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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Are PSAT tests standardized?

Kinda curious and a little confused—I've heard some upperclassmen mention that not all PSAT tests are the same? I thought standardization was the whole point. Does that mean the difficulty can vary year to year or school to school? Will that affect how colleges look at the scores?

8 months ago

Hey there! You're right; 'standardized' does imply that every test should be the same. However, the PSAT/NMSQT is indeed a standardized test, which means that even though there may be different versions or forms of the test, they are all designed to measure skills and abilities in a consistent way.

The College Board ensures that different forms of the test have equivalent levels of difficulty and that scores are comparable across forms and administrations. This process is called equating. So even if your friend takes a different PSAT form than you do, your scores will be scaled to account for any differences in difficulty.

Colleges don't typically use PSAT scores for admissions; they're more for determining eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship and giving you a sense of how you might do on the SAT. So, don't worry too much about variation in test difficulty year-to-year or among different schools—it won't affect your college admissions chances. Focus on doing your best, and use the PSAT as a good practice tool for the SAT or ACT!

8 months ago

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