For the 2015 PSAT (the 2015 PSAT/NMSQT), College Board didn’t change just the test content, they changed the scale the score is reported on as well. This makes it difficult to figure out if you improved from last year. And while it’s always been difficult to predict the qualifying scores for National Merit Semi-Finalists, not having equivalent scores makes it even harder. To “help,” the College Board has released PSAT/NMSQT Preliminary 2015 Concordance Tables These are only preliminary tables; final tables will be released in May.
From reading the explanation given by the College Board and discussions on the forums on College Confidentional, it looks like you can get the best approximation from using the 3 individual subject scores, instead of your composite score, when you try to approximate your equivalent PSAT/NMSQT to past years.
How to convert your 2015 PSAT score to the equivalent of PSAT scores in past years
- Start by understanding the difference between your two PSAT/NMSQT scores. For an explanation and how to access them on-line, see my post How to interpret PSAT scores.)
- Find the three “test scores” for Reading, Writing & Language, and Math. Each of these is on a 38 point scale. To access this on-line
- While you are in “My score reports,” in the second menu at the top, go to > Report Details
- Scroll down to “Test Scores” below “Next Steps Toward College Readiness”
- Go to the PSAT/NMSQT Concordance Tables.
- On page 3 and 4, look at the tables “Section to Test Concordance.”
- For each new “test” score (Reading, Writing & Language, and Math) write down the possible range of “section” scores that would be equivalent on previous tests.
- Add up all three minimum scores.
- Add up all three maximum scores.
- This will give you a range of equivalent old scores to compare your new results.
Remember, these are only “preliminary tables” so at this point it’s still a bit of a guess, but it will at least give you an idea of the range. Lots of students (or their parents) will be using these scores to try to guess if they’ll make the National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist Qualifying Score or to see how much they need to study to take the test their junior year. In my next post, I’ll go through an example for converting a 2015 PSAT score and seeing how it compares to National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist Qualifying Scores in 2015.