UPDATED: Class of 2017 National Merit PSAT Cutoff Scores

Class of 2017 National Merit PSAT Cutoff Scores

PSAT scores just came out! Many parents and students don’t take the PSAT that seriously because they think of it as a “Practice” SAT. However, the PSAT is very important because it is also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). This means that if you score high enough on the PSAT, you can qualify to become a National Merit Finalist! Becoming a National Merit Finalist is valuable for 3 reasons:

(1) National Merit looks really impressive on your college application

(2) The National Merit Scholarship is worth $2,500 to any college of your choice

(3) Many universities automatically give National Merit semifinalists half-tuition or full-tuition scholarships

Essentially, you can get $100,000 – $200,000 in scholarships for scoring high on this one test that is 2 hours and 45 minutes long! So how high do you need to score on the PSAT in order to qualify to become a National Merit Semifinalist? Well, the cutoff score changes every year for each state depending on how well students in that state do on the PSAT that year. Typically, more academically competitive states will have higher PSAT cutoffs in order to qualify for National Merit. However, cutoff scores are typically around the same for each state from year to year.

But since the PSAT is now out of 1520 points (rather than 240 points previously), no one can say for sure what the National Merit PSAT Cutoff Scores will be for the Class of 2017 until the College Board releases them. However, below is a rough estimate for the Class of 2017 based on previous The College Board’s concordance table for each state:

Class of 2017 New PSAT National Merit Cutoff Scores (Updated Per The College Board)

Alabama — 1420
Alaska — 1400
Arizona — 1440
Arkansas — 1390
California — 1470
Colorado — 1440
Connecticut — 1460
Delaware — 1450
District of Columbia — 1480
Florida — 1440
Georgia — 1450
Hawaii — 1440
Idaho — 1410
Illinois — 1440
Indiana — 1440
Iowa — 1410
Kansas — 1440
Kentucky — 1420
Louisiana — 1430
Maine — 1430
Maryland — 1470
Massachusetts — 1470
Michigan — 1420
Minnesota — 1440
Mississippi — 1420
Missouri — 1420
Montana — 1390
Nebraska — 1420
Nevada — 1430
New Hampshire — 1440
New Jersey — 1480
New Mexico — 1410
New York — 1460
North Carolina — 1440
North Dakota — 1440
Ohio — 1440
Oklahoma — 1410
Oregon — 1440
Pennsylvania — 1450
Rhode Island — 1430
South Carolina — 1430
South Dakota — 1380
Tennessee — 1430
Texas — 1460
Utah — 1400
Vermont — 1440
Virginia — 1470
Washington — 1450
West Virginia — 1380
Wisconsin — 1410
Wyoming — 1380

The PSAT only counts toward National Merit when you take it in October of your junior year. You cannot take it again like the SAT and ACT. And the SAT and ACT cannot qualify you for National Merit, only the PSAT can. So hopefully you’re now convinced of the importance of the PSAT! Of course, if you didn’t score very high on the PSAT, you can always score high on the SAT or ACT in order to qualify for other scholarships.

If you are a sophomore and your scores do not qualify for National Merit based on the cutoffs above, it’s very important that you enroll in one of our SAT classes! This will over-prepare you for the PSAT in junior year so that you will definitely qualify for National Merit and win thousands in scholarships.

Sign Up For a New SAT Prep Course Taught By Perfect SAT Scorer, #1 Bestselling Author, & Yale MD/MBA Student Shaan Patel

Shaan Patel

Shaan Patel is the founder of Prep Expert Test Preparation (formerly 2400 Expert), a #1 bestselling SAT prep author, an MD/MBA student at Yale and USC, and winner of an investment deal with billionaire Mark Cuban on ABC's Shark Tank. He raised his own SAT score from average to perfect and teaches students his methods in an online SAT prep class.