Achieving High Scores in PSAT





10 Important Tips for High PSAT Scores

The scores from the PSAT are used for short-listing the high school test takers in the National Merit Scholarship Program competition. The test is attempted by many high school students for entering the scholarship competition. It is even attempted by students from sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth grades to estimate their performance levels from the marks obtained in the test.

PSAT Scoring

PSAT consists of three sections. They are the Math section, Critical Reading Section and the Writing Skills section. The duration of the test is two-hours and ten-minutes. The test comprises multiple choice questions except for 10 questions in the Math section which are student-produced responses. These questions have to be solved and then the answers are to be entered in the grid spaces provided.

Sectional Scoring and Selection Index

Each of the three sections is evaluated on a scale ranging between 20 and 80 points. The maximum score for each section is 80 points. Hence, the total score ranges between 60 and 240. The maximum score one would obtain is 240 points. In this way, your scores are evaluated; but however, you can receive your scores in the form of percentiles, selection index and grade averages also. Furthermore, there is negative marking in the PSAT. Every wrong answer marked by you will deduct ΒΌ of the marks allotted to that particular question. An unanswered question will not have any deduction. So, it is important that you are sure of the answer that you wish to mark, else you shall be putting your scores at risk.

The Selection Index is nothing but the composite sum of the scores obtained by you in all the sections put together. If you score 50 in Math, 60 in Critical Reading section and 50 in the Writing Skills section, then your Selection Index is the sum of the above mentioned scores, (50+60+50) which is 160. Your composite scores or the Selection Index is used by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) as the initial screening for determining the eligibility of a candidate to enter the scholarship competition.

How to Achieve a High PSAT Score?

Achieving a high score is what all the aspirants aim at, especially the students of high school. A scholarship that would help your further education really matters to everyone. Let us now look into some details pertaining to the competition you would have to face in PSAT. Every year, it is estimated that there would be approximately 3-4 million students taking the test, of which only 1.5 million enter the scholarship competition. This competition is further filtered in the form of semi-finals and finals. Moreover, there would be around 15000-16000 students entering the final round of scholarship competition. On the whole, only 0.5-0.75% of the students taking the exam enter the final round of the competition. So, you can estimate your chance depending upon your preparation. Staying cautious about the competition is important, you must really focus in order to improve your competence in all the sections of the PSAT.

10 Important Tips to Achieve High PSAT Score

The following tips will help you increase your performance levels and thus your scores.

  • Evaluate your abilities to understand your strengths and weaknesses right before you start studying for the exam.
  • Be committed and dedicated throughout the process of your preparation.
  • Plan your preparation as per your requirements. Allot time according to your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Concentrate more on strategic solving. You will have to solve more questions in less time. This can be done if you can practice the usage of strategic tips and tactics.
  • Follow a good preparation guide.
  • Constantly inspire yourself.
  • The most important weapon you must carry is constant practice. Constant practicing helps you gain knowledge and improves your test taking abilities.
  • Testing is very important next to practice. Take as many tests as possible.
  • Never leave any stone unturned pertaining to the syllabus you ought to study.
  • Keep yourself cool and confident on the day of the exam.