Writing in the PSAT

Writing in the PSAT
Dear Colleague:
In a continued effort to create ongoing dialogue with you during the school year we wanted to make you aware of some
news about the PSAT/NMSQT(r) program.
We are pleased to announce that the last step in the process of transitioning to the new SAT and new PSAT/NMSQT is
complete. The 2006 PSAT/NMSQT Writing Skills Score is now on the same scale as the SAT Writing Score.
The PSAT/NMSQT is constructed from "parent forms" of the SAT and is therefore set on the same scale resulting in its
high value as a strong predictor of SAT scores. This has always been the case with the critical reading and math
sections; however, since 2004 there were no SAT writing forms with which to build the PSAT/NMSQT since the SAT
writing section was so new. As a result, the PSAT/NMSQT used the SAT II: Writing Subject Test as its parent. This score
scale is higher than that of the SAT. Going forward, starting with the 2006 PSAT/NMSQT, all PSAT/NMSQT tests will be
entirely created from SAT forms, thereby setting all three sections of both tests on the same scale.
Please note: During this one-year transition period, schools should be aware that PSAT/NMSQT writing scores will be
approximately 3 to 4 points lower on the new scale than they were on the old scale. This also impacts AP Potential for 11
of its 28 courses, and schools are being notified of the specific courses with the recommendation to be a little more
expansive this year in their pool selections. Additional specifics relevant to this change that can help schools and districts
make comparisons with previous years, are available online at:
We will soon be sending you updates on our PSAT/NMSQT reports and tools including AP Potential and MyRoad. It is our
pleasure to continue to work with your staff to better serve your students and families.
Please contact us at 770-225-4008, or e-mail us at
lejones@collegeboard.org with any questions.
Jenny Oren Krugman
Vice President, Southern Regional Office
The College Board