Test Prep

Do Colleges Use PSAT Scores?

Question: Does Boston College and Boston University check PSAT scores? If so, what is the score range that is needed?

Colleges do not use PSAT scores at all in the admissions process. Occasionally admission officials will see PSAT results if an applicant's high school includes them on the student transcripts. But, even so, they don't play a role in the decisions. However, PSAT's can be at least a rough predictor of SAT scores, and SAT's often do play a key role in college outcomes. You can check the median SAT ranges at BC, BU and any other colleges that interest you by visiting College Confidential's SuperMatch here: http://www.collegeconfidential.com/college_search/ First enter the college's name where you see, “Find & Pin a School by Name" and then click on the college's name until you see “School Facts" and then “Testing and Scores."

If your PSAT's are below a college's SAT medians, you may still have time to prepare for the SAT. You can try the ACT as well. Low test scores don't automatically keep you out of the colleges you like, but admission officials will expect candidates with sub-par testing to have other special strengths or an unusual background to make up for the deficiency.

So, although the PSAT's do not count at all in the admissions process, you can use them as a preliminary guide to help you to estimate where you will or won't be admissible later on.