PSAT scores


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Apr 16, 2008
I'm just trying to get a feel for how competitive my scores are. I made a 183 as a sophomore in October, and the overall grade should go up substantially once I am done with Geometry this year. I'm aiming for a 207, which is roughly what is required to be a National Merit Semifinalist in LA. Sorry if this comes across as me bragging, although I doubt this is really that good if we're talking about cadets and midshipmen here.

So my question is, if you (your son) are in the Academy right now, or if you are at any stage in the application process, what did you (he/she) make?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Well, with a 183 you're at about the equivalent of 600 in each subsection on the SAT. As sophomore, those scores aren't bad at all and are about the minimums for admission to the service academies. It seems like your PSAT scores are definitely competitive.

My score as a sophomore was a 193 and ended up with a 2230 on the SAT (720 M, 730 CR, 780 W). As far as attaining the National Merit status, it's all about taking those practice tests. Practice SATs really helped me familiarize myself with the test and improve my scores. I only wish that I took the PSAT as a junior to be eligible for the National Merit Scholar status, but I was late for the test.

I'm currently appointed to the class of 2012.
Soylent, you are superhuman! You are going to scare off acgeaux7! JK...BTW, acgeaux7, :welcome1: . We are glad you found us!

acgeaux7, I admire you for starting the quest for an appointment in your sophomore year. It does take planning to be sure you take the courses that will prepare you for the Service Academies (SA). You probably have already looked but be sure to keep the official SA statistics in mind when you are setting your goals. SAT/ACT scores are important but so are leadership roles, grades, class rank, and physical fitness. Peruse the SA websites...and the websites of the Armed are in for a ride of a lifetime.

Here are the SA links that mention scores:
Okay, thanks for the feedback.

Yeah, I'm currently taking a PSAT workshop class on the weekends at my school in order to try and boost my grade up.

How much weight do they place on the PSAT and National Merit status?
Thanks a lot, Antoinette. Yeah, I'm definitely aware of the leadership type stuff. I'm not too involved with my extracurriculars right now; I'm only in 3 clubs right now, but I should be getting some sort of leadership position. I also plan on running Cross Country next year, and I may play Lacrosse.
I'm not sure about how much weight they place on being a National Merit Scholar, but the most important thing about it is that your SAT scores will be similarly high and SAT scores are a big part of all college admissions.

To Antoinette: My scores are definitely really good, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I pretty much got in based on my academics and I'm part of that small minority that didn't participate in high school sports. I'm currently busting my ass to get in shape for plebe summer. :thumb:
The PSAT score is looked at when a candidate applies for the summer leader seminars at the academies. The summer seminars occur during the summer before your senior year in high school. Applications become available in the Fall of your junior year in high school (for USMA) and winter or early spring (for USNA, USAFA, and USCGA). I do not know if the USMMA offers a summer seminar.
Last edited:
Hmmn... Looking at the scores you guys listed I'm a little intimidated. On my score sheet it said that I qualified for National Merit and scored higher than 78% of juniors who took the test. I live in Pennsylvania and I'm led to assume the standards are based on state curriculum. I also tried to answer every question which may have been a factor in my overall score.
I think scores on the PSAT/SAT were probably pretty important in the summer seminar applications. I'm a high school junior and I got a 231 (last year) and 223 (this year) on PSAT and then a 2320 on the SAT. I heard back about NASS within a few weeks, when it seems like so many people have had the most frustrating time hearing back from admissions. So I'm guessing that it was a factor considering the rest of my application was probably similar to what most submitted.

I don't mean that in an arrogant way in the slightest though- the USNA is a really great (and difficult) school, but it's not an Ivy. I can't be sure but I feel like I read that the average SAT is in the 1300's somewhere (on the reading and math). That's good, but you don't have to be a master bubbler to get there. I have a very nice aptitude for 4 hour long standardized tests but I have a feeling it's not exactly going to be easy to get in. Again I don't know anything about anything, but looking at the class profile info on the USNA website, it would seem that you're on the right track. I bet if you really prepare you can get near or over 1400 on the real thing, and if the rest of your application is strong you'd be competitive.

What were your reading and math subscores on the PSAT? silly one! You will find your comments "it's not an Ivy" will cause you a GREAT deal of consternation amongst many on this thread and elsewhere. Care to check the acceptance rates of a Harvard vs. USNA? Care to check the standard curicullum EVERY midshipman regardless of major takes at USNA against an Ivy league? Care to check the philosophies of the professors at Harvard vs Ivy schools in terms of patriotism/history balance and understand/political agendas/social activism?

A student at USNA will come out with an education that is SECOND TO NONE and not only that will actually come out with a 'service contract' to serve their country, instead of learning to despise it, the way many many college-educated young people do.

I don't mean to berate you - if you saw my face you'd see my smile, not my anger venting. But you might be careful to slur a school that is a jewell for young Americans.

As far as PSAT scores....Others are correct that they are for your Summer Seminar apps, mostly. Although being a National Merit level performer tells USNA that you can handle their academics - and that DOES make a difference. My mid had as high PSAT scores that put her in Nat'l Merit Scholarship, and coupled with the rest of her application, I am sure that it helped USNA make a decision to give her her LOA in early October of her Senior year.
woah there ;)
I am applying to USNA and not any Ivies and have no doubt I'd get a better education there (USNA). Simply talking in terms of average SAT have to show a lot more than standardized test-taking skills to get into USNA (which is a good thing). Whereas it seems like many of the Ivy league schools won't consider much under a 1500. And once there I have no doubt USNA is just as rigorous and probably in many cases more rigorous than Harvard.

Not an Ivy was meant as more of a compliment than a slur to be honest. ;)
mid_13....see why I was smilin' when I typed? Mostly I knew your comments could be misinterpreted by others who DO have some innate prejudices about Service Academies vs. Ivy Leagues. I would challenge just about ANY parent to lay out, a 4year matrix for any Harvard/Stanford/Yale, etc. degree program, including the Engineering/Sciences....and compare it to the USNA midshipman who takes Poly Sci or Econ as a major ( you could take an EE or Mech E, but that would be even more to my point, so I'll using an 'easier' major to prove my position) and see the amount of unit hours put in, coupled with the military training. NO one at any Ivy League comes close to the demand of hours, time committments, physical training hours and experiences with equipment/weapons/labs/speakers, etc. that a Midshipman or Cadet gets. No one.

Hang in there, Mid_13....stay focused and keep us all informed about your progression through your hoped-for Appointment and we'll all be here supporting and cheering you on.

haha. agreed.
Ivies have higher average GPA's and standardized test scores for admissions. all that was meant.

and thank you, I'm sure I will post with plenty of questions and updates during the next year.
My math scores were lower than I had hoped. I scoered 47 on th math but 60 on the reading. I only took it this year though. I wasn't very prepared to take it. I thought of it as more of a practice for the SAT's, which it is.
Have to agree for the most part with the attempted comparisons between the SAs and the Ivy League schools...although one might argue that our comparisons really don't mean much. The focus of the schools are so different.

My son got a 1490 CR+Math on his first sitting of the SAT, but that might not even put him in the upper quartile at any Ivy. But the Ivy schools do not make you pass a Dodmerb physical or a CFA!

I am sure it is true that there are more potential pitfalls in trying to get into an SA. But the pure academic standards needed (on average) for the Ivy is higher. For sure there are many bright kids at both...and many bright kids who do not make it into either.

I am glad we have both options in this great country!

My son could not care less about going to an Ivy...he is gunning for USNA as his first choice (yes, he has back-ups!).

53 days until NASS #2!

You mean class of 2014?
Ha Jenny! I thought the exact same thing ("dude you'd better get your class year right!"), but then I realized that tarbe, God bless him, pulled this old thread up from April 2008! I must admit I was pretty confused there for a minute! :rolleyes:
Ha Jenny! I thought the exact same thing ("dude you'd better get your class year right!"), but then I realized that tarbe, God bless him, pulled this old thread up from April 2008! I must admit I was pretty confused there for a minute! :rolleyes:

Hey...I believe in recycling! Don't you? :biggrin:

That's what I get for using the search function and not looking at the dates! :wink: