Alura Chung-Mehdi 3 min read PSAT Info and Tips

When Do PSAT Scores Come Out? How to Get Your Scores

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What’s Covered?

 

Waiting for test scores is one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of the college admissions process. If you’ve just taken some iteration of the PSAT, here’s how you can access your score and when you can expect it to be available.

 

When Do PSAT Scores Come Out?

 

The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a test taken once per year (usually in the fall) of 10th or 11th grade. The test serves as a practice SAT and allows 11th grade students the opportunity to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. Tests typically take place in October, with results available in December.

 

There are two other versions of the PSAT: the PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9, that measure the same things as the PSAT/NMSQT—what students have learned and what they need to learn in order to be on track for college. The PSAT 10 is for 10th graders, the PSAT 8/9 is for 8th and 9th graders, and the PSAT/NMSQT is for 10th and 11th graders. 

 

PSAT 10 scores are typically available four to six weeks after the test date. PSAT 8/9 scores are available about two months after the CollegeBoard receives the results.

 

However, only the PSAT/NMSQT can qualify a student for a National Merit Scholarship, and the student must be in 11th grade to be eligible. 

 

Here are the anticipated test dates for 2021:

 

PSAT/NMSQT

  • Primary test day: October 13, 2020
  • Saturday test day: October 16, 2020
  • Alternate test day: October 26, 2020 

 

PSAT 10

  • February 22–March 26, 2021
  • April 13–30, 2021

 

PSAT 8/9

  • September 20, 2021–March 26, 2022
  • April 13–29, 2022

 

Steps to Check Your PSAT Score

 

All scores are accessible online. When scores are available, you will get an email with instructions on how to create a CollegeBoard account. Then, input your access code, and view your online score report. 

 

If you need a paper score report, ask your school counselor.

 

You can also print your online score report by clicking the Download Your Score Report button in your online CollegeBoard account.

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What is a Good PSAT Score?

A good PSAT score depends on the test you took and the grade you’re in. The PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT are scored of a scale of 320-1520. The PSAT 8/9 is scored on a scale of 240-1440.

 

We’ve included charts of the percentiles for each test. If you score in the 90th percentile, that means you scored at or above 90% of other test-takers. To learn more, see our blog post on good PSAT scores for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

 

PSAT/NMSQT 

Total Score

Percentile for 11th graders

Percentile for 10th graders

1490

99+

99+

1430

98

99

1370

95

99

1280

90

96

1200

82

92

1000

49

66

900

32

47

800

17

28

700

5

9

600

1

1

 

PSAT 10

Total Score

Percentile for 10th graders

1440

99+

1320

98

1200

92

1100

81

1000

66

900

47

800

28

700

9

600

1

 

PSAT 8/9 

Total Score

Percentile for 9th graders

Percentile for 8th graders

1440

99+

99+

1320

99

99+

1200

97

99

1100

89

95

1000

77

87

900

59

73

800

38

51

700

18

25

600

4

6

500

1

1

 

For more in-depth information on percentiles for the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9, visit CollegeBoard.

 

For each test, there is a benchmark that indicates whether a student is progressing appropriately (based on their grade level) to be prepared for college. 

 

The national average shows the average (50th percentile) score for each test and grade level.

 

Test

Reading and Writing Benchmark

Math Benchmark

National Average

8th Grade PSAT 8/9

390

430

820

9th Grade PSAT 8/9

410

450

880

10th Grade PSAT 10

430

480

920

10th Grade PSAT/NMSQT

430

480

920

11th Grade PSAT/NMSQT

460

510

960

 

 

How Does Your PSAT Score Impact Your College Chances?

 

The PSAT doesn’t affect college admissions unless you receive recognition from National Merit when you take the PSAT your junior year. Colleges don’t ask for your PSAT scores, and you would only mention the PSAT on your applications if you received one of the National Merit designations, such as being named a Commended Scholar or Semifinalist.

 

The National Merit Scholarship Program recognizes top scorers within each state. Students that score in the top 3-4% are recognized as Commended Scholars, but aren’t eligible for any scholarships. Top 1% scorers are named Semifinalists and have the chance to compete for $2,500 Finalist scholarships. Some schools may even offer automatic full rides to National Merit Semifinalists, such as the University of Alabama and the University of Arizona.

 

So while the PSAT generally doesn’t impact college admissions that much, you can win money and impress colleges if you have a top score. 

 

The SAT is much more important in admissions (or the ACT), the PSAT can help predict how well you’ll do on the SAT and uncover areas of weakness. In fact, top colleges may filter out applicants based on their GPA and test scores.

 

Want to know how your test scores stack up? Check out our free chancing engine, which will predict your odds of admission at hundreds of schools in the US, based on factors like test scores, extracurriculars, and demographics. We’ll also let you know how to improve your profile!

  

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Alura Chung-Mehdi
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Alura Chung-Mehdi graduated from Amherst College with a degree in English. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking, rock climbing, and daydreaming.