The PSAT is a standardized test usually taken by high school sophomores and juniors. It is used as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship program. Students are tested on reading, math and writing skills. Students receive a score for each of the three sections. This test can be used to compare high school students against their peers across the country and may be a predictor for SAT performance.

Understanding Your Scores

The score report for the PSAT includes both a scaled score and a percentile score. Each of the three sections has a possible scaled score from 20 to 80. A perfect score would be 240. Correct answers are worth 1 point, and 1/4 of a point is deducted for each incorrect answer. There is no penalty for blank answers. The company administering the test then uses the scaled scores to calculate the percentile score, which is a measure of how well a student scored compared to all other students in that grade taking the test. A higher percentile score shows that the student has outperformed others taking the same test. For example, a student placing in the 85th percentile scored higher than 85 percent of students in the same grade. These scores give valuable insights into how one student's test performance compares to other high school students.

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