Parent Question: "Why is the PSAT capped at 1520???"

We received this question from a parent:

Hi Nick,

I have a PSAT/SAT question and I am sure you have a very logical answer!

So from my understanding, the PSAT is out of 1520. If that is true, then why does it say that if a student took the SAT on that same day, they would receive the same score? How can that be, if the PSAT is out of 1520 and the SAT is out of 1600?

Hope you are well! 

-From a concerned parent whose named has been removed for privacy reasons



Hi concerned parent whose named has been removed for privacy reasons, 

That is a great question as this is confusing to a lot of people (and the PSAT 8/9 only goes up to 1440, just to complicate things further!)

But the answer is pretty straight forward... 

A student's score on the PSAT is estimated to be what they would score on the actual SAT. So, a 900 on the PSAT is estimated to be a 900 on the SAT... 1150 is 1150...1350 is 1350...and so on, all the way up to 1510.  

The exception is with students who get every question on the PSAT correct. These kids are capped at 1520.  The PSAT does not contain the highest level difficulty questions that are found on the SAT. The College Board caps these students at 1520 because they don't know if these students would answer the highest difficulty level questions correctly or not.

So to recap, the PSAT and SAT are on the same scale for all scores...students just can't score higher than 1520. 




Do you have specific questions about your PSAT score report?