How do you get your PSAT score report? Can you view it online? The PSAT score report works a bit differently than your typical SAT or ACT report.
We will walk through how to get your report and what to do once you have it.
When Do PSAT Scores Come Out? How Will I Get My Report?
PSAT results from October 2020 were available online by December 8th, 2020. If you took the January 26, 2021 PSAT (a new date added due to the coronavirus pandemic), your scores will be available in March 8, 2021 (although your school may be able to see your scores up to a week earlier).
You'll be able to see your scores online through your College Board account. (If you haven't made one already, you can register for a College Board account here. You'll use this account to sign up for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests, and you'll receive your AP Scores here too.)
If you don't have a College Board account or have trouble accessing your scores, your guidance counselor can give you an access code for your online PSAT score report. Also, you should receive an old-fashioned paper score report at school by the end of January.
What's on the PSAT Score Report?
Your score report includes your overall composite score, as well as your score on each section (Reading, Writing and Language, and Math). The score reports have an extremely detailed breakdown of your strengths and weaknesses. There are also percentile rankings to see where you stand compared to students nationwide, both overall and for specific skills.
You're also provided with a personalized SAT Study Plan based on questions you answered incorrectly or omitted on the PSAT. You can review those questions and then access other SAT practice questions to help you prepare for the SAT. There is also a personality profiler to help match you up with college majors and careers, and a feature that matches you with colleges you may be interested in, based on your potential SAT scores and your desired college location and size.
The main benefit of the more detailed analysis of your results is access to personalized SAT study on the Khan Academy website. This includes targeted practice based on your weaker areas.
Finally, there's a feature that predicts AP courses you may do well in based on your results. This might be handy, but we recommend mainly using the PSAT report to get ready for the SAT. If your report encourages you to sign up for an AP class you were already considering, go for it! But you should base your AP course load on other factors, including colleges you want to get into and your own personal interests and strengths.
What's the Best Way to Use the Report?
We have a more detailed post on how to interpret and use your PSAT scores, but these are the basic principles of getting the most out of your PSAT score report.
P is for Practice
PSAT stands for Practice SAT, and that's really how you should consider your scores. The PSAT was just your first attempt at the SAT. Don't assume your scores are a perfect prediction of your future SAT scores. They're not. However, they can give you insight into your strengths and weaknesses, which is very helpful as you begin to study for the real SAT.
Also, you should mainly use your PSAT results to help you study for the SAT. The AP prediction feature College Board is adding is cool, but don't let that rule how you create your schedule. AP tests are very different than general achievement tests like the SAT, so you should think about them separately.
Bottom line? Use your PSAT results to help you prepare for the SAT (or your junior year PSAT, if you're going for National Merit).
Don't Stress Over a Low Score
Don't be stressed if you think your score is low—colleges will not see your PSAT scores. They will see your SAT score (if you take it instead of the ACT, that is), so focus on using the PSAT score report as a study guide for the SAT. Don't waste time moping over a low score.
Since taking the PSAT already gives you lots of data on your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the test, it will be easier to jump into SAT studying. If you have work to do in all areas, you could start by getting a quality, all-around prep book or checking out SAT study websites. If you really struggled in one subject, for example math, it's not too early to seek out specific resources like prep books for math.
Also, if you took the PSAT as a sophomore and you're hoping to qualify for National Merit junior year, you can use SAT study materials to prepare for the PSAT.
The stress will fade eventually.
Don't Let a Great Score Go To Your Head
If you happened to get an excellent score on the PSAT, don't assume you don't have to study for the SAT – the SAT is more difficult than the PSAT. It's longer, contains harder questions, and, if you choose to take the SAT with Essay, contains an additional essay.
A high PSAT score is encouraging, but a high score on a real SAT practice test would be even better. Be prepared to put in some time studying for the SAT to get a score as high as your predicted PSAT score.
Read more about the PSAT scores you need to qualify for National Merit, and how to get the scholarship.
Wondering what content differences there are between the PSAT and SAT? Learn more about how the two tests compare to one another here.
What would it take to get a perfect SAT score? Read a guide by our resident perfect scorer to find out.
Disappointed with your scores? Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:
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Halle Edwards graduated from Stanford University with honors. In high school, she earned 99th percentile ACT scores as well as 99th percentile scores on SAT subject tests. She also took nine AP classes, earning a perfect score of 5 on seven AP tests. As a graduate of a large public high school who tackled the college admission process largely on her own, she is passionate about helping high school students from different backgrounds get the knowledge they need to be successful in the college admissions process.