how to check psat score

How To Check PSAT Scores

The top scorers on this exam are eligible for scholarships, and even being named a commended scholar can help your application stand out. In this article, you will be learning all about PSAT and how to check PSAT scores.

The PSAT is primarily a practice version of the SAT, but it can potentially lead to increased college funding.

What PSAT Means

PSAT means “Preliminary SAT”. It is a practice version of the SAT exam, commonly known as the PSAT/NMSQT(National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). The PSAT is only offered once a year, and many students take it in both the 10th and 11th grades. 

If you score well on the PSAT in your junior year, you may be eligible for a National Merit Scholarship as $180 million in merit scholarships are offered each year to students. The PSAT is a two-hour and 45-minute test that assesses your reading, writing, and math skills. Unlike the SAT, the PSAT allows for a maximum score of 1520.

How Long PSAT Takes

The PSAT is frequently taken in place of other classes during the school day. The test takes roughly 3 hours to complete, including break time.

How PSAT Is Timed

The PSAT 8/9 is two hours and 25 minutes long, while the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT are two hours and 45 minutes long.

According to the College Board website, the PSAT 8/9 is divided into 55 minutes of reading, 30 minutes of writing and language, and 60 minutes of arithmetic. There are 42 questions or activities for reading, 40 for writing and language, and 38 for math across those components.

Reading gets 60 minutes on the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT, 35 minutes on the PSAT/NMSQT, and 70 minutes on the PSAT/NMSQT. These exam takers will be presented with 47 reading questions, 44 writing and language questions, and 48 math questions.

How PSAT Is Scored

You have to learn how the exam is scored before knowing how to check PSAT scores.

The PSAT is scored in two sections: evidence-based reading and writing, and math in all editions.

Score ranges vary for every PSAT version, even though they are identical. 240-1440 is the scoring range for the PSAT 8/9, 320-1520 is the range for the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT. The combined scores from the reading and writing sections, as well as the math element, are used to calculate the overall score on all three examinations.

The College Board has created benchmarks for all PSAT editions. These benchmarks state that students in eighth grade should score a 390 in reading and writing and a 430 in math on the PSAT 8/9. Students in the ninth grade should score 410 in reading and writing and 450 in mathematics on the same test. 

According to the College Board, those grades “predict a 75% chance of earning a C or above in relevant first-semester, credit-bearing college courses.”

The PSAT 10 criteria for 10th grade students are 430 in reading and writing and 480 in math. These figures are 460 for reading and writing and 510 for math on the PSAT/NMSQT, or 30 points higher in each.

According to the College Board website, points are awarded for each correct question answered, so there is no penalty for guessing. According to the website, test takers should try to answer every question because “leaving them blank has no benefit.”

The PSAT’s ultimate score is made up of two section scores; however, the topics assessed include a wide range of subjects. Students need to master history, social studies, science, and arithmetic. They should also be able to display analytical and problem-solving abilities in addition to reading, writing, and reasoning abilities.

The Structure Of PSAT

Evidence-Based Reading, Writing and Language, Math (no calculator), and Math (with calculator) are the four timed portions of the test (calculator allowed).

Evidence-based reading section

This takes 60 minutes and it covers questions on world literature, social studies/history and sciences.

The PSAT’s Evidence-Based Reading portion will assess your ability to read a passage, critically evaluate its primary ideas and essential details, and respond to questions linked to them. In history/social studies and science, these questions will assess concepts such as command of evidence, language in context, and analysis.

In a command of evidence question, you will be given four excerpts from the paragraph and asked to choose the one that best supports the prior question. Secondary word meanings will be the focus of questions concerning words in context.

The passages on the reading test are from literature, history and social studies, and science. Some PSAT questions will require you to evaluate hypotheses, interpret data in a variety of ways, and perform other analysis based solely on what is stated or inferred in the passage.

Writing and language

44 questions, 35 minutes to test your expression of ideas. It gives an average of 80–380 (1/2 of the  verbal score).

The PSAT’s Writing and Language portion will assess your ability to spot and correct grammatical problems, as well as modify words and phrases to improve the content. Standard English Conventions: Agreement, punctuation, and parallel construction are some of the issues covered under the Standard English Conventions topic. 

The placement of sentences and the function of transition words or phrases within the text will be assessed under the Expression of Ideas category.


47 questions, 25 mins (no calc), 45 mins (with calc), algebra, data analysis and problem-solving, and advanced math.

On the PSAT, there are two math sections: one that allows calculator use and one that does not. There are multiple-choice questions with four answer options as well as short answer grid-in questions with digits 0–9, the period/decimal point (.), and the division/fraction bar (/) as answer options. 

Some questions have two parts, with the first part’s information being needed to answer the second part’s question.

How To Prepare For PSAT

Because the PSAT and the SAT are so similar, experts advise using the same test prep resources for all PSAT tests.

How To Check PSAT Scores

You can access your score online at Once you’re logged in, the first thing you will see is your total score. This is the combination of your scores from the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math sections.


Who runs PSAT?

The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test given by the College Board and co-sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) in the United States. In 2019, almost 3.8 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT.

Can you get a scholarship through PSAT?

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the National Hispanic Recognition Program, the National Scholarship Service, and the Telluride Seminar Scholarships all receive your PSAT/NMSQT scores automatically. 

Furthermore, College Board collaborates with organizations such as the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the Cobell Scholarship (given by Indigenous Education, Inc.), and The Jackie Robinson Foundation to match test-takers with scholarships based on their test scores. 

What is a national merit scholarship?

The three main forms of National merit scholarships are National Merit $2500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored scholarships, and college-sponsored Merit Scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship is the most well-known scholarship related to the PSAT. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards nearly 10,000 scholarships to students based on their exceptional abilities, skills, and achievements. 

The National Merit program sends letters of appreciation to the top 50,000 PSAT scorers each year, and 16,000 of those students qualify as semifinalists based on their performance compared to others in their state. 

Is the PSAT easier than the SAT?

The SAT is more difficult than the PSAT, despite the fact that they have the same format and cover the same topic. Although they cover the same areas, the SAT’s content is a little more advanced, reflecting the expectation that students will have learned more by the time they take the test.

What is tested on the PSAT?

The PSAT, like the SAT, is divided into two sections: Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math, each of which consists of three tests: Reading, Writing & Language, and Math.

Is the PSAT the same as the SAT?

The PSAT and SAT are nearly identical tests. The PSAT is fifteen minutes shorter than the SAT, does not require an essay, and has a slightly different scoring scale, but it features the same question types as the SAT and tests the same knowledge areas.

When are PSAT scores released?

PSAT scores are typically released online eight weeks after the test is taken.

What is a good PSAT score?

A PSAT score that is higher than the 75th percentile is considered “good.” This implies you scored on par with or better than 75% of all test takers. 

What is a good PSAT score for the Ivy League?

A desirable PSAT score for Ivy League institutions varies with each institution, so you should strive for the 95th percentile or higher overall and in each component.

What Next?

Now that you know all about the PSAT and how to check PSAT scores, go on and prepare.

Once you do well, you will get all the benefits that come with it.

Good luck! 

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