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National Merit Scholarship: Confirming PSAT scores?

AnalanzaAnalanza Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
Ok, so I made Semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship contest. They say you need to have SAT scores that "confirm" your PSAT scores: does anyone know what this means? My counselor freaked the crap out of me when she said that meant you had to score higher on your SAT than your PSAT. I got a 238 on the PSAT and a 2360 on the SAT...so does this mean I have to retake the SAT for a 2400?? There's no way I can do that...I don't want this scholarship to run away from me just because of something like this!

Thanks in advance guys.
Post edited by Analanza on

Replies to: National Merit Scholarship: Confirming PSAT scores?

  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    Your GC is totally wrong, you just need a reasonable SAT score to confirm your semi-finalist standing. And while I'm not sure the College Board has ever given out a specific number, your 2360 is a fantastic score, it will in no way hinder you.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Super Moderator Posts: 14,560 Super Moderator
    Holy cow, your gc is putting the pressure on you! I agree with Entomom.
  • pmrlcommpmrlcomm - Posts: 2,235 Senior Member
    I've read in the past that the thinking was anything north of 2000. Who knows. It's not something publish. Given that 15,000 of the 16,000 SF go on to F status it seems to me as long as you don't embarass yourself you should be fine. It's been said that most of the ones that don't get F status didn't bother to turn in the paperwork.
  • JDHarmsJDHarms Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    Congrats on the high score! I (also from AZ) got a 211! Just squeaked by! Of course, no one ever told me about this back before then, so I didn't even know to study >.<

    Now, my SAT scores look like I studied like a beast after my PSAT, lol (:

    Congrats again, you're a shoo-in!
  • Christian2Christian2 Registered User Posts: 859 Member
    Your SAT score just needs to be around the lowest PSAT qualifying score in the country and that is why north of 2000 is a very good rule of thumb.
  • faithinhimfaithinhim Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    Don't worry. Your SAT score is awesome. I made a 207 on the PSAT and a 2040 on the SAT, and I made Finalist.

    Don't fret!
  • GreeneryGreenery Registered User Posts: 975 Member
    2010 National Merit Scholarship Program- Stats only- Georgia- Test taken in October 2008
    Applied - Universities:
  • 1sttimemom1sttimemom Registered User Posts: 571 Member
    OK - I feel like a big dope.

    My D's PSAT report says:
    Selection Index: 195
    Percentile: 95
    "If your Selection Index places you among the 55,00 high scorers who qualify for program recognition, you will be notified next Septemeber"."

    Question - what does all that mean?

    Please, feel free to say, "Uh, not much, you can't swing a dead cat without getting that kind of score". or "Everyone who shows up on test day with a pulse gets that."
    My feelings will not be hurt. :) Testing is for sure NOT my D's strong suit, and we're well aware of that.

    Do they use PSAT scores or SAT scores to figure NM semi-and finalists?

    I'm just trying to figure out what it means.
    Chocolate? (hey, a girl can dream...)
  • midmomidmo Registered User Posts: 3,720 Senior Member

    Please don't feel like you have to apologize for not being born knowing this stuff!

    While your daughter's score of 195 is a very respectable score, it is probably not high enough to qualify as a National Merit Semi-finalist. I'm not sure what Florida's qualifying score is, but it is almost definitely over 200.

    Your daughter is not such a bad test-taker. If she got this score with no preparation, she is on track to do just fine on the SAT.

    In answer to your other question, NM semi-finalist status is based solely on the PSAT score obtained as a high school junior. In order to advance to finalist, the student must take the SAT and get a respectable score, as well as fill out some other forms, submit transcript and an essay.
  • 1sttimemom1sttimemom Registered User Posts: 571 Member
    midmo -
    Thanks so much. This is a lot of new information to digest at once!

    PSAT scores of 640 (CR) 580 (M) 730 (W) was with MUCH preparation.... only in Math... we were thrilled that her second round of PSATwent above 500. It was 410 the first time.

    She took the SAT last month, awaiting scores.
    Whatever the scores turn out to be will be fine. My mantra is "there is a school and she'll be at it".

    Thanks for the thoughtful answer!
This discussion has been closed.