College FAQs

What does it mean to be waitlisted, deferred or denied?

How do I interpret my PSAT score?


What does it mean to be waitlisted, deferred or denied?

  • What it means to be “deferred” — If you have applied under the Early Action or the Early Decision plan and were deferred, this means that you have been pushed back into the regular pool.  If you applied Rolling admission, the college/university would like to have more information in order to make a decision. In almost every case, a college or university would like to see more grades from your senior year.
  • What it means to be “waitlisted” — Being on a waitlist means that the college/university has finished reviewing your file and made a decision to put you on a waiting list for admission.
  • What it means to be “denied” — If you have applied under the Early Action or the Early Decision plan and were denied, the college/university has made a final decision. You cannot reapply under Regular decision. Try not to take it personally or feel rejected; instead feel proud of your effort and know that colleges also look to fit their priorities. There are 4,000 colleges and universities in the country and MANY will be great for you.


How to Interpret PSAT Scores

The PSAT measures skills in three basic academic areas important for success in college: Critical Reading; Mathematics problem-solving; and Writing skills. PSAT critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills questions are designed to be the same as those on the SAT.



Score reports show a numerical score for each area measured, as well as a range that extends from a few points below the score to a few points above. This range shows the extent to which a student’s score might differ with repeated testing, assuming that the student’s skill level remains constant.

  • How is the PSAT scored? First, a raw score is computed. Students receive one point for each correct answer (regardless of difficulty). For incorrect answers to multiple-choice questions, a quarter (1/4) of a point is deducted. Nothing is deducted for unanswered questions or incorrect answers to student-produced response (grid-in) questions. Next, the raw score is converted to a score on the PSAT scale of 20 to 80; the PSAT scale is comparable to the SAT scale of 200 to 800.
  • National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC): U.S. high school students who take the PSAT and meet other program requirements will enter a competition for National Merit Scholarship Program recognition and scholarships. Nearly all program participants (entrants) will be juniors planning to entering college. Currently, more than 1.5 million test-takers meet requirements to enter NMSC’s competitions each year. NMSC uses PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (the sum of critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills scores) to determine participants who qualify for program recognition. In early September  nearly a third of the 50,000 high scorers will be notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists.

For more information on the PSAT, please visit College Board’s website.




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