to start, but don’t let your PSAT score deter you from aiming high for those “reach” schools.
Our advice: don’t get discouraged if your score isn’t as high as you expected. With the correct planning, preparation and hard work, you can aim to raise your score by 200 points when you actually take the SAT.
Do colleges and universities see my PSAT scores?
Breathe! Universities do not receive your PSAT scores. The only people with access to your scores are you, your school & district (probably the counselor), your parents (if you choose to share with them, which we think you should), and the National Merit Scholarship folks who will see if qualify.
What do my PSAT scores mean?
There is a lot of information in your PSAT score report. Here’s what you need to know:
Total Score: This is the number that tells you how you did on the PSAT, and approximately what you would score if you took the SAT today. It is the combination of your Evidence-Based Reading & Writing + Math sections. Each of the two sections is out of 760, for a total maximum score of 1520. The SAT will be out of 1600 (800 for each section).
Additional Test Scores: This area tells you how you performed on Reading, Writing & Language and Math. Our advice: Don’t worry too much, it is just providing you with additional information. Same goes for the cross-test scores.
What is the College & Career Readiness Benchmark?
Under each score on the first page of your score report, you will see a multi-colored red, orange and green line. The vertical black line is where you fall on that line/scale. The benchmark shows whether you are on track to be ready for first year college courses. Scores in Green show that you meet or exceed the benchmark. Orange shows that you’re almost there but still need a bit more work, and red shows that you need to improve significantly in that area.
Did I qualify for the National Merit Scholarship?
National Merit Scholarship Index (NMSC Selection Index) – go to this section to see if you meet the entry requirements. If there is an asterisk next to the score in the NMSC Selection Index section, that means you didn’t qualify.
Now that I understand my PSAT score, what should I do next?
If you are going to be applying to universities next semester, it is time to get serious. Your SAT/ACT prep is going to be the first step in your college application process. Here are a few pointers:
- Spend time reading your PSAT Skill Insights area. You will get a good understanding of things you can do to improve your score.
- Understand why the SAT/ACT tests are important.
- Create a test taking plan with your parents.
- Need help creating your test-prep plan? Get a free customized study plan and consultation.
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