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

March 30, 2016

Do Colleges Use PSAT Scores?

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


Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Stressful Times

How many adjectives can you think of to describe life since COVID-19 ushered us into this “new abnormal”?

Anguishing, demanding, d…

AdobeStock_251588845 (1).jpeg

Alternatives to College: Exploring Other Routes

We don’t need to belabor the point that this generation of teens is tired, depressed, and burnt out. You already know that. If yo…

National Merit Scholarships: Top Questions Answered

National Merit Scholarships: Top Questions Answered

The National Merit Scholarship Program began in 1955 as a way to recognize and provide scholarships to exceptional high-school st…

Will a 208 Qualify Me for a National Merit Scholarship?

Will a 208 Qualify Me for a National Merit Scholarship?

Question: I got a 208 on my PSAT. Is that score high enough to qualify me for National Merit Scholarships in Illinois?

As you may …


AP or IB: Which Do Colleges Prefer?

Some high schools offer both AP and IB classes. Having the option to choose is great, but knowing which classes to take can leave…

A-Z College Forums

Browse the College Forums

Find Your Best Fit

Find your best fit college and track your favorite colleges.