Admissions

Are My PSAT Scores Good?

This month, with many high school juniors receiving their first college testing results, "The Dean" has been flooded with queries that ask, "How good is a PSAT Selection Index of ______"? And the numbers have been all over the map: 220, 180, 130, 103 and 85. A variation on that theme was, "Is a 79 in math a good score?" or "Should I be happy with a 78 in Critical Reading?" As my 12-year-old son would say, "Ya think??" ;-)

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be snide. I realize that many first-timers could use a Cal Tech degree just to interpret the score reports. Moreover, "good" scores are relative. What might be considered a strong showing for a so-so student may seem mediocre to a very able one. Likewise, "good" or "bad" scores will depend on how high an applicant is aiming. What passes muster at Slippery Rock might not wow admission folks at Stanford.

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