PSAT and SAT Score Comparison

There’s a lot of things I could say about the College Board, and many of them might not be so nice. But the one thing I can’t fault them on is making PSAT and SAT score comparison a breeze. So if you’re wondering how to convert PSAT to SAT scores, read on to find out. And trust me, you don’t need to have scored in the 95th percentile to do the math (who am I kidding, it’s not even math at all). Have I intrigued you yet?

First Things First, How These Tests Compare to One Another

The PSAT is a shortened, slightly easier, version of the SAT that is usually taken by students in grades 10 and 11. Ultimately, these two tests are incredibly similar in both content and structure.

Their key differences:

  • The PSAT is shorter, both in terms of time and number of questions.
    • The PSAT takes 2 hours 45 minutes plus breaks, while the SAT takes 3 hours plus breaks (or 3 hours 50 minutes plus breaks with the optional essay).
    • The PSAT consists of 139 questions, while the SAT consists of 154 questions.
  • The SAT includes an optional essay. The PSAT does not have an equivalent section.

PSAT/SAT Score Conversion

I like to explain the PSAT sections to be SAT sections with the hardest questions taken out. The scores on these tests reflect that too, with PSAT score maximums being just a little lower than their SAT counterparts.

The most important scores you’ll see are your two section scores (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing & Math) and your composite (a sum of your two section scores).

  • PSAT
    • Section scores range from 160-760
    • Composite scores range from 320-1520
  • SAT
    • Section scores range from 200-800
    • Composite scores range from 400-1600

So how do you convert PSAT to SAT scores? The great news is that you don’t really have to! Whatever your PSAT score is, your SAT score is likely to be the same. That’s because PSAT and SAT scores use a vertical score scale. That means that if you scored an 1150 on the PSAT, you’d likely have scored an 1150 (or within that range) had you taken the SAT instead. If you think back to the differences between these two tests, which are extremely minimal, this score concordance should make perfect sense.

Put Your Scores to Good Use

Now you know how PSAT and SAT score comparison works! If you’re ready to improve on that PSAT or SAT score, learn more about our online test prep options and get started today.

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