If you’re considering a healthcare program across the United States, you probably heard of the PSB Test. PSB stands for Psychological Services Bureau, and it enables organizations to determine whether you’re an applicant suited for the program you’re applying to.
For example, if you’re striving to become a registered nurse, the PSB is only one of many exams the school might ask you to sit for. It’s simply a tool to evaluate your knowledge, preparedness, personality, and abilities.
However, whether you get accepted into your choice depends on how well you perform on the exam. So, what is a good PSB Test score? Find out below.
How are Your PSB Test Scores Calculated?
One of the most critical questions that require answering is how is the PSB scored? There are generally two versions of the exam. One of them is computer-based, and the other one is on paper. The computer-based one will prompt you with your results upon completion.
On the other hand, if you opt for the paper version, you should expect your results within 24 hours. Usually, a complete copy of your test score is sent to the institution of your choice. They might even incorporate it into your interview after the test.
However, the score you’ll perceive on your paper comprises 2 scores; the raw score and the percentile rank. Below is an in-depth analysis of what each one entails.
What Does Raw Score Mean?
The raw score simply reflects the number of questions you’ve managed to answer correctly. However, remember that the number of questions for each exam section differs. As there are five different subtests included, the raw mark will vary for each sub-topic as shown below:
- Academic Aptitude (Verbal, Arithmetic, and Non-Verbal): 75 questions – it measures the chance of succeeding academically
- Spelling: 45 queries – tests your foundational educational achievement
- Reading Comprehension: 35 queries – it measures how proficient in reading you are
- Information in the Natural Sciences: 60 queries – your overall professional knowledge
- Vocational Adjustment Index: 90 questions – adequate questions for those striving to be health occupation practitioners
Hence, the PSB raw score is simply the number of correct answers. Once you get your results, you’ll find that each section has its own proper score, which enables professionals to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
What Does Percentile Rank Mean?
On the other hand, a percentile rank mean is a measure of where you stand amongst other students. It compares your performance to your peers, which enables professors and institutes to decide on whether they wish to enroll you or not.
For example, if you receive your test results and your PR rank is 95%, that insinuates that your performance was better than 95% of other applicants. That could also be translated into saying that 5% of applicants have performed better than you.
What is the Average PSB Score?
The highest score on PSB is 380 points. However, it’s almost impossible for anyone to score such a high exam result.
Hence, if you want to consider the average PSB test scores, there are two interpretations to the question. The first is figuring out what most students achieve in the examination. This is difficult to answer, as the average PSB score shifts yearly. However, the average score reflects the students who performed better than 50% of their peers. Hence, they’re the candidates with percentiles of 50%.
On the other hand, the PSB average score per profession will vary. Not each healthcare profession will accept the exact same score. Below is a list with some examples of the average accepted scores the institutes look for:
- Dental Hygiene – 260
- Radiography – 255
- Surgical Technology – 240
So, what is a good PSB test score? It largely depends on the institute you want to apply to and the major you’re pursuing. The averages will shift from one year to the other, as one batch of students might be much more proficient in reading comprehension. In contrast, students might be good at scientific knowledge the following year.
Moreover, another critical piece of information to remember is that there usually is a minimum PR score that will admit you into various subjects. For example, strive for a minimum of 25 percentile if you want to study Physical Therapist Assistant, Nursing, Radiography, Paramedics, Massage Therapy, or Surgical Technology.
While 25 is a low percentile, that doesn’t eliminate the possible competition you’ll face once applying to those schools.
On the other hand, a 12 percentile is what you should strive for if you’re considering admission into Sterile Processing, Basic Nurse Assistant, Phlebotomy, Emergency Medical Technician, or Dental Assisting.
That being said, the above percentile scores aren’t the score you should strive for, as they’re still relatively low. You should aim for much higher to increase your chance of getting admitted.
How to Read PSB Exam Results?
Understanding PSB test scores requires a more comprehensive insight into what each score reflects. First of all, know what your desired percentile rank is. This majorly depends on the school you’re applying to and what major you want to study.
Contact the school to ask them for their average accepted raw scores and percentiles to find out the score you should strive for. Afterward, aim to achieve much higher than that to guarantee a spot at the school.
Below are some test results for the PSB exam provided by Collin College in 2015. It is a general reflection of how raw marks can be interpreted into percentiles:
|Verbal||Arithmetic||Nonverbal||Academic Aptitude Total||Spelling||Reading Comprehension||Information in the Natural Science||Vocational Adjustment Index|
While these results aren’t the only reference out there, they will give you a general insight into how the scores are graded and what you should be aiming for.
But how do you calculate PSB score? Well, there isn’t a way in which you can calculate your scores. However, while you’re in the exam, you can get a general idea of your raw score. Calculating the total number of questions you’re confident about will get your approximate raw score. However, it’s almost impossible to calculate your own percentile score as it depends on how everyone else performed.
How Long Does it Take to Get PSB Test Results?
Unfortunately, there is no set amount of time to wait before getting your test results. It might depend on numerous factors, including the testing center, the day you sat for the exam, and whether you sat for the computer-based or the paper one.
However, rest assured that colleges will receive your results within 24 hours of you sitting for the examination. That guarantees that no matter what, your desired colleges already have your results and can start evaluating their applicants.
For example, if you’re sitting for a computer-based exam, then be ready to receive your results instantly. However, you won’t be able to know your percentile rank. On the other hand, the paper-based exam can take up to a few days to be mailed to you or sent to your email. It depends on numerous factors, so we recommend contacting your testing center beforehand.
However, as a general rule of thumb, expect two weeks to receive your official test scores.
5 Tips to Prepare for the PSB Test
Is the PSB test hard? It’s known to be very challenging, but with the appropriate amount of preparation, you’ll be more than ready to sit for the examination. However, we recommend you follow the tips and tricks below to get you through the test.
Know the Examination Format
There are 5 main tests contained within the exam. These are as follows:
- Academic Aptitude: it contains three subtests: verbal, nonverbal, and arithmetic. Each of those has 30 questions. It often includes identifying words, such as synonyms or antonyms. On the other hand, the arithmetics section might be much more straightforward, such as simple multiplication and division equations.
- Spelling: there are various different types of questions here. Expect to answer 50 questions, of which you’ll find a mix of grammar ones and a series of questions asking you to identify which word has the correct spelling.
- Reading Comprehension: as it contains 40 questions, it’s merely a test of how well you can understand the question at hand and address it correctly.
- Information in the Natural Sciences: as there are 90 questions, expect to answer scientific questions. It often includes a lot of chemistry. They’re usually simplistic, however, which makes it easier on you.
- Vocational Adjustment Index: weirdly enough, this section asks you to identify personality characteristics about yourself. It includes 90 statements you are asked to agree or disagree with.
Adjust Your Studying
First, we recommend you sit for some practice tests, such as the one offered by iPrep. Complete at least one full examination before you decide on your ideal study schedule. This will allow you to determine your weak points and which sections you should focus on most.
Ensure that your practice contains a lot of reading comprehension and arithmetic equations, as these sections are often the trickiest.
Don’t Rush In the Vocational Adjustment Index Section
As you might be considering that this section is elementary and straightforward, answering those questions with some thinking time is absolutely necessary. This is the section that decides whether you’re personality and characteristics are fit for the healthcare field.
While you must answer the questions honestly, reflect on your answers to evaluate whether they fit the fields you’re applying to.
Put Work In
Take as many weeks as you want to prepare for the examination, as you won’t be able to sit for it anytime soon. There is a 30-day period in which you have to wait, but we do recommend you try to ace it on your first try, as the results will be sent to colleges and institutes.
Be Prepared (Time & Tools)
Don’t rush to the examination; try to get there an hour early. It’s always good to be prepared for any lags or paperwork you must fill in.
Moreover, make sure you check everything off your list the night before. You must have some tools, including your ID, pencils, paper, and other documents the institute has asked for.
Wrapping Things Up: What Is a Good PSB Test Score?
At the end of the day, there isn’t a specific PSB test score you should strive for, at least not when it comes to the raw mark. Instead, your percentile rank should be higher than 50%, which at least guarantees you performed better than half the candidates. While this isn’t a guarantee you’ll get accepted into the institute of your choice, it will definitely boost your chances.
Contact your school and ask them for their typical accepted scores to find out what score you should be aiming for.