PSAT scores are calculated in much the same way as SAT scores:
- Students earn 1 point for each question answered correctly.
- Students lose 1/4 point for each question answered incorrectly (EXCEPT on the grid-in math questions; no points are lost for questions answered incorrectly).
- Students neither lose nor gain points for questions that are skipped.
A student’s raw score for each of the five test sections (two Critical Reading sections, two Math sections, and one Writing section) is calculated by subtracting the number of points lost from the number of points earned. The raw scores for the two Critical Reading sections are added together to find the student’s total Critical Reading raw score, and the same is done for the student’s total Math raw score.
The Critical Reading, Math, and Writing raw scores are then converted to scaled scores ranging between 20 and 80 (80 is the highest possible score). A student’s total PSAT score, or Selection Index, is the sum of the three scaled scores and can range between 60 and 240 (240 is the highest possible score). According to the College Board’s website, the average PSAT scores for 11th graders in 2011 were 49 Math, 48 Critical Reading, and 46 Writing.
- You’ve got your child’s PSAT results - now what? Visit our PSAT Results page to learn more about the PSAT Score Report and how to interpret your child’s results.
- Visit our National Merit Scholarship Qualifications page to find out if your child’s scores qualify him or her for a National Merit Scholarship.
- Want to learn more about the PSAT? Visit our PSAT Test page for information about the test format, question types, and scoring.
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