2004 NMS Qualifying Indices for each state

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: 2004 NMS Qualifying Indices for each state
By Simba (Simba) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 06:17 pm: Edit

I had posted this earlier and thought might be useful as many of us might be waiting and waiting....In general the cutoff may move a point or two in either direction.

Following are the qualifying indices for 2004 National Merit Program (Juniors who took PSAT in 2002). The cutoff index for commended students was 200. About 1.33 million students took the test.

State, Cutoff index, #of semi. finalist, # commended













Outside US,222,45,344,

Total semifinalist 16,326. Total commended: 35,489.

By Almondeyes (Almondeyes) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 11:59 pm: Edit

So I missed it by a point in Texas. For me the PSAT wasn't a predictor of SAT and SATIIs. My SAT "composite" would be 224. On the PSAT I got a 215. Oh well....

By Underqualified (Underqualified) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 10:33 pm: Edit

missed by a point in pa too :(

By Simba (Simba) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 07:34 am: Edit

Remember this is for graduating class of 2004.

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 01:44 pm: Edit

Simba--where did you find this information? I've looked all over for this kind of thing, without success. Thanks for posting it.

By Simba (Simba) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 02:02 pm: Edit

Straight for the horse's mouth - NMSC.

By Tabby (Tabby) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:35 pm: Edit

Does anyone who's had an older child recall if National Merit Semi-finalist announcements are mailed to the home, or to the school? Wondering how the info is given out.

By Pookdogg (Pookdogg) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:09 pm: Edit

As I recall, the NM folks send the Semi-finalist notifications to the high school. Finalist and Scholar announcements are sent to both home and school. Can anyone verify?

By Optimizerdad (Optimizerdad) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 05:44 pm: Edit

Yep, you're right. I checked our D's folder. She got word_of_mouth notification at school about her semifinalist status; finalist and award notification letters were sent home for sure (I don't know if the school was notified as well).

By Wlrsqtr (Wlrsqtr) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:28 pm: Edit

Finalist and scholar notifications were sent to both school and home. Semifinalist only school. Actually found out about the finalist and scholar first from National Merit by quite a bit. Semifinalst and finalist list was the same kids. School made a big deal of semifinalist and called all the kids in. Finalists and scholars were noted in school publications but kids got no individual notifications from the school until end of year ceremonies.

By Anxiousmom (Anxiousmom) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:51 pm: Edit

Wow - there is a huge difference in semifinalist cutoff scores: Utah and Wyoming 200 and DC, Maryland and Mass 222!!!! I know they are state-specific - but I didn't realize there was that much difference in the cutoffs. It actually makes Texas look much better than I had expected (tied with California with a 216 cutoff)

By Simba (Simba) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:17 pm: Edit

Well I suspect that vast majority of the kids are from Houston-Dallas-Fort Worth-Austin-San Antonio area. Home for many industries (energy, health, space, electronics, education, air transport, banking) with very well educated work force.

By Caseyatthebat (Caseyatthebat) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:44 pm: Edit

We are from Arkansas, and we did discover early on that the score to become a NM semi-finalist would be very advantageous for the AR high school student. However, we likened the process to hitting a home run: It would be a home run whether it cleared the fence by 6 inches (202)or was a bomb that sailed into "McCovey Cove" (222). That is the reality, too; colleges do not care whether you clear the fence by 6 inches or 60 feet; they just target you as a NM semi-finalist/finalist.

Now, having declared the truth of the PSAT score, my S vowed he would never just get the AR score, but would nail the test to accomplish his objective of being a NM finalist regardless of the state. And that is exactly what he managed to do. The proof of the pudding was the validating SAT score, which at the end of the day, was the more important score of the two.

By John123 (John123) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 12:59 am: Edit

For juniors that took the PSAT in 2002?

The kids going into college?

Shouldn't those be the numbers for the 2003 juniors just coming out?

By Simba (Simba) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 08:27 am: Edit

No the NMS are designated by the year the kids will graduate not the year they took PSAT.

By Mathmajor (Mathmajor) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 08:56 am: Edit


Someone has taken PSAT in 10th grade and done very well. Does PSAT taken in 10th grade counts? If someone score more than 235 in 10th grade do they have to take PSAT in 11th grade still?

By Momsquared (Momsquared) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:02 am: Edit

Mathmajor, you must take it again in 11th grade. It's the only score that counts for NMS. Good luck!

By Simba (Simba) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:11 am: Edit

Yes, but if you scored more than 235 in 10th grade, you would be more than fine. Most score more in 11th grade than in 10th grade. You are a year older, your brain expands. 10th grade scores don't count.

By John123 (John123) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 10:57 pm: Edit

Simba, how about the year in between the graduating year and the year they take the PSAT?

I don't understand how they select the semifinalists right about at this time, then report their cutoffs a year down the road =\.

By Simba (Simba) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 10:59 pm: Edit

There is no in between. These are old data published in Sept. 2003.

By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 11:19 pm: Edit

A student graduating in June 2004, would begin his/her senior year in Fall 2003, and junior year in Fall 2002. PSATs are administed in October and are intended for juniors.

Unless you stipulated that you would be graduating at the end of your junior year, you will need to take the PSAT again. The only PSAT that counts is the one taken in the school year prior to the school year (not calendar year) of graduation. You should have no trouble making the cutoff since the highest cutoff is currently 222 (for MA, DC and MD).

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