Scores & Review
PSAT/NMSQT scores are reported on a scale of 20 to 80. In 2012, the average score for eleventh graders was about 48 in Critical Reading, 49 in Mathematics, and 47 in Writing Skills. The average score for tenth graders was about 43 in Critical Reading, 44 in Mathematics, and 42 in Writing Skills.
Also listed on your score report is the Selection Index, which is used to determine eligibility in National Merit Scholarship Corporation programs (NMSC). It is the sum of the three scores in each test section (CR + M + W). The Selection Index ranges from 60 to 240. The average Selection Index for students in eleventh grade is about 144. Note: Only students in eleventh grade are eligible to enter NMSC scholarship programs.
Finally, score reports include national percentiles, which allow you to compare your scores with other students in your grade level who have taken the PSAT/NMSQT. If you take the PSAT/NMSQT in the eleventh grade, you receive junior percentiles. If you take the PSAT/NMSQT in tenth grade or younger, you will receive sophomore percentiles. For example, a student in eleventh grade with a percentile of 55 has earned a score better than 55 percent of all eleventh graders. Another way to understand percentiles is to imagine 100 students lined up from the lowest (or 1st) percentile at the end of the line to the highest (or 99th) percentile at the front of the line. If you are at the 55th percentile, you would be the 56th person in line, ahead of 55 people in the line and behind 44. Go to Score Report Plus for more information about your score report.