PSAT Scores are In! But What does it Mean?

PSAT Scores are released December 9-11, 2019 but what does it mean for your teen? And what's the next step? 

Find out here!


The PSAT scores are in! What’s a good score?. If your teen took the PSAT exam in October this year, congratulations you should be getting their scores either today or in the next two days. Scores are released based on the state you live in.

If you have a high school Freshmen or sophomore who took the test, don’t be at all concerned with their score Good or Bad for this year. It literally means nothing. If they did great this year, they could totally bomb next year, If they bombed it this year, they have time to work on next year. For freshmen and sophomores, the point of taking the exam is to get used to the test and the tasing environment. Now if they took the PSAT 8/9 or the PSAT 10, totally and completely blow off those scores because those tests are specifically designed for 8th, 9th and 10th graders and are easier than the PSAT. That said… there are about 1500 corporate sponsors for the PSAT that give individual scholarships. Most of these are for children of employees. I highly recommend you go to the national merit website and take a look to see if your company is a sponsor. If so, contact them now about how to make sure your teen is in the running for their junior year PSAT. Sometimes THE corporate application is due almost a year in advance.

Now for parents of HS juniors. I hear, ‘What’s a good score?’

Well, that depends. It’s a lot like asking what’s a good ACT or SAT score. The answer to that depends on what college your teen is applying to. For the PSAT is depends both on what state you are from AND the scores of literally every HS junior in your state who took the exam.

Here’s what I mean.

Each year about 1.5 million juniors take the PSAT in October and enter the National Merit Scholarship program. Only junior year PSAT counts toward National Merit.

Although you are receiving your scores in December, it will be MAY before they announce the 50,000 students who are recognized as either commended (34000) or semi-finalists (16000) For the class of 2020, the PSAT selection index cut off for commended was 212. Your student is in the class of 2021.

If your teen is commended or a semifinalist, they will put that on their college applications under honors and awards.

It won’t be until September that the 16000 semifinalists will continue in the competition. AT that point there will be a lengthy application form, with essays, recommendations, academics, and they’ll have to verify their PSAT score with an equally decent qualifying ACT or SAT score. they won’t have to take the Act or SAT again if they already have a good score. But they will have time if they want or feel they need to take it again..

In February of senior year, about 95% of the semifinalists will be named as finalists. From the pool of finalists, about 8200 will be named as National merit scholars and awarded scholarships from either the national merit scholarship corporation, sponsoring corporations, or sponsoring colleges. About 1500 special scholarships are given to students who meet eligibility requirements from corporate sponsors and do not need to be finalists.

Now— back to- what IS a good score?

I’ve listed for you the scores that made the cut off for finalists for the current year seniors. The chart lists the numbers for the last 3 years. As you can see MOST years the score doesn’t change by more than 1 or two points. So if your HS juniors score is within a couple of points better than last year's cut off for your state semifinalist, they have a chance. But you won’t know until the fall of the senior year.

So what can they do now?? Make sure they are working to get the best ACT or SAT score possible.

If you want to know how to win scholarships, click the link the description for my 12 scholarship hacks. Tips from prestigious scholarship judges.

12 Scholarship Hacks: Tips from Prestigious Scholarship Judges



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