How to Convert PSAT Scores

The PSAT score converts easily to an SAT equivalent.
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The Practice SAT, or PSAT -- also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, or NMSQT -- is a standardized test taken by students in 11th grade and below. Since the PSAT is often taken to practice for the SAT, it's useful to know how your PSAT score compares to an equivalent score on the SAT. You can also convert PSAT scores to equivalent scores on the ACT, which is another college-entrance examination.

1 PSAT Scores and Selection Index

The PSAT has three sections that are scored between 20 and 80 points each: critical reading, writing skills and mathematics. Adding up the individual scores of each section provides a total score for the PSAT, called the selection index. For example, if you scored 45 on the reading section, 57 on the writing section and 60 on the math section, you would have a selection index of 162.

2 Converting PSAT to SAT

The maximum score for the PSAT selection index if 240, and the maximum score for the SAT is 2400. You can convert a PSAT score to an SAT score by multiplying the selection index by 10. For example, if you have a PSAT score of 162, the equivalent SAT score is 1620. If you have a selection index of 201, your equivalent SAT score is 2010.

3 Converting PSAT to ACT

You may find it useful to convert PSAT scores to equivalent ACT scores. Since ACT scores range from 11 to 36, the easiest method is to use a conversion chart such as one published by Medina County Schools. So, a perfect score of 240 on the PSAT would convert to a 36 on the ACT; a PSAT score of 150 would be a 21 on the ACT. The lowest PSAT score -- 75 -- would translate to an 11 on the ACT.

Jon Zamboni began writing professionally in 2010. He has previously written for The Spiritual Herald, an urban health care and religious issues newspaper based in New York City, and online music magazine eBurban. Zamboni has a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Wesleyan University.