The SAT score of 1070 is good

PSAT - all you need to know

* Updated March 25, 2021

Each year, approximately 3.5 million high school students and juniors in the United States participate in the preliminary SAT, commonly known as PSAT. The PSAT is important for two reasons. It is a practice test for the SAT and the entrance exam for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

The PSAT is not used for college admissions, but there are still several reasons to take it.

Many high schools require students to take the PSAT, but some make it optional.

Here's what you need to know about the PSAT.

Who should take the PSAT?

High school Sophomore year students other Children and adolescents are eligible for the PSAT, and some schools may require their students to take the exam.

Sophomores can either take the PSAT 10 or the PSAT / NMSQT you will in no way qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. Even so, the PSAT provides a good opportunity for sophomore students to practice for the SAT and assess how they will perform in each section.

Teenagers Those who take part in the PSAT / NMSQT have the opportunity to win scholarships depending on how well they do. Each year approximately 8,000 of the 3.5 million students attending PSAT receive scholarships. And 2,500 students will win $ 2,500 National Merit Scholarships. To qualify for a scholarship, you must reach the 99th percentile of test takers.

For most students, the PSAT is an early opportunity to see how to do the math on the SAT. There are differences between the structure and content of PSAT and SAT, but the two tests are very similar. The SAT is a little longer and a little more difficult than the PSAT. However, they cover the same topics and contain the same sections, so you can get a clear idea of ​​what the SAT will be like and what your individual strengths and weaknesses are.

When do you take the PSAT?

The PSAT 10 takes place in spring. For the year 2021, the high schools will carry out the test on the following dates:

  • February 22nd to March 26th, 2021
  • April 13-30, 2021

The PSAT / NMSQT takes place every year on three dates in October. While the official PSAT dates for 2021 have not yet been released, the dates expected are:

Most students register and take the PSAT through their high school (many high schools require students to take the exam). When you take the exam at your high school, the school administration will select the date on which to take the exam.

How long is the PSAT?

The PSAT lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes and contains 139 questions. It is slightly shorter than the SAT, which lasts 3 hours and contains 154 questions.

How many sections are there?

The PSAT consists of three sections: reading, writing and language, and mathematics. Here's what you can expect from each of these sections.

Reading section

The Reading section consists of 47 questions and you have 60 minutes to answer them.

This section is designed to test students' reading comprehension skills. Students are instructed to read short passages and answer multiple-choice questions about those passages. Students are expected to understand and analyze the passages.

There are four longer passages of 500-750 words and a pair of shorter passages. Each test contains passages on the following topics:

Some passages in the reading section may also contain information graphics such as tables or charts. All questions can only be answered with the reading passages and do not require any prior knowledge of specific topics.

Writing and language department

The Writing and Language section of the PSAT lasts 35 minutes and contains 44 questions.

This section assesses students' understanding of grammar and the ability to identify errors and weaknesses in a script.

It contains passages and sentences that contain errors. Students are asked to edit the letter and correct mistakes by selecting multiple choice answers.

Some passages in the Writing and Language section are accompanied by information graphics such as charts or tables, but students never need to study math for the questions.

Math section

The math section of the PSAT has 48 questions and lasts 70 minutes.

This section is divided into two subsections: one that allows calculators and one that does not allow calculators. Both parts contain a mixture of multiple choice and grid-in questions.

The math section contains a total of 48 questions. There are 40 multiple choice questions and 8 grid-in questions. Students can use a calculator for 17 questions, leaving 31 without a calculator in the time. The PSAT Math sections cover the following four subject areas:

How does PSAT scoring work?

PSAT assessment is complicated, but there are a few key points that students should be aware of. When you receive your PSAT results report, you will see eight different results.

Here is a brief summary of each score.

Scaled total score (320-1520)

You will get a scaled total score between 320 and 1520. This is the most important score and you should take it as your final score. Your scaled total score will determine whether you will ultimately qualify for the National Merit Scholarship and the score that will give you the best idea of ​​how you will fare on the SAT. This is the sum of your two scaled section results.

Two scaled section results (160-760)

You will receive a scaled section rating between 160 and 760 for math and evidence-based reading and writing (EBRW). These results are calculated based on your three-part test results.

Three-part test results (8-38)

You will receive three section test scores between 8 and 38 for math, reading, writing, and language. These test results reflect how you worked on each of the three sections. This score can help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses.

Three raw test results

You will also receive raw test results for each of the three sections. This score corresponds to the number of questions that you answered correctly. The maximum score you can get for each section is 48 for math, 47 for reading, and 44 for writing and language.

Sub-items (1-15)

There are seven different sub-items with a score between 1 and 15 in the following categories: Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Advanced Math Passport, Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions, Words in Context, and Evidence. These results will give you a better insight into your performance in specific subjects. Use them to identify topics that you need to work on in each section.

Cross Test Results (8-38)

You will receive two cross-test scores between 8 and 38 on: Analysis in History / Social Studies and Analysis in Science. In contrast to sub-items, which are made up of questions in the same section, cross-test results are made up of questions in all three sections.

Selection Index Score (48-228)

The “Eligibility Index” is a score used to determine who will qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. Therefore, it is the only score you will see on your score report that is unique to the PSAT and is not included on the SAT. This score is the sum of all three section test results multiplied by 2.


If you're trying to win a National Merit Scholarship, pay attention to how you performed the test compared to other test takers. The top 1% of PSAT participants in each state qualify as semi-finalists for the scholarship.

What is a good PSAT score?

The PSAT is rated from 320-1520. How to rate your score on the PSAT:

Excellent: With a score in this area, you will be in the top 10% of test takers.

Very good: With a score in this area, you will be among the top 25% of test participants:

With a score in this area, you will be in the top 25% of test takers.

Well: With a score in this area, you will be in the top 50% of the test takers.

Below average: With a score in this area, you will be in the top 50% of the test takers.

What is a good PSAT score for the NMSQT?

Technically, your scaled PSAT score doesn't determine whether you qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (the organization that awards the scholarship) converts all PSAT ratings into a “selection index rating” that is rated between a minimum of 48 and a maximum of 228. This assessment is used to determine who will qualify for the scholarship.

The cutoff values ​​vary from year to year depending on the level of difficulty of the test.

And each state has a different cutoff score for the National Merit Scholarship competition based on how students in that particular state competed in the PSAT.

In 2019, the lowest state cutoff value was 212 (North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming) and the highest state cutoff value was 223 (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington DC). The national average was 218.

Test results for 2020 are not yet available.

Shau ​​Kuyichi Signs Transparency Pledge. Learn more about state cutoff results and how to get into the National Merit Scholarship.

When will you get your PSAT results?

Sophomores Usually take the PSAT in February or March. These students typically receive their test results in late April or early May.

Teenagers Usually take the PSAT in October. These students can expect to receive their grades in December.

Should you prepare for the PSAT?

While the PSAT is definitely worth it, most students don't need to fully prepare on how they would prepare for the SAT. Your PSAT score will not be displayed by colleges and will not be included in college admissions.

Highscores can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, but keep that in mind Only the top 1% of test takers in each state Become a semi-finalist for the award. If you realistically think that you can get a perfect or near-perfect score with the PSAT, you should definitely prepare yourself thoroughly for the test. Check out our favorite PSAT prep courses at Kuyichi Signs Transparency Pledge. .

But for sophomores and everyone but the highest scoring juniors, it just doesn't make sense to spend hundreds of dollars and hours of your precious time on a PSAT class. Instead, use the PSAT as an early benchmark for the SAT so you can see which areas of the test you're doing well and where you need to improve. You may want to take a practice test before starting to get an idea of ​​the structure and pace of the exam. However, this is absolutely not necessary. In fact, many students purposely take the exam without preparation in order to get the best idea of ​​their base score.

However, it may be worth doing a PSAT exercise before the exam to get a feel for the duration, difficulty, and pace of the test.

Are there free PSAT practice tests?

Many different study locations and educational resources, such as Khan Academy, offer free PSAT practice tests. Taking a practice test can help you see early what to expect from the PSAT without having to take (and pay) a full course.


If you are attending PSAT this year, this is a great opportunity to get an early glimpse of what the SAT looks like and how you might be using it. For the ambitious few shooting for a National Merit Scholarship, go out there and get it! For most students, however, the PSAT should be largely print-free.