How is the PSAT/NMSQT Test Scored?
PSAT scores are calculated similarly to the new SAT scores:
- Students can get 1 point for each question with the correct answer.
- Students do not lose or receive points for incorrectly answered questions.
- Students do not lose or score points for questions that are left out.
The PSAT is divided into two parts: mathematics and evidence-based reading and writing. Since guessing has no penalty, the student’s raw score for both main parts of the test is the number of questions answered correctly. Raw scores are then converted to scaled symbols between 160 and 760. Raw scores are aggregated for the entire PSAT or selective index between 320 and 1520.
Contrary to SAT, PSAT does not contain a scored essay portion. Currently, the College Board allows high school students to submit a portion of the paper called Score Writing. If your school chooses to implement this practical article, its grade will not be recalculated by the College Board and will not be counted in your PSAT grade. Its purpose will be to provide students with practice for the SAT article section.
How do PSAT Scores work?
PSAT scoring is complicated, but if you want to maximize your scores you need to know how the PSAT test is scored. Eight different scores were observed when you received your PSAT score report.
1- A scale total score (320-1520):
This is the most important point, and you should see it as your final point. Your scalable total score determines whether you are ultimately eligible for the National Eligibility Scholarship, or the score that gives you the best idea of your performance on the SAT. This is done by adding your two scores together.
2- Two scaled scores (160-760):
You will each receive a scoring score for Mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW). These scores, which add up to create your total scaled score, are calculated using your three test scores. To get your math scale score, simply multiply your math test score by 20. To get your EBRW scale score, simply find the sum of the reading test score and your writing and language test score. Then, multiply the result by 10.
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3- Three-part test scores (8-38):
You will receive three cross-sectional test scores between 8 and 38 for your math, reading, and writing scores. These test scores are generated from your raw test scores in each of these sections using a scaling process. Each version of the PSAT is scaled differently, showing a slight difference in the test.
4- Three raw test scores:
For scaled scores, for each section, the blackout test score is performed. This score is equal to the number of questions in each section that is answered correctly, and your maximum question score is equal to the total number of other questions in each section (48 for math, 47 for reading, and 44 for writing).
5- Sub-scores (1-15):
In addition to all the above scores, your score report in each section also lists the sub-scores. These points are provided to help you better understand how you work on specific topics. There are seven different scores, each rated between 1 and 15, in the following groups: Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving, Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Mathematics, Expression of Ideas, and Standard English Conventions – Words in the text and command evidence. Use your sub-points to identify the topics you need to work on in each section.
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6-Cross-exam scores (8-38):
Cross-exam scores are another type of sub-score. In the following topics, you will receive two cross-sectional test scores in your score report: History Analysis / Social Studies and Science Analysis. While each of the sub-scores is collected from the questions in the same section, your cross-examination scores are generated from the questions in all three sections. Like your sub-scores, these scores are designed to help you identify areas of strength and weakness.
7-Selection Index Score (28-248):
The Selection Index is a score used to determine individuals eligible for a National Competency Scholarship. Therefore, it is the only score you will see in your score report that is specific to PSAT and not included in the SAT. This score is equal to the sum of all three test scores multiplied by 2.
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Finally, you will receive a percentage score that indicates your performance on the test compared to other testers. Your percentile shows the percentage of PSAT people who performed better than you. For example, if you scored in the 85th percentile, it means that you scored above 85% of the examiners. To determine the eligibility of the National Competency Scholarship, your percentile score is used along with the index score of your choice. The top 1% of PSAT winners in each state are eligible for the semifinals.
How PSAT scores can help you determine if SAT or ACT is acceptable
PSAT has long been considered a gateway to the SAT system, but it can be just as helpful in helping students decide to go for the ACT. Many students have already taken the practical ACT or Formal Pre ACT, which forms the basis of the test. With PSAT scores available, it is smart to compare scores to check for a clear advantage. Students who have not yet taken ACT can invest the 3 to 4 hours required to perform practical ACT at the compass site or from home through an online practice test. For students who do not want to wait until December to receive their PSAT scores, the SAT with a compass is also an option.
The compass analyzes existing research and agreements to create a tool for comparison in the form of charts and tables. Although most students see their PSAT and ACT scores somewhere in the “Judgment Call” band, others find that one or another test is more appropriate.
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