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The PSAT Scoring Scale

An official PSAT/NMSQT score report contains seven parts.

  • Total Score (on a scale of 320-1520)
  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score (on a scale of 160-760)
  • Math Score (on a scale of 160-760)
  • Subscores (on a scale of 1-15)
  • Cross-test Scores (on a scale of 8-38)
  • National Merit Scholarship Corporation Selection Index
  • Question-Level Feedback

The section score reflects students’ overall performance in the section. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score combines the Reading Test Score with the Writing and Language Test Score. The total score combines the section scores of Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (160-760) with the Math section score (160-760).

In addition to the two main scoring metrics (section score and total score), students also receive further performance analysis in the form of cross-test scores and subscores. Cross-test scores measure analysis in history/social studies and analysis in science, with a score range of 8-38. Subscores range from 1-15 and measure students’ abilities in the following areas: command of evidence, words in context, expression of ideas, standard English conventions, algebra, problem solving and data analysis, and preparation for advanced math. For National Merit qualification and other scholarships, the score report includes what is called the NMSC Selection Index. This index is calculated by doubling the sum of a student’s Reading, Writing and Language, and Math Test scores. 50,000 high scorers, measured by Selection Index, are notified each September of their qualification for National Merit Scholarship Program recognition.

Like the SAT, the PSAT measures a raw score which is calculated by the number of questions answered correctly. There is no penalty for guessing. That raw score is then converted to a scaled score (160-760) using a process called equating, which takes into account slight variations in difficulty between different test administrations and dates. The two scaled section scores are combined to create a student’s total score and to measure a student’s percentile ranking. The percentile ranking shows how a test-taker compares to the scores of test-takers nationwide. It represents the percentage of test-takers whose scores fell at or below the student’s score. The chart below shows percentile rankings for total scores among 10th and 11th graders. Percentiles were calculated by the College Board using the scores of students who took the PSAT/NMSQT in 2015.

Converted
Total Score
10th Grade 11th Grade Converted
Total Score
10th Grade 11th Grade
1520 99+ 99+ 920 46 38
1510 99+ 99+ 910 44 36
1500 99+ 99+ 900 42 33
1490 99+ 99+ 890 40 31
1480 99+ 99+ 880 38 29
1470 99+ 99+ 870 36 27
1460 99+ 99+ 860 34 25
1450 99+ 99+ 850 32 24
1440 99+ 99+ 840 30 22
1430 99 99 830 27 20
1420 99 99 820 25 18
1410 99 99 810 23 16
1400 99 99 800 21 15
1390 99 99 790 19 13
1380 99 98 780 17 12
1370 98 98 770 14 10
1360 98 98 760 13 9
1350 98 97 750 11 8
1340 97 97 740 9 7
1330 97 96 730 8 6
1320 97 96 720 6 4
1310 96 95 710 5 3
1300 96 95 700 4 2
1290 96 94 690 3 2
1280 95 93 680 3 1
1270 95 92 670 2 1
1260 95 92 660 1 1
1250 94 92 650 1 1
1240 94 91 640 1 1
1230 93 91 630 1- 1
1220 92 90 620 1- 1
1210 91 89 610 1- 1
1200 90 88 600 1- 1
1190 89 87 590 1- 1
1180 88 86 580 1- 1
1170 87 85 570 1- 1
1160 86 84 560 1- 1
1150 85 82 550 1- 1
1140 84 81 540 1- 1
1130 82 79 530 1- 1
1120 81 78 520 1- 1-
1110 80 77 510 1- 1-
1100 78 75 500 1- 1-
1090 77 74 490 1- 1-
1080 75 72 480 1- 1-
1070 74 71 470 1- 1-
1060 72 68 460 1- 1-
1050 70 66 450 1- 1-
1040 69 63 440 1- 1-
1030 67 61 430 1- 1-
1020 65 59 420 1- 1-
1010 63 56 410 1- 1-
1000 61 55 400 1- 1-
990 59 53 390 1- 1-
980 58 51 380 1- 1-
970 56 49 370 1- 1-
960 54 47 360 1- 1-
950 52 45 350 1- 1-
940 50 42 340 1- 1-
930 48 41 330 1- 1-
320 1- 1-

The last portion of the PSAT/NMSQT score report contains question-level feedback, which breaks down the test by individual questions and shows students which ones they missed. It also indicates which questions fall into which subscore and cross-test score category. This section also includes an access code where students can view answer explanations online.

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