Parent’s Guide to the PSAT Score Report

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Your high school junior took the PSAT in October, and you should have your child’s results in hand by the second week in December.  (Scores are mailed directly to the school, and the school will mail them to you).  Here’s a guide to help you interpret the PSAT score report,  and plan next steps.

  • You will see scores in 3 sections: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing Skills. Absolute Scores are scaled from 20-80; percentile results are also provided, which shows how your child’s score in each section compares to other juniors nationwide.
  • To convert your child’s score to a comparable SAT score, simply add a “zero” to the end of each raw score. For example, the highest PSAT a child could get is 3 x 80 or 240. Converting this to the equivalent SAT score is 3 x 800 or 2400.
  • You can request a copy of the PSAT test booklet from your child’s guidance counselor. By matching the booklet up to the score report, you will be able to see which specific questions were omitted or answered incorrectly.
  • The special code that is provided on the paper score report can be used to go online for detailed information on the essay section. (Note that you will need login information for your child).

The PSAT score report is a great diagnostic tool. By looking at questions answered incorrectly by section, and their degree of difficulty (easy, medium, hard), you will get a clear picture of your students’ unique strengths and weaknesses, how much work is needed to prepare for the SAT, and where to focus efforts.

The next SAT will be given on January 22 (register by December 23) and the March follows on March 12. Let us know how we can help!

Note about the National Merit Scholarship:
Your child’s total PSAT score will determine the National Merit Scholarship honors. Eligibility will be determined in Spring of Junior year, and recipients will be notified in September of Senior year. Recipients are chosen from those who score in the top 1 % of all PSAT test taking juniors, but the precise cutoff varies by state.

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