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PSAT National Merit Cutoff?

I'm a junior and just took the PSAT. I'm really curious, what's the general National Merit cutoff score range? Is the cutoff score the same for every state, or does it vary? Any insight would be really helpful!

7 months ago

The National Merit Scholarship Program uses a selection index from the PSAT to determine its cutoff scores for semifinalists. The selection index is the sum of your three PSAT section scores (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math) multiplied by 2. The maximum selection index score is 228.

The cutoff scores for National Merit semifinalists do vary by state, as each state is allocated a specific number of semifinalists based on the size of their graduating class. Generally, the cutoff scores range from the high 130s to the low 220s for the selection index, with more competitive states having higher cutoffs.

Keep in mind that the exact cutoff score for each state is not determined until after all the PSAT scores for a particular year have been processed. For a rough estimate, you can look at the previous year's cutoff scores as a point of reference since they usually don't vary drastically from year to year.

Once the scores are processed and the state cutoffs are determined, the top 1% of students in each state become semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program. From there, students can submit applications to potentially become finalists and ultimately receive scholarship offers.

7 months ago

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