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The PSAT-related assessments—the PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and PSAT/NMSQT—are aligned to what students are learning in class and to the SAT, and they assess the same skills and knowledge at grade-appropriate levels. The 2016-17 school year is the second year the new PSAT-related assessments and the redesigned PSAT/NMSQT were offered. 

PSAT-related assessment results provide educators with consistent, actionable information they can use to identify where students are excelling, when they are ready for more challenging coursework, and where they may need more support—all as early as eighth grade. In addition to tracking how students are progressing toward college readiness, these tests open up access to:

Participation Highlights

More students are taking a PSAT-related assessment than ever before.

PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10

Overall participation:

  • Nearly 4.3 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 during the 2016-17 school year, an increase of more than 46,000 from 2015-16.
  • Nearly 400,000 students took the PSAT 10 in 2016-17—an increase of more than 146,000 (59%) since last year.
  • Nine states (Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island), the District of Columbia, and over 530 districts offered either the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 during the 2016-17 school year.

Participation by grade:

  • 53% of 10th graders and 45% of 11th graders in the nation took either the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 in 2016-17.
  • 51% of PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 takers were 10th graders, and 42% were 11th graders.

PSAT 8/9

Overall participation:

  • A record 1.3 million students took the PSAT 8/9 in 2016-17, an increase of more than 417,000 students (47%) compared to 2015-16.
  • Michigan, District of Columbia, and more than 350 districts offered the PSAT 8/9 during the 2016-17 school year.

Participation by grade:

  • 12% of eighth graders and 17% of ninth graders in the nation took the PSAT 8/9 in 2016-17.
  • 39% of all PSAT 8/9 takers were eighth graders, and 58% were ninth graders.

Detailed Participation Results by Grade

 
8th Graders Who Took the PSAT 8/9: Participation
  Test Takers % Distribution
  2015-16 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17
Total 358,855 510,129 100% 100%
American Indian/Alaska Native 3,543 4,474 1% 1%
Asian 17,288 25,439 5% 5%
Black/African American 43,641 55,168 12% 11%
Hispanic/Latino 108,610 155,822 30% 31%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 1,143 1,258 0% 0%
White 98,954 134,090 28% 26%
Two or More Races 9,011 20,656 3% 4%
Other/No Response 76,665 113,222 21% 22%
 
9th Graders Who Took the PSAT 8/9: Participation
  Test Takers % Distribution
  2015-16 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17
Total 497,641 749,470 100% 100%
American Indian/Alaska Native 5,230 6,341 1% 1%
Asian 30,744 41,875 6% 6%
Black/African American 65,387 94,539 13% 13%
Hispanic/Latino 128,026 211,438 26% 28%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 1,517 1,810 0% 0%
White 206,205 280,552 41% 37%
Two or More Races 16,712 39,977 3% 5%
Other/No Response 43,820 72,938 9% 10%
 
10th Graders Who Took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10: Participation
  Test Takers % Distribution
  2015-16 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17
Total 2,127,816 2,209,759 100% 100%
American Indian/Alaska Native 16,833 16,465 1% 1%
Asian 151,672 159,611 7% 7%
Black/African American 263,511 263,299 12% 12%
Hispanic/Latino 548,379 605,724 26% 27%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 5,993 5,449 0% 0%
White 896,978 914,716 42% 41%
Two or More Races 68,636 92,581 3% 4%
Other/No Response 175,814 151,914 8% 7%
 
11th Graders Who Took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10: Participation
  Test Takers % Distribution
  2015-16 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17
Total 1,780,618 1,784,169 100% 100%
American Indian/Alaska Native 10,282 10,227 1% 1%
Asian 142,207 151,020 8% 8%
Black/African American 195,845 192,486 11% 11%
Hispanic/Latino 430,514 453,039 24% 25%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 4,774 4,342 0% 0%
White 863,330 844,748 48% 47%
Two or More Races 61,916 73,327 3% 4%
Other/No Response 71,750 54,980 4% 3%

Performance Highlights

Students’ online score reports use the SAT Suite of Assessments’ College and Career Readiness Benchmarks to show students and their teachers and counselors if they’re on track to be ready for college-level work by the time they graduate high school.

Grade-level benchmarks for the PSAT-related assessments are based on expected student growth toward SAT benchmarks at each grade. There are two section-level benchmarks: one for the Math section and one for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.

During the 2016-17 school year:

33% of eighth graders and 40% of ninth graders who took the PSAT 8/9 met both of their respective grade-level section benchmarks, indicating that they are on track for college and career readiness.

33% of eight graders and 40% of ninth graders who took the PSAT 8/9 met both of their respective grade-level section benchmarks, indicating that they are on track for college and career readiness.

40% of 10th graders and 45% of 11th graders who took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 met both of their respective grade-level section benchmarks, indicating that they are on track for college and career readiness.

40% of 10th graders and 45% of 11th graders who took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 met both of their respective grade-level section benchmarks, indicating that they are on track for college and career readiness.

On PSAT-related assessments, students saw promising performance growth between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. Across nearly all demographics and grade levels, mean scores increased, and a greater percentage of students were on track for college and career readiness.

 
8th Graders Who Took the PSAT 8/9: Performance
  Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
  2015-16 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17
Total 808 818 32% 33%
American Indian/Alaska Native 756 764 19% 19%
Asian 927 940 62% 64%
Black/African American 752 763 17% 18%
Hispanic/Latino 765 777 21% 22%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 772 788 23% 24%
White 872 879 48% 49%
Two or More Races 833 857 37% 41%
 
9th Graders Who Took the PSAT 8/9: Performance
  Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
  2015-16 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17
Total 868 874 38% 40%
American Indian/Alaska Native 785 787 19% 20%
Asian 978 998 63% 68%
Black/African American 779 788 17% 19%
Hispanic/Latino 811 823 24% 27%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 810 813 24% 25%
White 925 936 51% 55%
Two or More Races 884 901 40% 45%
 
10th Graders Who Took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10: Performance
  Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
  2015-16 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17
Total 932 936 38% 40%
American Indian/Alaska Native 854 843 21% 20%
Asian 1059 1067 65% 67%
Black/African American 834 839 16% 17%
Hispanic/Latino 863 869 23% 24%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 873 868 25% 23%
White 993 999 52% 55%
Two or More Races 959 961 43% 44%
 
11th Graders Who Took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10: Performance
  Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
  2015-16 2016-17 2015-16 2016-17
Total 1009 1018 42% 45%
American Indian/Alaska Native 916 911 23% 24%
Asian 1130 1148 65% 69%
Black/African American 885 894 17% 19%
Hispanic/Latino 925 932 24% 27%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 938 941 28% 29%
White 1064 1075 53% 58%
Two or More Races 1039 1045 47% 50%

More participation and performance data can be found in the 2017 Suite of Assessments Annual Report (.pdf/402KB).

Connecting Students to Scholarships

Since 1971, the PSAT/NMSQT has provided millions of eligible students with the opportunity to enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and scholarships.

Since 2015, students taking the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 have access to over $160 million in combined annual awards through the College Board's six additional scholarship partners. Our additional partnerships, combined with the College Board’s longstanding partnership with National Merit Scholarship Corporation, reinforce the College Board’s commitment to connecting assessment to opportunity.

Here are selections of 2017 statistics from our scholarship partners:

Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund: 70% of scholarship applicants and 58% of recipients this past year were identified through the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10. Overall, the fund has seen a 42% increase in applications as a result of the College Board partnership.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: 13% of applicants, 18% of semifinalists, and 30% of scholarship recipients were identified through the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10. Each recipient received up to $40,000 per year to attend a four-year accredited undergraduate institution. Over the last three years, the fund has seen a 186% increase in applications as a result of the College Board partnership.

Cobell Scholarship (awarded by Indigenous Education, Inc.): Our newest partnership has expanded scholarship opportunities to American Indian and Alaska students. 22% of this year’s applicants were identified through the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund: 13% of scholarship applicants were identified through the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10. This scholarship is designed to help students of Hispanic heritage obtain a college degree.

United Negro College Fund: 42% of applicants and 22% of scholarship recipients were identified through the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10. UNCF is the nation’s largest private scholarship provider to minority group members.

More Resources

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