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, check out our PSAT to SAT Score Conversion Chart below. Read on if you’d like to gain a better understanding of the PSAT.
What is the PSAT?
The PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) 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 and ACT.
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!)
What does the PSAT cover?
The PSAT is broken down into the following three sections:
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.
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.
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.
How is the PSAT timed?
The length varies according to each version of the test.
- 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)
PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT
- 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’re 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
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.
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|