SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

New 2016 PSAT Percentiles and Selection Index

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 2, 2016 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Your PSAT score report will show you a myriad of scores, including your total scores, section scores, subscores, percentiles, and Selection Index. This guide will focus on the last two pieces of data, your score percentiles and Selection Index.

Since it’s important to understand how the other scores in your report relate to your PSAT percentiles and Selection Index, we’ll start with a quick review of terms. If you’re one of many students or parents looking for directions out of the complex maze that is the PSAT score report, read on to have the path illuminated!

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PSAT vs SAT: 4 Key Differences You Must Know

Posted by Vero Lecocq | Mar 26, 2016 9:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies, SAT General Info

There's the PSAT; there's the SAT; there are even a few other assessments, as it turns out. There's a lot of jargon out there when it comes to the tests offered by the College Board. It's important, then, to know exactly what you're signing up for—and how each test is different.

The new SAT suite of assessments is designed to work together. All of the tests are fundamentally similar, and you can use any one to prepare for any other. That being said, PSAT vs. SAT isn't a perfectly equal matchup: there are some differences—major and minor—between them.

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Problems With the New PSAT? Your Questions, Answered

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jan 29, 2016 9:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The College Board had some issues with the new PSAT, including late score reports from their Fall 2015 test. Here, we’ll talk about whether these problems will affect you, and we’ll point you in the right direction if you still have issues getting your scores.

PSAT scores are especially important to high school juniors who are hoping to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. If you're a high school junior, you’ll want to make sure you read our NMS score section - we’ll answer all your questions about National Merit Semifinalist cutoffs.

Finally, we’ll talk a bit about what this means for the College Board in general. This isn’t the first problem that they’ve had with their standardized tests in recent years - could this delay in score reports speak to more serious problems with the maker of the SAT? Read on to find out!

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Predicted National Merit Scholarship Cutoffs for 2015 and 2016 (Updated)

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 17, 2016 8:30:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

What score do you need on the PSAT to qualify for National Merit distinction? The answer to this question depends on where you live. To achieve National Merit recognition, you need to match or exceed the cutoff score in your home state. 

We’ve compiled the National Merit Semifinalist state cutoffs based on the most recent data from the fall of 2016. Before checking out the qualifying scores, let’s discuss how the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) determines who is named Commended Student or Semifinalist.

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PSAT Score Needed for National Merit Scholarship

Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 17, 2015 1:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Each year over 1.5 million juniors take the PSAT in the hopes of qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship Program. What do they need to score to earn Semifinalist distinction? In this guide, we'll let you know what PSAT score you need to qualify for Semifinalist status in your state and potentially move on to win a National Merit scholarship.

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What’s a Perfect PSAT Score and How to Get It

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 29, 2015 8:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The mission: a perfect score on the PSAT. The method: serious test prep. Achieving a perfect score is no easy feat, but with the right study plan and materials, you can master this important exam. 

This guide will go over what makes for a perfect score on the PSAT, and how you can prep to conquer the test. Read on to learn how to succeed in your mission for a perfect PSAT score, should you choose to accept it.

First off, what's the new full score on the redesigned PSAT?

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Do You Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Sep 20, 2015 7:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Out of the 1.5 million juniors in the US who take the PSAT only about 7,600 will end up with a National Merit Scholarship of $2,500 through the National Merit Scholarship Program. So how do you qualify? If you do qualify, what are your chances of getting the scholarship?

I am going to answer these questions by discussing the basic qualification for National Merit and laying out a timeline for the program.

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Does Your PSAT Score Qualify for National Merit?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 13, 2015 4:30:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Are you gearing up to rock the PSAT this fall and wondering what score you need to qualify for National Merit? This guide will give you 50 different answers to that question.

Don't worry, it's not a complicated response. It's just that the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) compares test-takers on a state by state basis. To become a National Merit Semifinalist, you have to score in the top 1% of students in your state

This guide will fill you in on all the qualifying cutoff scores from coast to coast (plus Alaska and Hawaii) for the PSAT. First, let's review who qualifies for National Merit.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for 2015?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 13, 2015 1:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies


With all the scoring changes on the redesigned College Board exams, what counts as a "good score" on the PSAT these days? There are a few factors you can use to define what's good: score percentiles, National Merit criteria, and your own personal goals for the PSAT and the SAT. First, it's critical to understand how the PSAT is scored. 

This guide will review the scoring scale of the PSAT, along with National Merit Scholarship Corporation's Selection Index, so you know what counts as a good PSAT score. To start off, let’s go over a few key PSAT terms that will help you understand the rest of this guide.

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What Is the PSAT/NMSQT? Why Should You Care?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 2, 2015 8:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Have you heard about the PSAT or the National Merit program and are wondering what they are? Are you looking for ways to prepare for the SAT?

Read this guide to learn what the PSAT/NMSQT is, what it tests, and how it can get you ready for the SAT and earn you money for college.

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The PSAT Score Range (Updated for New 2015 PSAT)

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 2, 2015 12:03:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

College Board is mixing things up. With the new suite of assessments starting to roll out this fall, the new PSAT is one of the first tests to debut.

Apart from changes in content and structure, the new PSAT will use a different scoring system than the one used in previous years. This new scale will correspond with, though not match exactly, the scale for the new SAT.

This article will go over the new PSAT score range, along with explaining what your PSAT scores will mean for National Merit and your performance on the SAT. Let's check out the new scoring system.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Freshman?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 1, 2015 11:56:03 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you're gearing up for a high PSAT score in junior year, then you may choose to take the PSAT as a freshman for practice. Taking the PSAT in 9th grade will help you identify your current scoring level and figure out how you can improve for the future.

As a freshman, you can choose between two tests: the PSAT/NMSQT that 11th graders take or the PSAT 8/9, a version of the test specifically geared toward 8th and 9th graders.

These two tests have comparable, but slightly different, score ranges. This article will go over the scoring and percentiles of both so you know what would make a good PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 8/9 score as a freshman.

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What Is PSAT 8/9? Should You Take It?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 27, 2015 8:30:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The College Board now offers the PSAT 8/9 to eighth graders and high school freshmen as the first hurdle in the group of tests they call the “SAT Suite of Assessments”. This test is a precursor to the PSAT 10, the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT.

But when is it offered? And should you even bother taking it? In this article I’ll give you all the details!

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Should You Take the PSAT 10 or PSAT NMSQT?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Jul 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The two tests are very similar, but not identical. So which one should you take?

Back in my day (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), there was just one version of the PSAT, a.k.a. the Practice SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. But now, the College Board has multiple versions of the PSAT, including the PSAT NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) and the PSAT 10.

So what are the differences between the two tests? And which one should you take? Read on for an exclusive guide.

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What Is the PSAT 10? Complete Guide

Posted by Halle Edwards | Jul 21, 2015 9:18:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Most high school students have heard of the PSAT NMSQT – a.k.a. the practice SAT that doubles as the qualifying exam for the National Merit competition. Fewer have heard of the PSAT 10, a new version of the PSAT designed for sophomores.

So what exactly is the PSAT 10, and why should you consider taking it? Learn all about it in our guide.

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