PSAT Score Range

The PSAT and the SAT have a lot in common. In fact, the score you receive on the PSAT is a good indicator of how well you will do on the SAT. As such, you can use your PSAT results to help you know how to prepare for the SAT in the future.

Before you do this, it will be important for you to know how the PSAT is scored. While the PSAT and the SAT are pretty similar, they are scored quite differently. Unlike the SAT, which has a score range of 400-1600, the PSAT has a score range of 320 to 1520, meaning that a perfect PSAT score will not directly translate to a perfect SAT score.

Understanding the PSAT score range for each section of the test will give you a more accurate idea of your knowledge of math, reading, and writing and language.

PSAT Score Range by Section

When your PSAT is scored, you will receive a score between 8-38 for each section. These scores are your true test scores, and they can let you know how many questions you miss in each section.

Your test scores are then converted into scaled section scores between 160-760. 

To determine your math section score, multiple your math test score by 20. So if you received a math score of 30, your math section score would be 600. For your evidence-based reading and writing score, add your reading and writing test scores together and multiply this sum by 10. 

When you combine your evidence-based reading and writing score with your math score, you will get a composite score that falls into the 320-1520 range.

PSAT Score Distribution

Oftentimes when PSAT test takers receive their PSAT scores, they  want to know if their scores are “good enough.”

The PSAT score distribution helps students see the average scores for each section and for the PSAT as a whole, allowing them to see where their score falls in comparison with other students.

For the most part, PSAT scores tend to follow a bell-curve pattern. This means that students tend to score in the middle of the PSAT score range (around 900) with a small chunk of students scoring at the low end of the range and a small chunk of students scoring at the high end of the range.

Students who want to know whether or not their score is satisfactory should consider this information and see which percentile their score falls into when compared with other test takers. For instance, a PSAT score between 1450-1520 is typically in the 99th percentile, which is excellent, and a score between 980 and 1050 is usually in the 50th percentile, which is okay.

Looking at the score distribution and percentile scores for your test can help you determine how well you did on the test.

Comparing PSAT and SAT scores

While the PSAT tests the same sections as the SAT, it is designed to be less challenging and to provide fewer questions. For this reason, earning a perfect score on the PSAT (1520) does not mean that you will earn a perfect score on the SAT (1600). Unlike the PSAT, the SAT has a score range of 200-800 for each section, and each section has questions that are more difficult than the ones on the SAT.

Fortunately, in spite of these scoring differences, it is easy for students to determine how well they will do on the SAT using their PSAT scores. The PSAT score directly translates to the SAT score.

A student who earns a 1400 on the PSAT should expect to earn a 1400 on the SAT, for example.

Taking the PSAT and examining your results can help you learn what sections you need to improve upon before taking the SAT.

Preparing for the PSAT

Earning a high composite score on the PSAT will help you make sure you’re on track for scoring well on the SAT, and it can also unlock the door to great opportunities like earning scholarship money or becoming a National Merit Scholar.

You can start preparing for the PSAT and ensure you’re ready on test day with the help of Prep Expert. Prep Expert offers private PSAT tutoring taught by instructors who scored in the 99th percentile of the PSAT and received National Merit recognition as Semifinalists and Finalists. These tutors have the expertise and experience necessary to help you reach your PSAT goals, and they will teach you helpful strategies so that you can find success when taking the PSAT.

Learn more about Prep Expert and sign up for private PSAT tutoring today when you visit our website.