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When you talk with your son or daughter about their PSAT, it is important to stress that
this is only one test (a baseline) and they may be able to improve their scores on future
tests. Investing in their schoolwork and frequent reading (of good writing) are the best
forms of test preparation. Additional aids include practice tests and other services
available on the ACT and College Board websites ( and, and in
test preparation courses offered by Sylvan (Kenosha), Kaplan, Princeton Review.
For sophomores, this test was for practice only.
The scores are made available only to faculty, students, and parents. We do not send
PSAT scores to colleges.
Carefully review your student’s PSAT Score Report Plus sheets. They contain a wealth
of information. If students have further questions, they may see Ms. Goyette.
SOPHOMORES: It is KEY that sophomores know they have taken a test designed for
juniors, based on knowledge that juniors—not sophomores—should have. Sophomore
percentiles are calculated in the context of only sophomore and younger test takers.
However, the score report does also include a percentile comparing sophomore scores
with those of junior test takers.
JUNIORS: Percentiles compare juniors to juniors.
Sophomores should ignore this section. It has no effect on them.
The selection index is a combination of the three subscores (verbal, math, writing skills).
This means relatively little, unless a student’s score is in the neighborhood of 200 or
above. If it is, they may qualify for a Commended Student Award and possible
scholarships. In Wisconsin the selection index threshold for National Merit Semi-finalist
status has historically been between 210 and 212. Semi-finalists move on to compete for
Finalist standing and various scholarships. Students should see Ms. McDonough with
African American and Latino students may qualify for additional scholarship programs.
Selection index thresholds for those programs may vary from the standard state threshold.
This is information your student provided (self-reported) and is not particularly important
at this time.
Where a student incorrectly answered a test question, the incorrect answer is displayed
next to the correct answer. Students receive their test booklets with their scores so they
can review questions they answered incorrectly. Explanations for correct answers can be
found on the College Board website.
Questions are ranked as E (Easy), M (Medium), and H (Hard). If a student missed many
hard questions, they probably were guessing without narrowing down answers, thereby
incurring penalties.
Your student should review the score report section that personalizes advice on how to
improve future scores based on their weaknesses on this test. This is worthwhile for
students who take it seriously and apply this advice to future learning and test
Students who are concerned about their scores and want to improve their performance on
future tests should consider doing the following:
Review the test questions and answer explanations (College Board website)
Carefully review the section in the report entitled “Improve Your Skills”
Follow the personalized advice in “My SAT Study Plan” (accessible through  My College QuickStart)
Consider taking a test prep course
Participate in problem-solving activities
Engage in extensive reading and writing activities
Develop skills through rigorous academic coursework (These last two are the
BEST forms of preparation.)