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PSAT to SAT Score Conversion: Predict Your Score

By Zach Skillings

Zach Skillings is the Scholarships360 Newsletter Editor. He specializes in college admissions and strives to answer important questions about higher education. When he’s not contributing to Scholarships360, Zach writes about travel, music, film, and culture. His work has been published in Our State Magazine, Ladygunn Magazine, The Nocturnal Times, and The Lexington Dispatch. Zach graduated from Elon University with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts.

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and Cece Gilmore

Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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Reviewed by Caitlyn Cole

Caitlyn Cole is a college access professional with a decade of experience in non-profit program and project management for college readiness and access organizations.

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Edited by Maria Geiger

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Updated: March 11th, 2024
PSAT to SAT Score Conversion: Predict Your Score

The SAT has become a household name because of its role as a screening tool at many colleges across the U.S. Although you may be anxious about taking the SAT, the good news is that there are several ways to prepare for this big exam. One way is to take the PSAT, which is a helpful indicator of how you’ll perform on the SAT. If you’ve taken the PSAT and you’re looking to estimate your projected SAT score, you can use our PSAT to SAT Conversion tool. Enter your PSAT score to convert it to the equivalent SAT score:

You can also check out our PSAT to SAT Score Conversion Chart below. Read on if you’d like to gain a better understanding of the PSAT. 

Also see: What is a high PSAT score?

What is the PSAT?

The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is a standardized test administered to high schoolers by the College Board. The exam is designed to test students on their reading, writing, and math skills. The PSAT is commonly taken by high school students to prepare for the SAT and to qualify for college scholarships. Note that there are three versions of the test: 

  • PSAT 8/9 (designated for 8th and 9th graders)
  • PSAT 10 (designated for 10th graders)
  • PSAT/NMSQT (designated for 11th graders seeking to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship)

Why should I take the PSAT?

There are two main reasons to take the PSAT, which we’ll discuss below: 

Prepare for the SAT

As you know, you’ll need to take the SAT if you’re applying to college. This is an important test that plays a big part in the application process of many schools, so you’ll want to be prepared. That’s where the PSAT comes into play. The PSAT is an excellent way to prepare yourself for the SAT. The PSAT is slightly less advanced than the SAT, but still covers similar material such as reading, writing, and math concepts. Once you’ve taken the PSAT, use the PSAT to SAT Score Conversion Chart to see how your scores will translate. 

After getting a better idea of how you’ll fare on the SAT, you can use this information strategically. It can be helpful in learning what to study to improve your score. It can also help you decide if you should prioritize studying for the SAT or ACT.

Related: Top scholarships for high school juniors

Win scholarships

Taking the PSAT is also a pathway to earning college scholarships. The PSAT/NMSQT is used as a qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship. This means that if you score highly enough on this exam, you could land a scholarship and help pay for your college education. 10th graders are allowed to take the exam, but students must take the exam during the 11th grade if they wish to be considered for the scholarship. Keep in mind that the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 are not considered for entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program.

See also: How to pick the best test prep tutor (including links for free practice websites!)

Expert Perspective

With the rise of test-optional college admissions, the tests carry less weight than they used to. With this said, a strong test score can definitely help you admissions and scholarship chances. So while you shouldn’t make yourself sick over the tests, some prep and practice can go a long way. In particular, the Khan Academy offers some amazing free resources and practice tests for students to get prepared for the SAT and PSAT. 
Will Geiger

Former Admissions Officer

Kenyon College

What does the PSAT cover?

The PSAT is broken down into the following three sections:

Math Test

The math test consists mainly of algebra questions. There are also some data analysis and complex equation problems mixed in. Calculators are allowed on part of the math section, but not all of it. 

Also see: SAT math section tips

Reading Test

The reading test is designed to assess how you absorb, think about, and apply the knowledge you’re presented with. You’ll read several passages from various genres and be asked to locate specific information, imply meaning and intent, and identify how authors use evidence to support their claims.

Also see: SAT reading section tips

Writing and Language Test

On the writing and language test, you’ll read passages, identify strengths and weaknesses, and fix mistakes. You’ll be asked to change words, clauses, sentences, and punctuation to improve the structure of passages. 

Related: Top scholarships for high school sophomores

How is the PSAT timed?

The length varies according to each version of the test. 

PSAT 8/9

  • Total Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
  • Reading Test: 55 minutes (42 questions)
  • Writing and Language Test: 30 minutes (40 questions)
  • Math Test: 60 minutes (38 questions)


  • Total Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes 
  • Reading Test: 60 minutes (47 questions)
  • Writing and Language Test: 35 minutes (44 questions)
  • Math Test: 70 minutes (48 questions)

How is the PSAT scored?

On all three versions of the PSAT, the score is calculated by combining the results from the reading and writing section and the math portion. For the PSAT 8/9, the score range is 240-1440. The range for the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT comes in a bit higher at 320-1520

What is a good PSAT score?

As far as what a “good score” would be, that varies depending on every student’s individual goal. However, the College Board has established benchmarks for each version of the test. According to the College Board, if you hit these benchmarks then you’ll have a 75% chance of achieving a C or higher in related first-semester college courses. In other words, it’s likely that you are college-ready if you hit the benchmarks established by the College Board. 

Benchmarks for 8th graders taking the PSAT 8/9

  • Reading and Writing: 390
  • Math: 430
  • Total Score: 820

Benchmarks for 9th graders taking the PSAT 8/9

  • Reading and Writing: 410
  • Math: 450
  • Total Score: 860

Benchmarks for 10th graders taking the PSAT 10

  • Reading and Writing: 430
  • Math: 480
  • Total Score: 910

Benchmarks for 11th graders taking the PSAT/NMSQT

  • Reading and Writing: 460
  • Math: 510
  • Total Score: 970

Related: What is a high SAT score?

How do I take the PSAT?

Students register for the PSAT through their high school. Each school’s signup process differs, so talk to your school counselor to learn more. You may have to pay a small fee to take the exam, but many students have test-related fees covered in full or in part by their school.

Don’t miss: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

PSAT to SAT Score Conversion Chart

Use this chart to estimate SAT score based on your PSAT score. Note that the scores in this table are for the PSAT/NMSQT, and not for other versions of the test.

PSAT Score Predicted SAT Score
400 630
410 640
420 650
430 650
440 660
450 670
460 680
470 690
480 700
490 700
500 710
510 720
520 730
530 740
540 750
550 760
560 760
570 770
580 780
590 790
600 800
610 810
620 810
630 820
640 830
650 840
660 850
670 860
680 870
690 870
700 880
710 890
720 900
730 910
740 920
750 920
760 930
770 940
780 950
790 960
800 970
810 970
820 980
830 990
840 1000
850 1010
860 1020
870 1030
880 1030
890 1040
900 1050
910 1060
920 1070
930 1080
940 1080
950 1090
960 1100
970 1110
980 1120
990 1130
1000 1140
1010 1140
1020 1150
1030 1160
1040 1170
1050 1180
1060 1190
1070 1190
1080 1200
1090 1210
1100 1220
1110 1230
1120 1240
1130 1240
1140 1250
1150 1260
1160 1270
1170 1280
1180 1290
1190 1300
1200 1300
1210 1310
1220 1320
1230 1330
1240 1340
1250 1350
1260 1350
1270 1360
1280 1370
1290 1380
1300 1390
1310 1400
1320 1410
1330 1410
1340 1420
1350 1430
1360 1440
1370 1450
1380 1460
1390 1460
1400 1470
1410 1480
1420 1490
1430 1500
1440 1510
1450 1510
1460 1520
1470 1530
1480 1540
1490 1550
1500 1560
1510 1570
1520 1570

Frequently asked questions about PSAT to SAT score conversion

What does a 1200 on the PSAT equal on the SAT?

A 1200 on the PSAT translates to a 1300 on the SAT, but there is no guarantee that is the score you will receive. Prepare and do your best knowing you have the potential to earn a 1300+ on test day!

Do scores improve from PSAT to SAT?

Scores can and do improve, but the range varies widely among students. The majority of students will improve, especially if they spend constructive time taking practice tests to get used to the timing of the SAT. There are so many free SAT practice resources, so m ake good use of them!

Does the PSAT/NMSQT have an essay?

No, the PSAT/NMSQT does not have an essay.

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