PSAT to SAT Score Conversion

Bonus Material: PrepMaven SAT Score Ranges for 500 Top Schools

Your PSAT score doesn’t get sent to colleges, but it can still be a crucial tool in your long-term test-prep plan. Getting a top SAT score means prepping effectively, and your PSAT score is one of the best resources you have to do that. 

Are you taking the PSAT soon through your school? Or have you already taken it and gotten your score back? In any case, what you’ll want to do is understand how that PSAT score translates into a prediction of your SAT score. 

Unfortunately, this information isn’t always readily available, or accurate! At PrepMaven, we’ve set aside the time to digging through the College Board’s data on PSAT and digital SAT percentiles to bring you the most updated information on how to use your PSAT score to predict your SAT score. 

For the past couple decades, PrepMaven has been dedicated to providing personalized test-prep tutoring to students for all the major standardized tests, and we’ve seen our students achieve truly incredible results. 

We’re always happy to provide free resources and information for students looking to self-study, but we’ll be honest: there’s no substitute for an expert tutor. When you decide you’re ready to start prepping for the PSAT or SAT, contact us so that we can pair you with a tutor selected based on your specific needs. 

There are few things as important as standardized test scores in the college admissions process. Below, we’ve collected the median SAT scores at 500 top US universities so that you have a better sense of what it might take to get into your dream school. 

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Because the most important aspect of a standardized test score is your percentile, we’ve used those to calculate estimated SAT scores for your PSAT scores! All of our data is based on the most recently updated statistics released by College Board. 

Because most students are required to take the PSAT in 11th grade, we’ve used the College Board’s statistics for composite scores from 11th grade test takers to develop this conversion chart. 

Digital PSAT Score RangeDigital SAT Score Range (estimated)

This score concordance table is based on the College Board’s percentiles for the digital PSAT and digital SAT. While you can’t predict for certain what you’ll get on test day, you can use this chart to better understand what your SAT score potential is. 

Want to know what SAT score it’ll actually take to get into an Ivy or your state university? Check out the link below: it’s a free spreadsheet containing the median SAT scores for 500 US universities. 

Like the digital SAT, the PSAT has two sections: Math and Reading & Writing. In essence, the PSAT is designed to be a “preliminary” SAT (that’s what the P is for!), so its content mimics that of the actual SAT. You can read our breakdown of the SAT sections here, but remember that the SAT will be a bit shorter!

Each of the two PSAT sections has a score range of 160-760. That means the absolute minimum possible composite score is a 320, and the maximum score is a 1520. 

If you want to start getting a sense of what it’ll take to get close to that max PSAT score, check out 25 PSAT tips from a top scorer, courtesy of our founders and test-prep experts Greg and Kevin. 

It may not matter for college admissions, but your PSAT score does matter for the National Merit Scholarship. 

The National Merit Scholarship is a yearly program that awards scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to students based on their PSAT performance. 

In addition to the cash, being a National Merit Finalist or Recipient can be a nice award to include on your college applications! You can read more about how the National Merit Scholarship works in our post on it here. 

Bear in mind that receiving one of these scholarships is very rare. The National Merit Scholarship is awarded to roughly 200 students in each state, based on the highest PSAT scores within that state. That means you’re only competing against students from your own state, so the score you’ll need to be considered for a scholarship varies based on where you live. 

The calculation here is actually a little bit complicated: for the purposes of the National Merit Scholarship, each student is given a “Selection Index,” which is calculated by 

  1. Doubling your Reading and Writing Score
  2. Adding that to your Math score
  3. Dividing that sum by 10

In other words, your verbal score is weighed double for consideration for the National Merit Scholarship. 

While the exact score cutoff varies from year to year and state by state, typically you’ll need something close to a perfect score to have a shot at one of these prestigious scholarships!

That’s why more and more students are actually starting SAT prep early by prepping for the PSAT with a tutor as well: the skills you develop doing PSAT prep will help you improve your score for the SAT, plus give you a shot at these scholarships! 

Reach out to us today to get paired with a tutor who can help you maximize your chance of a PSAT score competitive enough for the National Merit Scholarship! Or, if you want to do a bit more research first, check out this list of the 15 best PSAT Tutoring Services around. 

Beyond that, however, the PSAT score is important because it helps you understand what your score potential for the SAT is. In the next section, we’ll explain how to convert your PSAT score to an SAT score, 

If you’ve just taken the PSAT or haven’t taken it yet, you’re at the perfect place to start seriously prepping for the SAT. There are few things that can immediately boost your chances of admission to selective universities like a top-tier SAT score. 

But you can’t cram your way to a 1500 or higher on the SAT: a top score takes consistent work over a prolonged period of time (we usually recommend at least 3 months of weekly lessons). While it might sound like a lot of work, we’re dedicated to making that work as easy as possible for you. 

That’s why we’ve written comprehensive guides on prepping for the digital SAT. On our blog, you can find everything from an overall guide to the test’s format, to dedicated breakdowns of the Math, Reading, and Writing questions, to information on how the SAT is scored. All these resources are invaluable if you’re starting out on your test prep journey. 

But while self-study can be effective, more than 20 years of test prep experience has shown us one thing to be universally true: however well you might do on the SAT on your own, you’ll do better with guidance from an expert SAT coach. 

There’s no reason to leave points on the table–especially when it can make the difference between an acceptance and a rejection. Contact us now to learn more about our PSAT and SAT tutoring options, all of which involve a test prep expert chosen for you based on your specific needs. 

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Mike is a PhD candidate studying English literature at Duke University. Mike is an expert test prep tutor (SAT/ACT/LSAT) and college essay consultant. Nearly all of Mike’s SAT/ACT students score in the top 5% of test takers; many even score above 1500 on the SAT. His college essay students routinely earn admission into their top-choice schools, including Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth. And his LSAT students have been accepted In into the top law schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia Law.