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How is the PSAT index score calculated?

I just got my PSAT score back and found out about this thing called the 'index score.' Can someone explain how it's calculated and what its significance is? Thanks in advance!

6 months ago

The PSAT index score you're referring to is most likely the Selection Index, which plays a crucial role in the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP) qualifications. The Selection Index is calculated using your PSAT scores, specifically the three section scores: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Writing and Language, and Math.

To calculate your Selection Index, follow these steps:

1. Add your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score to your Math section score.

2. Double this sum.

3. The final number is your Selection Index.

For example, let's say you scored:

- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 30

- Math: 32

Your Selection Index would be: (30 + 32) x 2 = 124

The significance of the Selection Index mainly lies in its connection to the NMSP, as it is used to determine the Commended Students and Semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship. Each state has its own Selection Index cutoff score based on the top 1% of students who took the PSAT in that state. If your Selection Index score meets or exceeds the cutoff for your state, you could qualify as a Commended Student or advance as a National Merit Semifinalist. You can go here to view the cutoffs by state: https://blog.collegevine.com/national-merit-cutoffs

Keep in mind that the PSAT is also a great practice tool for the SAT, but colleges do not use your PSAT scores or your Selection Index when making admissions decisions. Focus on preparing for the SAT or ACT, as those scores will have a more significant impact on your college applications.

6 months ago

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