NMSQT Qualifying Score CT

I got a 219 NMSQT in Connecticut, which is two points lower than the qualifying score last year. Do you think I have a shot at making it this year because of some of the uncertainty around testing or just in general due to COVID?

Impossible to say. Was just talking with my kid about cut off scores. We came to the undecidedly inaccurate conclusion that due to 2020 the scores would be higher than ever. Our basis? Only kids who scored greater than 93% were allowed to take it this year (normally everyone takes it). So the top 1% will be insanely high. And many kids who take it as part of a whole school approach didn’t take it this year.
Seriously, don’t sweat it. NJ and a handful of other states have extremely high cut-offs like 223. Often it’s a matter of getting just 1-4 wrong.
Seems very likely you will be commended at least and with a lot of luck NMF. You can check the scores for the last years on the site. I don’t think it’s ever been that low. We live in a high stats state so my kid can sympathize with you.

I agree with Happytimes, I think that the selection index cuttoff will be higher this year. Last year, the curve in the higher score range was very aggressive. I got a 34/38 reading index when I only got three questions wrong on the PSAT 10 last year. In contrast, this year’s PSAT was curved very generously. Getting 6 questions wrong on the reading section produces a score of 36, and you would have to get over 10 questions wrong to earn a score below 34. The scores this year seem to be inflated based on the scores of my peers, but then again my friends are mostly overachievers.

It’s impossible to know the cutoff until September next year. I would not worry about it, because there isn’t anything you can do at this point.

Here is a link to the score charts for this year if you’re interested:

last year i got a 219 in WA. the cutoff the year before was 221. and last year it was 220. so i missed it by one point.

don’t rule it out but don’t get your hopes up either

93% higher in which test? Do students of this year (juniors) take a preliminary test to qualify to take the PSAT test?

The thought of those who have tracked this over the years is that cutoffs will bounce back this year, so CT would be back to 221 +/- 1.

But the pandemic will affect the test like never before, so even those who have tracked the data for years are just guessing.

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There are a fixed number of students who qualify in each state. It’s not a percentile.

1% is often thrown around, but that’s just a shorthand approximation because the fixed 16,000 qualifiers is approx 1% of the test taking population.

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@Suave123 No, the 93% basis for for my kids school only. They decided only those kids who had taken the test as Sophomores and scored at least 93% had a chance of winning the NMF so those were the ones who took it as Juniors. Normally ALL Juniors take the test. I’m sure other schools made concessions based on kids not being able to take it due to Covid constraints. Normally the test is given at all local schools to all Juniors. That was not the case this year. VERY few took it. Might vary a lot based on where you are located and what your state looked like in October when the test was given. Some schools easily adapted and decided to hold the test in Jan/some gave it in October.
There is no baseline anyone has to pass to take the PSAT. It’s open to all Sophomores and Juniors.

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Since the SI is determined by the PSAT scores, and the PSAT scores are determined by curve, is it correct to assume that the SIs fall out on a similar curve?

And it sounds like each state (or unit, for those with kids in BS) gets a fixed number of NMSFs, correct?

And all measures to date indicate decline in academic performance (grades, test scores, etc.) due to COVID-related disruptions, correct? And there is no evidence that any measures of academic performance have increased, correct?

And some finite number of individuals who would have qualified for 2022 NMSF in a normal year (where PSATs were broadly administered and most colleges were not test optional for SAT/ACT) will not participate, because their school did not administer the PSAT and they did not take the SAT/ACT (due to access or choice), correct?

Given these assumptions, wouldn’t we expect the cutoffs for the SIs to stay the same for states at the high end of the access spectrum, and actually decrease for states at the low end of the access spectrum? And access may be a function of traditional socioeconomic resources and COVID status.

All the so-called “curve” represents is the translation of raw score to scaled score for a specific version of the test. The translation of # questions correct/incorrect to (eventually) the scores on a 200-800 scale.

For example, on an easy math test, 5 questions wrong may be better than 90% of those who took the test, so 5 wrong would translate to a 640. On a more difficult math test, 5 wrong may be better than 95% of those taking the test, so 5 wrong would result in a 700 scaled score

“5 questions wrong” doesn’t automatically equate to anything - it depends on the test difficult, and the score conversion table (“curve”) represents that.

Since the SI is just calculation based on scaled scores, it is directly impacted by the conversion table. But the use of “curved” in most contexts in not really applicable here.

Yes, each state is allocated a portion of the 16,000 semi-finalists based on the number of graduating seniors produced by their high school. The percentage of the national total of graduates is used for the percentage of the 16,000 SFs.

I’ve seen nothing to confirm either of those statements. A majority of 2019-2020 SAT and ACTs tests were taken pre-pandemic, and the final two dates have no scores, so the vast, vast majority of actual scores that would provide an average were not affected, so I see no way to ascribe COVID as a cause for a 2019-2020 score change. I have seen no data on 2020-2021 test scores. Nor have I seen data on national GPA changes, again based on 3 months of impact. Do you have a source that shows that high school GPA’s decline on a monthly or quarterly basis for the final portion of the 2019-2020 school year?

Who is “we”? I can’t say what “you” or “they” might expect. I can say that last year’s indices were abnormally low for reasons that were well documented in one of CP’s articles, so the base expectation was that CB was more competent this year and cutoff scores should have returned to their long-term trends. It’s for this reason that Art at CP, for one, expects cutoffs to be higher, possibly damped from a full return by COVID-related unknowns.

Key word being unknown.

Seems like it will depend more on the tests than anything else. Given Covid, many kids have had more time at home and some may have studied.
Others, may have been able to raise their scores a lot (particularly in math if they hadn’t covered Alg II material in Sophomore year).

@altras For BS students, scores are matched to the region. The SI for BS students is based on the highest state in the region where the BS is located. So it’s likely if your kid is in NE, SI will be 221 or higher. I think likely higher.

@Happytimes2001 Yeah…I’m expecting it will be 222 or 223. I have a hard time believing it will be 224 or higher, but heck…anything is possible in wake of COVID.

Don’t think it’s ever been 224. But as you said, it’s 2020.

The math scores should stay around the same from past years because many students in years past would have taken Algebra II during Sophomore year. If anything, they could decrease because of distance learning. Personally, I think that the PSAT math section tests more logic-based reasoning than formulas and arithmetic. I’m not sure if that would change anything though.

I think it depends on what the kid took when and the actual kid. Lol. Kids who took Calc as Freshman are very far away from Alg II work and kids who just took something easier might actually do better. Some schools do Alg I as Fresh, some do Geo and some might do Alg II so really also depends on the school. My point was, kids who haven’t taken Alg II when they take the SAT are at a disadvantage compared to those who have already taken it.
My kid is a couple of years ahead of the normal math sequence so had to go back and review the Alg II sections. Kids score went up considerably but mainly just due to a couple of reviews.

I would not be surprised if the number was higher this year. In our area because of social distancing requirements only kids in the top 20% of the class were eligible to take the PSAT and then only if they managed to get one of the limited number of seats available. This was due to Covid issues. That means that you are being scored against only top students who were aggressive enough to get a seat. No random stoners to bring down the average :wink:

Yes, at my kids school only kids in the top 7% were allowed to test. Kids we know that were able to get a slot ( at multiple schools) were kids who thought they had a shot at NMF or who had higher than average grades. I wonder how it will play out.

But if the number of NMSF spots is fixed, the number of test takers declines, and the PSAT score and SI are curved…than shouldn’t the SI cutoff go down?

The SI cutoff would go up only if the number of NMSF spots was a percent of the total number taking the PSAT within each state, correct?


@altras I think the NMF is based on the % of top scores not a fixed number. So less participants would mean fewer winners.
You’re assumptions are definitely correct if the number is/were fixed.