The full name of the test is: Parents who assume that the letters after "PSAT" are just some arcane footnote do so at their own -- and their child's -- peril. Picture courtesy Joel L.
Each year, about 1. This group is narrowed down to 15, who become Finalists. This article will explain the three key steps you need to follow to win the National Merit scholarship, from meeting the entry requirements, to scoring well on the PSAT, to submitting a standout application.
You must be enrolled as a high school student, progressing normally toward graduation. You must plan to enroll full time in college starting the fall following high school graduation. You must be a U. These requirements will be checked with a few questions at the beginning of the PSAT.
Although it varies from state to state, most students must score above out of to qualify as a Semifinalist, which means they can compete to move on to Finalist standing. Prepare with high-quality materials.
Identify your weak points and work to improve them. If the Reading section confuses you, spend the majority of your time practicing those sections. Take control of your learning and study with practice questions and sample tests.
This practice will also pay off later when you take the SATs in the spring of your junior year and fall of senior year.
Aiming for a National Merit Scholarship? We designed our program to learn your strengths and weaknesses through advanced statistics and customize your prep to be as effective as possible for you. PrepScholar then creates a study program specifically customized for you.
This will train you for your specific area weaknesses, so your time is always spent most effectively to raise your score. We also force you to focus on understanding your mistakes and learning from them.
Check it out today with a 5-day free trial: This application allows 15, of the 16, Semifinalists to move on to Finalist standing. However, only Finalists are eligible for National Merit Scholarship awards.
The online NMSC application is the same as your college application in some ways and different in other ways. You must submit the following: They need to receive your scores by December 31st of your senior year. Differences You must submit the following: There is no strict cutoff, but a competitive GPA 3.No essays, no teacher recommendations, no submitting your high school transcript—the National Merit Scholarship sounds like a breeze!
Don't be fooled. To apply for this elite scholarship program, students have to take the PSAT—also called the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT)—during their third year in high school. The student must also be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that reflect his or her high score on the PSAT.
Take a look at the map to find out which students were named semi-finalists. About 8, high school juniors will receive the National Merit Scholarship out of million applicants.
The big key to enter is the PSAT. Be fully endorsed for finalist standing and recommended for a PSAT National Merit Scholarship by their high school principal; Finalist’s essay. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Students in 10th and 11th grade can take the new PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 to measure readiness for college, access scholarships, and practice for the SAT.
My son, who's a junior, did very well on the PSAT, so he is planning to take the SAT, probably in April, to continue on in the National Merit qualifying process. SAT Essay for National Merit Scholarship? #1. Here is what the Guide for the NMSQT competition says about advancing from semi to finalist.