The PSAT scores required for commended recognition vary from year to year because they are based on the actual scores of the top 50,000 test takers for that period. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation sets the score each year following the administration and grading of the PSAT exam.
In 2015 the cut-off score for commendation was 200. This score represented the doubled total of the critical reading plus mathematics writing skills score, also known as the selection index score. If the selection index score of an individual test taker also met state guidelines for moving onto the competition for the National Merit Scholarship, the student received notification that he was a semifinalist, instead of notification of commendation.