Do Colleges Look At PSAT Scores?

Do Colleges Look At PSAT Scores? The Truth About The PSAT!

During the college application process for many senior students, the question arises: do colleges look at PSAT scores? However, many students and parents don’t even know what the PSAT actually is, how the scores are used, and if they even HAVE a PSAT score! In this article, we’ll first clarify what the PSAT is, how the scores are used and attempt to answer the question that got you here in the first place: Do Colleges Look at PSAT Scores? First let’s explain what it is. The PSAT is an acronym for the “Preliminary SAT” test. So basically it’s a test that is administered to high school Juniors (and sometimes Sophomores and Freshman) as a practice for the real SAT subject test that may or may not be taken by a student. Remember, the SAT is a form of college entrance exam/test and is sometimes required for admission. However, most schools across the country will require only the ACT test for admission. The PSAT covers 3 different sections:
  • Critical Reading Skills
  • Math Problem Solving Skills
  • Writing Skills

You will receive a score in each section that will be added up together to form your overall PSAT score. So, how do you use the PSAT scores and what are they even for? Well, the test is developed to do a couple main things: First, it measures your ability and give you an idea of what areas you need to brush up on before taking the actual SAT tests. And secondly, the PSAT is also associated with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and if a student does well enough on the test, he or she could qualify themselves as a National Merit Finalist which could have some scholarship money associated with it. But don’t get your hopes up yet. Only a very select group of students do well enough on the test to gain “finalist” status and then get awarded scholarship money. If you don’t win a scholarship, just becoming “commended” or a finalist goes a long way with college admission and looks very good on your transcript. So, do college look at PSAT scores. The answer to that is NO, absolutely not. When you apply to the college of your choice, you will be sending in an application, any recommendation letters or essays (if they ask for them) and an official high school transcript. The ONLY way they can see a PSAT score is if it’s listed on your transcript. If it is, you can have it removed but 99% of high schools across the country do not list this score on an official transcript. Once you take the actual SAT, those scores can be sent to the colleges, but again: If you don’t want them sent you can have them removed from you transcript before applying for college admission.

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By E. Thomas