Some words about the PSAT/NMSQT scoring

August 29, 2006 at 4:20 pm 1 comment

Posted by Dee

When you get your PSAT/NMSQT scores back, don’t get confused as to why you don’t have even close to a 2400. The PSAT is scored on a 240 point scale. (They recommend adding a zero onto the end of your scores for an idea of how you’d do on the real SAT.)

Out of the nearly 1.3 million people who take the PSAT/NMSQT test, how do they choose who’s a semi-finalist?

They add up your scores on each of the three sections of the exam (reading, math, and writing), and call this your “Selection Index.” Then, they designate a Selection Index cutoff. (Obviously, the highest Selection Index possible is 240, but the cutoff is usually somewhere between 214 and 220, depending on the year.)

So, the students who score at, or above, the cutoff Selection Index number make it to the semi-finalist round. It’s usually around 50,000 people.

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Entry filed under: College Board, National merit, NMSQT, PSAT, SAT, Selection index, Semi-finalist, Testing.

Quick interview note #2 The College Board is out to conquer the student world, again

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Nicole  |  August 29, 2007 at 2:55 am

    You’re only about half-right. Those 50,000 are split into two groups. About 14,000 become Semi-Finalists and the others are “Commended”. Also, the cutoff score must be below 214 because I got a 205 and still got in as one of the 50,000. No word yet on whether I’m Commended or Semi-Finalist. I think the cutoff actually goes by the 96th percentile and up. I remember reading that somewhere.

    The National Merit people are kinda getting on my nerves now. I’m filling out apps and I’m not sure how to designate my National Merit Scholar status. One actually asks “Are you a National Merit Semi-Finalist?” They told me I qualified in May (and made me choose colleges) and they STILL haven’t sent word on my official status!!!! GRRRR!!!!

    Reply

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