ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled
Saved to My Favorites. View My Favorites
Articles / Preparing for College / Do Colleges Use PSAT Scores?

Do Colleges Use PSAT Scores?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | March 30, 2016

Question: Does Boston College and Boston University check PSAT scores? If so, what is the score range that is needed?

Colleges do not use PSAT scores at all in the admissions process. Occasionally admission officials will see PSAT results if an applicant's high school includes them on the student transcripts. But, even so, they don't play a role in the decisions. However, PSAT's can be at least a rough predictor of SAT scores, and SAT's often do play a key role in college outcomes. You can check the median SAT ranges at BC, BU and any other colleges that interest you by visiting College Confidential's SuperMatch here: http://www.collegeconfidential.com/college_search/ First enter the college's name where you see, “Find & Pin a School by Name" and then click on the college's name until you see “School Facts" and then “Testing and Scores."

If your PSAT's are below a college's SAT medians, you may still have time to prepare for the SAT. You can try the ACT as well. Low test scores don't automatically keep you out of the colleges you like, but admission officials will expect candidates with sub-par testing to have other special strengths or an unusual background to make up for the deficiency.

So, although the PSAT's do not count at all in the admissions process, you can use them as a preliminary guide to help you to estimate where you will or won't be admissible later on.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

More on Preparing for College

See all

Moving Away from Home for College: The Tales of an International Student in Boston

Born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, I was used to small-town living. I attended an international boarding school as a day …


2023 AP Exam Score Distributions

This year’s AP Scores have been released and Trevor Packer, head of the Advanced Placement Program has shared the details of this…

SummerApply_Article Headers

10 Summer Programs Still Open For Applications

Summer is here, marking one of the best times for motivated high schoolers to enroll in summer programs where they can diversify …


Summer STEM Prep: Start Strong and Avoid These Common Pitfalls

College-level STEM programs are notoriously rigorous, and getting off to a strong start can make a huge difference for students w…


A Solid Résumé is Worth the Effort for More Reasons Than You Can Imagine

Building a strong personal résumé in your first years of high school is recommended by counselors, college & university admis…

Get a student loan that goes beyond tuition.

Ascent offers cosigned and non-cosigned student loans with exclusive benefits that set students up for success.

Explore Now!
Find Your Scholarship

Want to find money for school that doesn’t need to be paid back? Access insights and advice on how to search and apply for scholarships!

Search for Scholarship