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7 months ago
Admissions Advice

What is a good PSAT 10 Score? How can I increase my score?

Hi! To give a bit of a background, I am a current Sophomore, and I just got my PSAT 10 results back. I was a little disappointed because I did not do very well on the math section. I lean very heavily on my english skills on standardized tests, but even though I scored well in english, the math section brought my score down. The score I got says on College Board that it is in the 97 percentile, but when I looked on the internet, it said my score should be in the 90-90th percentile. I was wondering if someone could give me a range of good PSAT 10 scores to sort of clarify this discrepancy.

In addition, I was just wondering if anyone has any tips for increasing my score next year on the actual PSAT, especially on the math section.

Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!

PSAT
sophomore
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3 answers

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7 months ago

If you're looking for National Merit Scholarships next year, with the selection index you want at least ~215-218 in rural areas and around ~220-225 in bigger states with more competitive scores. Traditionally, look for at least the high 1400s... If you nail English, that's probably better than being well-rounded but not great anywhere, since you can just focus on math heavily... Luckily, the SAT Math section is not super content rich, you just gotta focus and be solid on geometry and algebra!

I recommend checking here to see your comp: https://www.compassprep.com/national-merit-semifinalist-cutoffs/.

Also look at test raw score conversion charts in the past and it will help you see where the score dips in the math sections (ex. 2wrong to 3 wrong might cost 10 pts, while 4wrong to 5 wrong could cost 30pts, yowza!) Helping avoid one of these drop-offs helped get me NMS Finalist today, as I was solid on math and needed to avoid the reading chasm!

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7 months ago

Work on your overall testing skills. I struggle in math too but found ways to boost my math score. The night before look at a quick video explaining any topics you need a refresher on. Remember to study all week but still give yourself breaks

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7 months ago

Your sophomore year, about an 1100-1200 means you are on track to do well. However, you still have a lot to learn in high school, and this score is bound to increase dramatically. This is particularly true for the math section. A lot of things in that section you just haven't learned about. The best way to prepare for the SAT in this regard is to just take a math class every year and really pay attention and try to do well in your classes.

A lot of people when preparing for the SAT find it really difficult to study for the English section. However, this early on, there are things you can do to prepare for it. The best thing to do is to read a lot of books, which is really great, because it's also fun! This will increase your reading speed and comprehension. The other thing you can do is again just try to do well in your English classes.

During the summers, and closer to the date of your SAT, I would also suggest taking a lot of practice tests. Khan Academy has 10 of them. The site will also help you identify areas in which you are struggling and suggest specific videos and quizzes to help you get better in those areas. You might not want to worry too much about that yet, though.

For the actual SAT, a good score really depends on the college you want to go to. You can see the average sat scores of incoming freshmen for colleges by just searching it online. For Ivy Leagues, you need to aim for 1500+.

I hope this helps, and good luck!

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