National Merit Scholarship





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: October 2003 Archive: National Merit Scholarship
By Mpnolan (Mpnolan) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:16 pm: Edit

The whole reason I took the PSAT was to attempt to qualify for the NMS.

What kind of scores do you have to get to be at minimum entered in the competition? Do you need a 240 to have any shred of chance?

Their website is extremely unhelpful.

By Kid (Kid) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:20 pm: Edit

it all depends on where you live.. to be a commended scholar, the cut off is usually 200. but the semi-final cut off varies.. bigger states generally have a higher cut off.. 218-220. you don't need a 240 to qualify

By Ender_238 (Ender_238) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:21 pm: Edit

does anyone know the cutoff score for new jersey? i heard that the semifinalist cutoff score tends to fluctuate around 220. can anyone tell me the exact cutoff? thanks

By Speeddemon608 (Speeddemon608) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:23 pm: Edit

and is the psat only to qaulify or is it the sole criteria for how you rank in the competition? i got from somewhere that past getting commended you fill out all this other stuff and they look at that, gpa and whatever else

By Anduin (Anduin) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:30 pm: Edit

Whether you are a semifinalist depends solely on PSAT scores. They pick the National Merit Scholars using PSAT scores, SAT I scores, GPA, EC's, a counselor recommendation, and an essay that you have to write.

By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 05:54 pm: Edit

I realize how extremely unhelpful the NMSC website is. Here is a summary of the competition-
After taking the PSAT, the NMSC takes the top 16,000 scorers and names them semi-finalists (the cutoff for this varies from just over 200 for some of the southern states to up to the low 220's for Mass, New Jersey and the like). Even though PSAT scores are the ONLY criteria used when choosing the semi-finalists, they find it necessary to delay the announcement until September of the following year (don't ask why, this is one of the NMSC mysteries no one will ever solve). Shortly after, commended students are notified (those with scores around 200 or above). Once reaching semi-finalist status, students must fill out an application (much like a college application) to be considered for one of the 15000 NM finalist spots. THose 1000 students who are rejected, I suppose, have either mediocre grades, SAT scores that don't make sense (ie less than 1300 or so), disciplinary problems or just fail to turn in the application all together. NMSC then needs to "process" the applications for an additional 4 months or so before notifying the finalists of their status. FInalist are then eligible for college and corporate sponsered scholarships. A few months later, National Merit Scholars are notified that they will be recieving a scholarship directly from NMSC. This is an honor, but most of the monetary rewards come from college sponsers. Feel free to ask any other questions as I many of us on this board have been through the process and can help. Also, the Carlton College website is very helpful. There are many other threads on this site that have a lot of info as well.

By Psatsurvivor1 (Psatsurvivor1) on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 12:32 pm: Edit

My bro won the national merit scholarship in ner jersey, and his score wasn't above 220. They double the verbal score in most states, and then add it in. He had to write an essay, and they make sure that all the semi-finalists do well enough on the SAT's, but mostly its just based on your PSAT scores. My brother got an 80 verbal, so that's probably what did it


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