Are My PSAT Scores Good?

This month, with many high school juniors receiving their first college testing results, “The Dean” has been flooded with queries that ask, “How good is a PSAT Selection Index of ______”? And the numbers have been all over the map: 220, 180, 130, 103 and 85. A variation on that theme was, “Is a 79…


What Do These PSAT Scores Mean?

Are those scores good? That’s largely in the eye of the beholder. I would certainly call them “good” but not “great.” They are at or above the median range at many fine colleges and universities and below it at others (e.g., the Ivies and their equivalents).

Average Soph PSAT Scores

Sophomore average scores for 2002 (with comparison to 2001 data):

Verbal: 44.4 (0.7 decrease)
Math: 45.5 (no change)
Writing Skills: 45.9 (0.3 decrease)


Understanding PSAT Scores

Those who have told you that your score was actually a 1490 out of 1600 are probably confused because the old PSAT was composed of only two scores–not three–since the writing component was recently added.


PSAT-SAT I Score Correlation

A crude rule of thumb states that SAT scores rise about 100 points for every year of high school. For example, if your PSAT Math + Verbal scores in 10th grade totaled 110 (50M, 60V), which translates to 1100 in SAT I scoring (just add a zero to each), you may reasonably expect to add another 100 points to that score if you take the SAT I in the spring of your junior year