# Good PSAT scores for a 9th grader (or 10th)?

## Recommended Posts

I am wondering for those of you who took the PSAT for practice in 9th and/or 10th - how your child scored? What is a 'good' score for a young 9th grader, with no test prep, done as a baseline?

And how much can we expect to increase the numbers from 9th, to 10th, to 11th - with test prep?

##### Share on other sites

listening, mine took the PSAT 8/9 and wondering the same thing.

##### Share on other sites

I googled this a few weeks ago for my 10th grader when she was practicing with the booklet that the school gave us when we signed up to take the PSAT. If you have a 9th grader just google "What is a good PSAT score for a 9th grader."

This is what I found:http://blog.prepscholar.com/whats-a-good-psat-score-for-a-sophomore

Good PSAT Scores for Sophomores

Average scores (scores in the 50th percentile) are around 470 to 480 in each section, or about 940 to 960 total. We can define a "good" score as higher than average, or higher than the 50th percentile. This chart shows estimates for the minimum section and composite scores you would need to make it in the 70th, 80th, 90th, and 99th percentiles.

Percentile Reading and Writing Score Math Score Composite Score 70% 540 530 1070 80% 570 560 1130 90% 610 600 1210 99% 700 720 1420

If you're already scoring around the 95th percentile or above as a sophomore, you're well on track towards qualifying for National Merit Semifinalist

edited to include the website

Edited by StillStanding
##### Share on other sites

Very helpful. Thanks!! Tomorrow is his big day - for the real PSAT so here's hoping for a good baseline 9th grade score. :)

##### Share on other sites

The article by prepscholar that StillStanding posted is good, but the data they use are estimates BEFORE the test was actually taken for the first time last fall.  I will link an update to the article form April of 2016 ( http://blog.prepscholar.com/2015-psat-percentiles ), but according to my daughter's score report (she took it as a freshman last fall), the percentiles listed on the prepscholar site are still not correct,

Prepscolar correctly explains that there are two percentile scores: the Nationally Representative Sample percentile (which includes all students in the US, even those that did not take the test.  Questionable, I know!) and the User Percentile (which represents all the students that actually took the test).  However, because my daughter was in 9th grade, she was only compared to the 10th graders that took the test (the College Board has always compared 9th and 10th graders taking the test to 10th graders).

So, I will now give you an example of the discrepancy between the prepscholar numbers (and those on the collegboard website) and my dd actual percentile score.  Her math score was a 620, which according to the prepscholar website should be in the 90th percentile (the prepscholar site lists the User Percentile, because the other one really does not matter AT ALL).  However, on her score report her User Percentile is really the 75th percentile.  Now I know my dd's scores are being compared to other 10th graders, but one would think that a 620 scored by a 10th grader would have a higher percentile than a 620 scored by an 11th grader??

So here is another interesting point.  On her PAPER score report,  ONLY the Nationally Representative Sample Percentile is listed, and that is an outstanding 95th percentile!  But again, it means nothing, because how can College Board possibly know what kids who did not take the test scored???  And NO ONE cares about that percentile.

So, make certain when you are looking at scores you look at the online version, which does give the User Percentile, which is what is important.

Also, College Board no longer lists the percentile score of the National Merit Selection Index (grrr).  However, Compass Prep lists the cut-off scores for this year's NMSF:  http://www.compassprep.com/national-merit-semifinalist-cutoffs/.  Ultimately if you are looking for NMSF, the Selection Index is what counts.

My ds was a 2016 NMF and I really dislike how CB has changed the test, and the percentiles.  It really looks like they are trying to make kids think they did better than what they did by adding this Nationally Representative Percentile and using ONLY that score on the paper report.

Anyway, just my two cents!!

##### Share on other sites

I think there are too many variables.  I gave my ds the practice test as a fall 10th grader bc our local school wasn't offering it last year for non-school kids.  He got somewhere around a 1250.  When he took the actual SATs the next June, he got a 1400.  Who knows what this years PSATs were.  Just practice with Kahn Academy and any released exams and whatever will be will be.

##### Share on other sites

I can't remember for sure, but I think the new PSAT is scored to 760 as a high vs the SAT that tops off at 800 (per section). So, the scores are not apples to apples.

##### Share on other sites

I think there are too many variables.  I gave my ds the practice test as a fall 10th grader bc our local school wasn't offering it last year for non-school kids.  He got somewhere around a 1250.  When he took the actual SATs the next June, he got a 1400.  Who knows what this years PSATs were.  Just practice with Kahn Academy and any released exams and whatever will be will be.

I can't remember for sure, but I think the new PSAT is scored to 760 as a high vs the SAT that tops off at 800 (per section). So, the scores are not apples to apples.

:iagree: RootAnn makes an excellent point; the scores between the two tests are not directly comparable.  A score of, say, 1000 on the PSAT does not correlate to a 1000 on the SAT.  Likewise, the scores between the new PSAT 8/9 cannot be directly compared with the regular PSAT.  My DD wound up taking the regular PSAT in the fall and the 8/9 in the spring (she loves taking tests-gets her out of school for the day.)  The scores were very different.  (Also, as noted above, if your student takes the test "early," the comparison group for percentiles will be 10th graders.  It was the same for DD, who was in 8th grade last year, in case this helps anyone.)

##### Share on other sites

So here is another interesting point.  On her PAPER score report,  ONLY the Nationally Representative Sample Percentile is listed, and that is an outstanding 95th percentile!  But again, it means nothing, because how can College Board possibly know what kids who did not take the test scored???

If done correctly, the estimated "nationally representative sample percentile" can be calculated using areas where the entire school body of statistically sampled school bodies are tested.  This type of testing is done in some school districts; the calculation is very standard in all scientific fields where data is collected.  There are some limitations, such as I doubt that home-schooled students are included. There's probably some footnote in the technical details about that, but the College Board certainly doesn't seem very home-school friendly, although that's a whole other story.

##### Share on other sites

:iagree: RootAnn makes an excellent point; the scores between the two tests are not directly comparable.  A score of, say, 1000 on the PSAT does not correlate to a 1000 on the SAT.  Likewise, the scores between the new PSAT 8/9 cannot be directly compared with the regular PSAT.  My DD wound up taking the regular PSAT in the fall and the 8/9 in the spring (she loves taking tests-gets her out of school for the day.)  The scores were very different.  (Also, as noted above, if your student takes the test "early," the comparison group for percentiles will be 10th graders.  It was the same for DD, who was in 8th grade last year, in case this helps anyone.)

Just checked & the PSAT 8/9 top score is a 720, so it really isn't at all the same as the PSAT (760 top) or the SAT (800 top).

On a side note, the PSAT (which I keep typing as SPAT) site says scores will be released Dec 12th to students.  :drool5:

##### Share on other sites

Brad S., yes, actually both percentiles are derived from research samples (I was ranting a bit...lol!). But the point is that the Nationally Representative Sample Percentile includes those who typically score below the 25th percentile and are least likely to be college bound. So this will artificially inflate the percentile. And it is this percentile that is listed on the paper score. You can see this by the huge percentile discrepancy in my dd's math score.

##### Share on other sites

Michelle, Makes sense.  Best wishes!

##### Share on other sites

My son took the old PSAT his sophomore year and scored 92% in reading, 97% in math, and 99% in writing (compared to other sophomores). I knew he had a chance making National Merit Finalist if he studied through summer and fall, so he put in a lot of time with study books and used Erica Meltzer's Critical Reading for SAT book since he scored the lowest in reading. It all paid off bc when he took the PSAT in October last year, he only missed 1 question in the reading section and ended up with an SSI of 221 qualifying for National Merit Semi Finalist! So proud of his hard work!! I highly recommend Erica's book if your child needs help with the reading section.

##### Share on other sites

My son took the old PSAT his sophomore year and scored 92% in reading, 97% in math, and 99% in writing (compared to other sophomores). I knew he had a chance making National Merit Finalist if he studied through summer and fall, so he put in a lot of time with study books and used Erica Meltzer's Critical Reading for SAT book since he scored the lowest in reading. It all paid off bc when he took the PSAT in October last year, he only missed 1 question in the reading section and ended up with an SSI of 221 qualifying for National Merit Semi Finalist! So proud of his hard work!! I highly recommend Erica's book if your child needs help with the reading section.

Thanks for this!  My sophomore took the PSAT for the first time yesterday.  He has done the ACT a few times through talent search and we've seen good progress on scores.

Based on the one sample test we did for PSAT, boy here would not be NM as a sophomore but well positioned for next year potentially.  Speed in the math section were his biggest issues.  He did shockingly well on the sample reading/writing sections (we'll see how that plays out on the test - he felt he did worse on Reading/Writing and better in math than in the practice test).  Does anyone have good strategies for working on math?  I suspect that would benefit the ACT score too.  Right now he does 3 ACT math prep problems a day as part of his math curriculum which has been excellent (and showed in his ACT score), but wondering if we're missing something.

##### Share on other sites

Thanks for this!  My sophomore took the PSAT for the first time yesterday.  He has done the ACT a few times through talent search and we've seen good progress on scores.

Based on the one sample test we did for PSAT, boy here would not be NM as a sophomore but well positioned for next year potentially.  Speed in the math section were his biggest issues.  He did shockingly well on the sample reading/writing sections (we'll see how that plays out on the test - he felt he did worse on Reading/Writing and better in math than in the practice test).  Does anyone have good strategies for working on math?  I suspect that would benefit the ACT score too.  Right now he does 3 ACT math prep problems a day as part of his math curriculum which has been excellent (and showed in his ACT score), but wondering if we're missing something.

where are you getting these 3 ACT math prep problems?

we also just took ours for first time yesterday - 9th grader here. he thought it was easier than the practice one we took. hopefully that bodes well. how did your boy score on the practice test? i wonder how that will compare to the real test... any idea when test results come in?

##### Share on other sites

I have heard  the PWN the SAT is an excellant prep book for math.

Edited by VANURSEPRAC
##### Share on other sites

Brad S., yes, actually both percentiles are derived from research samples (I was ranting a bit...lol!). But the point is that the Nationally Representative Sample Percentile includes those who typically score below the 25th percentile and are least likely to be college bound. So this will artificially inflate the percentile. And it is this percentile that is listed on the paper score. You can see this by the huge percentile discrepancy in my dd's math score.

So how does one see if  Dear child is on track for NMF without all the percentile inflation (every child in our district was required to take PSAT 8/9). So I definitely see this would be useless as a guide.

##### Share on other sites

where are you getting these 3 ACT math prep problems?

We have been using this free resource.  I did spend about \$8 having it spiral bound which has been well worth it because it's got 180 days x 3 problems/day to do in it.  However, the answer key has PLENTY of issues.  I have a math degree and when kid gets them wrong we wortk them together and figure it out so it's been ok here but that might not be ok for everyone.  Still for a free resource, not too bad.

https://www.math.lsu.edu/nsfgk-12/prACTice%204%20success%20student%20workbook.pdf

We're actually finishing it up right now.  I'm actually looking at some other test prep related math books.

##### Share on other sites

So how does one see if  Dear child is on track for NMF without all the percentile inflation (every child in our district was required to take PSAT 8/9). So I definitely see this would be useless as a guide.

What I did was have DD take it in 8th grade and focused on the User Percentiles.  The comparison group will be 10th graders, but it should give you a pretty good reference point.  Since we are past the administration date, you could just wait and administer a practice test; the percentiles should be similar enough (I would think) for your purposes.

##### Share on other sites

So how does one see if  Dear child is on track for NMF without all the percentile inflation (every child in our district was required to take PSAT 8/9). So I definitely see this would be useless as a guide.

This past year it was difficult to gauge the cutoffs for NMSF as the College Board had published a lot of misleading (to say the least) information.   Now, at least we have one year of data to go by.  It is important to look at the SI index and not the composite score since it is possible to have a higher composite score than another student, but the student with the lower composite score will be named a NMSF since his SI score is higher.  You will also want to compare the SI cutoff for your state, since those cut-off scores vary a lot from state to state.

##### Share on other sites

"So how does one see if Dear child is on track for NMF without all the percentile inflation (every child in our district was required to take PSAT 8/9). So I definitely see this would be useless as a guide."

I think one of he best ways is to look at the other standardized tests your child has taken. Ds was always in the 99th percentile when I had him tested using the ITBS (from 3rd to 6th grade). He took the ACT in 5th grade and scored in the 50th percentile (and his scores kept going up from there). I would estimate that if the User Percentile on the PSAT is at least the 97th percentile in 9th or 10 th grade your child has a good shot at NMSF if your child studies the summer before the test.

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
×
• Create New...