Educators and students can use their PSAT/NMSQT scores to see areas where students are thriving, and areas where they need additional support. PSAT/NMSQT scores are on the same scale as SAT scores, making it easy to track student progress over time. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT score higher, on average, on the SAT than those who do not.
Scores on PSAT-Related Assessments Increase
Like the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT reflects what students are learning in the classroom, measures the skills and knowledge they need for postsecondary success, and is an important step on the road to college. The PSAT/NMSQT is great practice for the SAT because both tests have the same question types and formats.
In 2017, the College Board released two years of PSAT-related results showing that mean scores on PSAT-related assessments increased across all grades and nearly all demographics between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.
- In the class of 2017, 35% who took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 and later the new SAT increased their total scores by 100 points or more.
- In the class of 2018, 34% of students who took a PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 as 10th graders and took the PSAT/NMSQT as 11th graders increased their total scores by 100 points or more.
- In the class of 2019, 30% of students who took the PSAT 8/9 as 9th graders and later the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT10 as tenth graders increased their total scores by 100 points or more.
Connecting Students to Scholarship Opportunities
The PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. The College Board’s scholarship and recognition partners provide access to more than $180 million in scholarships to qualified, low-income and minority students based on PSAT/NMSQT scores. In addition to the National Merit Scholarship Program, eight partner groups, including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the United Negro College Fund, find eligible students based on their test performance.
SAT Practice Starts with the PSAT/NMSQT
The new SAT is easier than ever to prepare for with free, personalized, Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy. After taking the PSAT/NSMQT, students can use their test score to get a personalized SAT study plan that focuses on the areas where they need the most work. These free study tools help students prepare for test day and support classroom learning.
Since its launch in June 2015, more than 5 million students have used Official SAT Practice. Official SAT Practice is the number one tool for SAT preparation, featuring thousands of interactive questions; video lessons; eight full-length practice tests; test-taking tips and strategies; and a practice schedule based on the student’s upcoming test date.
Recently released data show that Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is linked to real gains for students who took the PSAT/NMSQT and went on to take the SAT. Studying 20 hours on Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is associated with a 115-point average score gain between the two tests, nearly double the average score gain of students who don’t use Khan Academy. Researchers found that practice advanced all students without respect to high school GPA, gender, race, ethnicity, or parental education.
Students can access the free tools and practice anytime at satpractice.org. The PSAT/NMSQT also connects students to scholarship opportunities and identifies their potential to succeed in Advanced Placement Program courses.
Educators and students can also use students’ PSAT/NMSQT scores to see whether they’re likely to succeed in challenging AP courses. Students can review their PSAT/NMSQT score report with their counselors and teachers to discuss which AP courses they showed the potential for and which courses are offered at their school. AP Potential™ helps schools ensure that no student is overlooked and encourages more students to challenge themselves with college-level coursework in high school.
Students who succeed on AP Exams can save money on tuition costs and are more likely to graduate on time. And, research shows that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically earn higher GPAs in college and have higher graduation rates.
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