<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=137445156611445&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Suniti's Advice Corner

Understanding your PSAT Score

Posted by Suniti Mathur on Fri, Nov 01, 2013

Understanding your PSAT scoreYou've recently taken the PSAT and you’re probably starting to wonder the same things as your peers when it comes to your scores, plans and what you should be doing between now and the end of the year. Here is a list of questions and answers I most frequently hear about the PSAT process and next steps:

Here is a link to the most common PSAT questions I receive from students specifically about their scores.

1. When will I know my PSAT scores?

You will get an email notification when your score report is available. The email will also contain an access code and a link. That link will give you the ability to create a CollegeBoard account and to access your personal PSAT report using the provided code. Most students will get access to their scores on the dates listed below. 

Table: 2017 PSAT score release dates according to state.

Your State Your Score Release Date
California, Illinois, Ohio, Washington, Michigan, Indiana, Oregon, Missouri, Colorado, Wisconsin, Nevada, Kansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, West Virginia, Montana, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Minnesota. December 11
Texas, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arizona, District of Columbia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Delaware, New Mexico. December 12
Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Vermont.

International students should also expect scores on this date.

December 13

Source: Collegeboard

2. What should I be doing between now and the end of my Junior year?

Start preparing: Now that you’ve gotten a taste of what the PSAT was like, start preparing for the SAT/ACT. Remember, things are only going to get busier from here, so the earlier you start, the better.  Take some time to become clear on what your strengths and weaknesses are – you can take a diagnostic test here to get a customized study plan. Do your research on which prep method will work best for you based on your needs, schedule, funds and other circumstances.

Turn your PSAT Into a Top SAT/ACT Score - Learn More

3. What all is included in the PSAT score report?

The PSAT is basically an indicator of your readiness for the SAT as well as college. Your score report will include:

a) Your PSAT Scoring by section: Critical Reading/Writing and Math. The score for each section is based on a scale of 160-760 for a 1520 possible total score. Here’s a quick table to make that clearer: 

Table: PSAT Scoring by Section



(out of 760)


(out of 760)


PSAT Score Max




PSAT Score Min




PSAT Score Example





b) Comparing to the SAT: The SAT is out of 1600 while the PSAT is out of 1520. However, the scale remains the same, but the PSAT is easier and has fewer questions. The questions left out of the PSAT are the toughest questions on the SAT. This means when comparing your score to the SAT at the time you took the test, it would be the same as the SAT or higher given that there would be more tough questions.

psat score exampleSource: Collegeboard


psat score result example

c) Percentiles: This is a number that tells you how many percent of students you scored higher than. For example, if the number says 55%, it means that you scored higher than 55% of the PSAT takers from your grade level who took the test at the same time as you. 

d) Skill Breakdown: This section breaks down your skills to a subject/topic level to show you strengths and weaknesses. You should look at this section carefully to understand where you need to improve. 

Turn your PSAT Into a Top SAT/ACT Score - Learn More

4. Do colleges and universities see my PSAT scores?

No, your PSAT scores are not reported to colleges and universities. Nor are they included in your transcript. However you can choose to give colleges certain information like the majors you would be interested in. Read more about how it puts you on the college radar. 

5. What is the NMSQT, and what does my PSAT score have to do with it?

NMSQT is short for National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation looks at your PSAT score to see if you could possibly qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. If you do qualify, your school will be notified in February next year. 

6. What should I do with my scores once I have them?

a) Don’t freak out: First of all, don’t freak out about your scores. Let it be a reality check to make you realize that the college process has begun, and it’s time to get serious. If you are discouraged by your PSAT results, don't worry, we will discuss your next steps in our upcoming free seminar. 

b) Make a plan: Meet with your counselor and parents to create a plan. Figure out when you will be taking the SAT/ACT or both (click here to see which test is right for you), see if the schools you’re interested in require subject tests and plan for those as well. Need help making a plan? Setup a time to talk to one of our experts here

c) Start researching schools: Use your PSAT scores as a way to start looking at which schools might be a good fit for you, but don’t let your scores limit your selection of universities. If you prepare adequately, chances are your score will in fact increase.

Do you have any other questions about the PSAT? If yes, go ahead and post them below! Don't forget to like us on Facebook for the latest SAT/ACT tips, strategies, and news!

Did this not answer all of your questions? Read our new post answering the most common questions we get about PSAT scores. Click here to read.

Image Source: Times.com

Turn your PSAT Into a Top SAT/ACT Score - Learn More


Tags: For Students, For Parents

About Suniti

describe the image

Suniti is the creator of TestRocker, an online learning platform that helps you unlock your dream PSAT, SAT and ACT scores. TestRocker is based on Suniti’s highly successful and proven method of teaching thousands of students how to maximize their PSAT, SAT and ACT scores for over a decade.

TestRocker is an award-winning PSAT/SAT/ACT program that empowers students to take control of their test preparation. After taking a diagnostic test, students receive a customized study plan, individualized to their strengths/weaknesses. Students practice and learn concepts through videos. Each of the 2000+ questions on TestRocker is accompanied by a video explanation from Suniti. TestRocker has the largest video library in the world for PSAT/SAT/ACT preparation. 

New Call-to-action

Follow TestRocker

describe the imageTestRocker twitterdescribe the imageinstafor blog 

Start your ACT,  SAT, or PSAT  Free Trial Today 

Click Here to Check Out Our Resources Page


Stay up to date with our Blog!

Recent Posts