# PSAT and SAT Scoring

in the instructions the teacher read today for the PSAT, it said that right answers would add points, blank answers would neither add or sbutract points, and wrong answers would subtract “a fraction of a point”; but it doesn’t tell what that fraction is. personally, i don’t think it’s very fair not to tell us what wrong answers will cost us. it could be anywhere for 1/16 to 15/16 of a point, and we have no idea which it is. so, does anyone know? and since this was my last PSAT, is it the same for the SAT?

A correct answer adds one point, an incorrect answer subtracts 1/4 of a point, and a blank answer adds neither adds nor subtracts points. Thus, if you can eliminate one answer choice, statistically speaking, you should guess. This is because if you were blindly guessing without eliminating any choices, you would get 1 in 5 correct (since there are 5 answer choices) and miss 4. This score would be 1 - (4 x 1/4) = 0. Eliminating any choices puts the odds in your favor. For the grid-ins, an incorrect answer doesn’t subtract any points.

The total sum of your points is called your “raw score,” and is plugged into a formula to calculate your score out of 1600.

The scoring is the same for the PSAT, except that the raw score is converted into a score out of 80 for math, 80 for verbal, and 80 for writing.

thanks, i wish i’d asked this yesterday. oh well, i think i did OK.

thanks, i wish i’d asked this yesterday. oh well, i think i did OK.

Did you get Form T?

It had a few great questions about eating people and the word “hick”.

Indeed, if you can determine that any of the five choices is more likely than 20%, you should pick it, even if you can’t eliminate any choice for sure.

The other side of this coin is that it takes time to bubble in an answer, and the time spent in bubbling in a weak hunch (with a low expected payoff) might prevent you from getting to a later question which you absolutely know (which therefore has a high expected payoff). So do the ones you’re pretty sure of, first, and then go back and play on your hunches and the ones where you can eliminate an answer.

Just to nitpick, most wrong answers will take away 1/5 of a point. The grid-in questions cost no points for an incorrect answer, and comparisons (Which column is larger, A or B) will cost you 1/4 of a point for an incorrect answer.

I took the PSATs yesterday, and had form T also. It was much easier than last year’s. Hopefully I qualified for the National Merit Scholarship; I may have had a qualifying score last year but I was too young to qualify.

yeah, i remember the one about being a hick, but i don’t remember anything about eating people.

Splanky, where did you read that most wrong answers take away 1/5 of a point? I’ve always been told 1/4, with exception for the comparisons. Here is a site with undetermined authenticity confirming my original post: