College Pete

PSAT scores are out. Now what?

PSAT scores are out. Now what?

For those who took the PSAT this past October, online scores have been posted to your (or your child’s, if you’re a parent) College Board Account.

Since the online score report has a lot of data and can be a tad confusing…

Here is a quick guide to finding and interpreting your PSAT score.

1. How to find and make sense of your PSAT score report.

To access scores online, you will need to have your child’s College Board ID/PW. You will also need a ‘cheat code’ to help you understand what the heck their score report actually means. So we created one:

*** You can watch our PSAT screencast tutorial here (no login required) ***

2. Here’s what usually happens next.

Once you have taken the PSAT, schools will begin treating you as if your college admissions process has officially begun – particularly if you are in 11th grade!

Within a few weeks (if this hasn’t already started), you’ll become inundated with college literature. Emails (or brochures) with bright, shining pictures of bucolic landscapes and beautiful, happy students of every race and creed will entice you to fall in love with their alma mater. Don’t. There are more than 4000 2-year, 4-year and vocational schools out there (in other words, there is a seat for every tush).

Don’t fall for a school’s marketing until you have first fully explored your academic interests, post-high school plans and your budget. The key to having a meaningful and affordable post high school education is planning for that prior to falling in love with one destination or path.

3. So how will the PSAT affect my college admissions chances?

They won’t (with one possible exception).

Other than National Merit Scholarship opportunities – which only apply to a select number of 11th graders, the PSAT doesn’t count towards college admissions. Period. It’s a practice test and nothing more. Colleges will not ask for, nor will they care about, your PSAT score. (They will be used by the colleges for marketing purposes; see also number 2 above).

The PSAT merely serves as an early indicator of test performance. Parents and students should view PSAT results as the minimum possible SAT score, since results will improve with time, maturity, and practice. And more practice.
That said, about 15,000 students may become semifinalists for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship (after completing additional requirements). This is determined state-by-state, which is explained in the video above.

4. Now what? You should educate yourself on the testing process.

If you, your school or your students are not YCC members, and you want them to get in on the college planning conversation, join as an individual member or arrange a time to demo YCC360, our web and mobile college planning program.

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