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***Class of 2014 NMSF Qualifying scores***

mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,851Registered User Senior Member
edited December 2013 in National Merit Scholarships
So PSAT scores for the class of 2014 are starting to roll in. Is there any way to judge yet whether cutoffs are likely to be on the high side or the low side this year? My son's score is a few points higher than the cutoff has ever been in Vermont, so I think he's "safe" as long as it doesn't turn out this this will be an exceptionally high cutoff year.

I know that in the past folks have looked at the state's 99th percentile range as a guide -- when would those ranges be published for this most recent PSAT?
Post edited by mathmomvt on
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Replies to: ***Class of 2014 NMSF Qualifying scores***

  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,851Registered User Senior Member
    To partially answer my question, the 2012 percentile ranges are here http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/understanding-psat-nmsqt-scores.pdf

    I didn't archive a copy of 2011's but the 99th percentile range for 2012 looks like it's the same as what I had copied down from 2011, so my best guess is that cutoffs shouldn't go up (or down) much compared to last years'.
  • collegec123collegec123 Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    The percentiles are the same as last year, but the cutoffs can still vary by state. Don't know about Vermont specifically, but some states have to be 99+ to make it, some must be on the high end of the 99%, while some can be in the 97% and still make it. Once the state summaries are released, people can make a better guess, but if he is a few points above 217 he should be safe.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,851Registered User Senior Member
    I think Vermont, as a smaller state, can fluctuate more. Some years the VT cutoff has been a point or two into the 99th percentile and other years, 4-5 points in. But it's never been at the top of the 99th percentile range which is where his score lies, so I think he's almost certainly safe unless something drastic changed in one of the other school districts or something (to raise their scores by a lot).
  • RobDRobD Posts: 5,059Registered User Senior Member
    mathmomvt: that report is a start, but you really won't get an idea of how an individual state will rise or fall until the individual state summaries are released. If I recall last year correctly, those don't get published until January although the dates on the slides are end of December: College-Bound Juniors & Sophomores | Research and Development

    There are individual state summaries going back to 2000. Hoping Perazziman & Descartesz will chime in, but part of the ciphering in the absence of any clear process by NMSC was to look at the total # of students in the 75-80 & 70-74 ranges for each of the three scoring areas & comparing that to years previous. Are there more students this year? Chances are the cutoff will go up. Are there less students this year? Chances are that the cutoff will go down.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,851Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks RobD. I think I'll put it out of my mind for a while and hope for the best :)
  • RobDRobD Posts: 5,059Registered User Senior Member
    I just went & checked the threads from last year. I posted the links to the state summaries on 1/31/12. I think I was checking 15x/day so I understand your impatience ;)

    If you want to get some insight into how Clapuma & crew looked at the numbers for clues see this thread: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/national-merit-scholarships/1265245-psat-cutoff.html
  • collegec123collegec123 Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    Anxiously awaiting the State Summaries as well - DS is also on the bubble and will make it if our state doesn't exceed its highest cutoff to date.

    If you look here

    http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/psat/deadlines

    the reports are due to be released in February, but we can always hope they will be up earlier.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,851Registered User Senior Member
    RobD that's a great thread. I had already reviewed it, but it's a great pointer to put out there again.

    This thread is similar and also very interesting/useful IMO

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/sat-preparation/1257840-psat-score-199-any-chance-making-commeded-scholar.html
  • justin5585justin5585 Posts: 173Registered User Junior Member
    Hey guys. Im a junior from NJ and the cutoff score last year was 221. I got a 221 (OMG) and im scared that the cutoff will be higher this year. Anyone think that the cutoff for NJ will go up or down?
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,851Registered User Senior Member
    justin, you're in for a long suspenseful wait, I'm afraid.

    Generic percentile ranges are the same this year for last, so that suggests cutoffs will be similar to last year's, but any state could certainly go up or down a couple of points. When the state summaries that RobD and collegec123 mentioned come out, we'll have a better idea, but really you're going to have to keep your fingers crossed until next September!
  • collegec123collegec123 Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    justin -

    mathmomvt is right - you will be in suspense until September unfortunately. Since the cutoff off for the NJ class of 2012 was 223, you really are on the bubble. I would say it works in your favor that the lowest score in the 99+ range is 222 (it was 222 for the class of 2013 and 224 for the class of 2012), but it is all going to depend on how many high scorers there were in NJ, not how the nation or NJ did overall.

    congrats on a great score!
  • crystalma12crystalma12 Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    219 in California . . . last year was 220, the year before that was 221, before that 219, before that 218. What are the chances?
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 3,851Registered User Senior Member
    Crystal, congrats on a great PSAT. :) You're not out of the running by any means, but you're definitely going to be in suspense until the end. Sorry! With no other info I would say (for any state) that the chances of making it with a score lower than last year's cut off are less than 50%. We may have a better guess when the state data comes in, but probably nothing that will be able to give you peace of mind!
  • OfthekingOftheking Posts: 27Registered User New Member
    I scored a 221 in New York. The cutoff last year was a 215. Should I be at all worried?
  • crystalma12crystalma12 Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    When does statewide data come out?
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