What are the Average PSAT Scores that Colleges Consider?
PSAT is extended as the Preliminary SAT. Its basic purpose is to prepare students for the SAT. Students are also interested in taking PSAT as it provides a foundation for getting high scores in the SAT exam. They usually take PSAT in their sophomore year of high school or in their junior year of high school.
If you take this exam during your sophomore year, you will get an idea of the PSAT test well in advance and can give your best effort to it. If you have decided to take the exam during your junior year, you can also apply for the NMSC (National Merit Scholarship Corporation).
The PSAT overall score is reported in a percentile form i.e. if you have scored 51 it means that you have scored better than 51 percent of the students who have taken the PSAT exam.
Statistics of Students’ PSAT Average Scores
PSAT test sections are evaluated on a scale of 20 to 80.
PSAT Average in the Year 2010
- Average in the junior year- Students in their junior year (11th grade) of high school scored the PSAT average of 47, 49 and 45 in the Critical Reading, Math and Writing sections respectively.
- Average in the sophomore year- Students in their sophomore year (10th grade) of high school scored the PSAT average of 43, 44 and 40 in the Critical Reading, Math and Writing sections respectively.
- Average Selection Index- Along with the scores for different test sections of the PSAT exam, a Selection Index is also reported. The Selection Index is the sum of the scores obtained in the three major test sections. It varies from the lowest score of 60 to the highest score of 240. The average Selection Index for students in the junior year of their high school in the year 2010 was 141.
Do Colleges Consider PSAT Scores?
Colleges do not set PSAT average scores as an admission criterion but they do see your PSAT scores. However, they do not consider them as a criterion for selection of students for admissions. Nevertheless, your PSAT scores are very helpful if you want to get admission in the college of your choice. You can get an idea of the scores that you can achieve in the SAT exam. Based on this projection you can create a list of colleges of your choice. For this, you need to take help of the SSS (Student Search Service) and My College QuickStart Program.
Student Search Service (SSS)
This is a free service available to students. It provides information about the admission procedures, financial packages, campus lives etc. of the educational institutions of your choice. Most of the educational institutions prefer to offer admissions to those students who are the top scorers in the SAT exam. For instance, if you want to know about the criteria set by the Harvard University for offering admissions to students based on their SAT scores you can refer to the webpage http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/faq.html#3
How do you avail this Service?
You have to say ‘yes’ to the Student Search Service question mentioned in the answer sheet when you are taking the PSAT exam.
Once you confirm for the SSS service, your information viz name, address, gender, college major (that you are interested in) etc. are supplied to the educational institutions based on their admissions criteria. SSS does not send your PSAT average scores. They form a range of scores and group you according to your scores. To get information in detail you can log on to the webpage http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/reg/sss.html.
My College QuickStart Program
This is a free guide kit available for you. You can avail this service for finding the colleges of your choice if you have taken the PSAT. Through this service, you can access a list of colleges where you can apply if you fit the criteria for admissions set by the colleges of your choice.
Once you have registered:
- you can get feedback about your performance through the PSAT scores
- you can assess your strengths and weaknesses and can work towards overcoming your weaknesses through several practice tests
The above discussion highlights the PSAT average scores that students have achieved during their sophomore year and junior year of high school. The colleges do see your PSAT scores but they consider the SAT scores for providing admissions to their institutions. This does not mean that your PSAT score is not valuable. It acts as the basis for scoring high in the SAT exam.
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