PSAT Score

The August SAT just got cancelled at my testing area. I’m registered for the September & October SAT, but I’m worried those may get cancelled as well, depending on how bad the pandemic gets. If they do, and I cannot take the SAT, is sending the PSAT from 11th grade an option? I scored a 1350 (in the 98th percentile for that year). It seems low to be in the 98th percentile but maybe the scores were just lower that year. Anyways, is that even an option, or will I just end up not sending anything?

No, College Board does not send your PSAT scores to colleges. You will probably end up sending nothing, but that’s okay. Just make sure the rest of your application is stellar.

@riverandsasha3 thanks for the response! And that makes sense. Thats what I thought, I was just making sure. I’m just working on every other aspect of my application (especially the essay). Do you have any extra tips for the application that maybe some applicants forget about/don’t do?

@ncelotto The curve for one of the sittings for last year’s PSAT was very harsh so that may help to explain the percentile (remember also that the highest score you can get is 1520, not 1600). There are some schools like U of Michigan that are encouraging students to sent alternative test scores like the PSAT or the PARCC. Check each school’s website to see what they recommend. However, it seems like most schools have gone fully test optional and a few are test blind (won’t consider any scores even if you send them).

While you can’t have College Board “send it”, you can self-report a PSAT score on an application. I’ve seen a few schools now include it in a list of alternate submissions they will use in admissions decisions.

@ncelotto Well, Covid has done strange things. We got an email from the College Board folks regarding SSAT scores taken by my kid who will be a Junior (these were taken 3 years ago) . They asked if colleges could use these scores to contact the kids. I said yes. Based on these scores, the colleges are pretty appropriate. They said SAT and PSAT scores might be delayed. Has received quite a bit of mail based on this. Previously for the PSAT last year, checked the box do not contact me so got no mail.

I think the college board might use PSAT scores if the Fall and Spring of this year get too many cancellations. Better than nothing.

And you are correct last years Oct test had an odd scale. So the number might not be that high for the overall score but the 98% is what matters. That’s a solid score and might be useful if cancellations continue. Like most Covid things, who know what will happen.

@ncelotto Check your Selection Index, the official “Commended” score was reported to have dropped 3 points to 209 by Compass Prep. Your 98th percentile should likely be in the commended range and is a great score to self report if your SAT gets canceled.

@RichInPitt @Happytimes2001 @kethra so you guys are saying I should report my PSAT score? Apparently I qualified for the National Merit Scholarship Program (I thought I didn’t). Maybe I will submit it to colleges then.

@kethra my commended score was only a 197

@ncelotto if your Selection Index score was a 197, you likely did not qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program, but the official notice of those that qualified as NM Semifinalists isn’t announced until the second week of September.
However, if you were my kid, and your SAT got canceled, I would have you self report your very good PSAT score.

@kethra how was I so far off of the National Merit Scholarship Program, but I was in the 98th percentile nationally?

@ncelotto The NMS index score is tricky. Since it is based off of the top scoring students per state, and many kids get perfect or near perfect scores, 98th-99th percentile is sometimes not even enough.

@riverandsasha3 that makes sense.

@kethra and anyone who knows: How would I submit the PSAT if I were going to? Would all colleges accept that? Also, if the SAT does not get cancelled, should I send the SAT over the PSAT no matter what, or is there a score I should aim for on the SAT to send it over my PSAT (1350; 98th percentile PSAT)?

^ when applying to schools such as Northeastern, NYU, Boston University, etc

It goes by state. Some states have a much lower score than others. Check the index based on your state. I would definitely submit 95% and above for kds who don’t get to take the SAT due to Covid. Anyone who’s in the upper range or eange for the school IMO should submit.

@Happytimes2001 I emailed a bunch of the schools that I am interested in applying to, and so far 5 of them have emailed me back. They all said to not submit the PSAT, as they will not consider it.

1350 is 94th percentile among PSAT Test-takers in 2019. (Maybe 95th given the anomalies of the scoring). Don’t let College Board’s “Nationally Representative Sample” artificially generated statistic fool you.

Submitting depends on how your score compares to the schools to which you are applying. Given the typical PSAT to SAT score increases, and assuming your component scores were roughly equal, I’d submit the score to schools where the 75th percentile SAT score is 1370 or lower.

@ncelotto Good to know. Well at leaat yoy have it should they change their criterion.