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In 2018-19, more students took a PSAT-related assessment than ever before. The assessments include the PSAT 8/9, the PSAT 10, and the PSAT/NMSQT. The PSAT 8/9 saw the largest increase in test takers, with almost 13% more students taking the PSAT 8/9 in 2018-19 than in 2017-18.

When students take a PSAT-related assessment, they unlock many benefits that help them overcome barriers to college. In addition to Official SAT Practice, AP Potential, and Career Finder, these benefits include access to programs offering over $350 million in college scholarships.

Participation

  • Over 6 million students took at least 1 PSAT-related assessment in 2018-19, up from 5.9 million in 2017-18.
  • About 4.26 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 in the 2018-19 school year, compared to 4.31 million in 2017-18.
  • Almost 1.8 million students took the PSAT 8/9 in the 2018-19 school year, up from 1.6 million in 2017-18.
 
2018-19 PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 Participation: 11th Grade
  Number Percent
All Test Takers 1,747,071  
 
Female 906,324 52%
Male 836,808 48%
 
American Indian/Alaska Native 12,470 1%
Asian 151,155 9%
Black/African American 177,583 10%
Hispanic/Latino 472,020 27%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 4,405 0%
White 784,940 45%
Two or More Races 72,894 4%
No Response 71,604 4%
 
2018-19 PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 Participation: 10th Grade
  Number Percent
All Test Takers 2,278,505  
 
Female 1,149,890 50%
Male 1,119,431 49%
 
American Indian/Alaska Native 25,221 1%
Asian 164,766 7%
Black/African American 242,704 11%
Hispanic/Latino 620,104 27%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 6,493 0%
White 878,379 39%
Two or More Races 92,009 4%
No Response 248,829 11%
 
2018-19 PSAT 8/9 Participation: 9th Grade
  Number Percent
All Test Takers 1,040,124  
 
Female 512,415 49%
Male 524,623 50%
 
American Indian/Alaska Native 12,722 1%
Asian 56,383 5%
Black/African American 116,022 11%
Hispanic/Latino 286,730 28%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 2,548 0%
White 363,430 35%
Two or More Races 36,327 3%
No Response 165,962 16%
 
2018-19 PSAT 8/9 Participation: 8th Grade
  Number Percent
All Test Takers 690,084  
 
Female 340,634 49%
Male 345,311 50%
 
American Indian/Alaska Native 7,975 1%
Asian 32,906 5%
Black/African American 81,457 12%
Hispanic/Latino 187,867 27%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 1,822 0%
White 210,965 31%
Two or More Races 20,332 3%
No Response 146,760 21%

Performance

In 2018-19, students in grades 8–10 who took the PSAT 8/9 or PSAT 10 met both grade-level benchmarks at higher rates than in 2017-18, indicating that they were on track to be ready for college.

2018-19 Performance on the PSAT-Related Assessments
Grade Test Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
11th grade PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 1013 43%
10th grade PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 932 40%
9th grade PSAT 8/9 874 41%
8th grade PSAT 8/9 815 35%

Score Ranges and Benchmarks

The score ranges for the PSAT-related assessments vary slightly, but the total score for each test is the sum of scores for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section.

Students who meet both grade-level benchmarks are on track to be ready for entry-level college courses without remediation when they graduate high school. Grade-level benchmarks reflect expected student growth toward SAT benchmarks from one grade to the next.

PSAT-Related Assessments Score Ranges and Benchmarks
Grade Test Score Range ERW Benchmark Math Benchmark
11th grade PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 320–1520 460 510
10th grade PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 320–1520 430 480
9th grade PSAT 8/9 240–1440 410 450
8th grade PSAT 8/9 240–1440 390 430

Performance Details by Grade

 
2018-19 PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 Performance: 11th Grade
  Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
All Test Takers 1013 43%
 
Female 1017 42%
Male 1010 45%
 
American Indian/Alaska Native 871 17%
Asian 1158 70%
Black/African American 889 19%
Hispanic/Latino 926 26%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 917 23%
White 1074 56%
Two or More Races 1060 52%
No Response 893 23%
 
2018-19 PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 Performance: 10th Grade
  Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
All Test Takers 932 40%
 
Female 943 40%
Male 922 39%
 
American Indian/Alaska Native 821 16%
Asian 1080 70%
Black/African American 836 19%
Hispanic/Latino 865 25%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 864 24%
White 999 54%
Two or More Races 976 48%
No Response 852 24%
 
2018-19 PSAT 8/9 Performance: 9th Grade
  Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
All Test Takers 874 41%
 
Female 886 42%
Male 862 40%
 
American Indian/Alaska Native 790 21%
Asian 1006 69%
Black/African American 787 20%
Hispanic/Latino 820 28%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 816 28%
White 942 57%
Two or More Races 915 49%
No Response 830 32%
 
2018-19 PSAT 8/9 Performance: 8th Grade
  Mean Total Score Met Both Benchmarks
All Test Takers 815 35%
 
Female 825 35%
Male 806 34%
 
American Indian/Alaska Native 769 23%
Asian 944 65%
Black/African American 745 17%
Hispanic/Latino 769 23%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 773 25%
White 877 50%
Two or More Races 851 42%
No Response 793 30%

Scholarships

The College Board connects students to scholarship opportunities through partnerships with National Merit Scholarship Corporation, cosponsor of the PSAT/NSMQT, and 19 other organizations.

National Merit Scholarship Program

The PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry into the National Merit Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. 100% of their scholarship recipients are PSAT/NMSQT test takers.

Other Partners

over $350 million available

Our scholarship partners work with us each year to make college possible for more students. These partners use PSAT/NMSQT and/or PSAT 10 data to identify and recruit qualified students who agreed to participate in the free Student Search Service.

In 2019, we expanded the pool of available scholarships by $6 million through new partnerships with the Boettcher Foundation and Children of Fallen Patriots. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 now have access to over $350 million in college scholarships.

The following 2019 highlights are in addition to the benefits students received through National Merit Scholarship Corporation:

  • 1 million PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 takers were made aware of scholarship opportunities.
  • Nearly 44,000 PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 takers were encouraged to apply for scholarships.
  • The United Negro College Fund awarded over $4.5 million to 314 PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 takers.
  • The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awarded nearly $1.9 million to 583 PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 takers.
  • Over $33 million was awarded to PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 takers—double the amount awarded in 2018.

In addition to National Merit Scholarship Corporation, these partners awarded scholarships to PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 takers in 2019:

  • Asian Pacific Islander American Scholars
  • Cobell Scholarship (Awarded by Indigenous Education, Inc.)
  • Coca Cola Scholars Foundation
  • George Snow Scholarship Fund
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund
  • Horatio Alger Association
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
  • The Jackie Robinson Foundation
  • Ron Brown Scholarship Program
  • TheDream.US
  • United Negro College Fund
  • Washington State Opportunity Scholarships

Learn more about our scholarship partners.