Class of 2025 National Merit Discussion

I am starting this thread early for those who may consider prepping over the summer for the October PSAT.
I have a S2025 who plans to be NMF. His recent ACT came back as a 34 (35 super-score) so he is right on track.
Our plan is for him to take one section test every Saturday morning for the entire summer. Generally, we find the online tests for PSAT, ACT or SAT and print them up and take them under test conditions. This strategy worked quite well for my first two NMF,s. (2017/2023)
His school has a PSAT camp the first week of June. Otherwise, it will be summer as usual.


Will it be the digital format for everyone this fall?

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For the PSAT yes


Students are better off just prepping for the SAT and taking in the fall. That will get them ready for the PSAT.

Exactly! But we run out of tests. Lol

You should prep for the digital SAT because the PSAT will be digital for all this year. Unfortunately there are only 4 practice digital SAT tests available on bluebook right now.

I’m hoping D25 can be national merit. We are planning on having her take the August paper SAT to see how that goes and then the Digital SAT early next year. There are some aspects of the new digital that I like but not much study material out there.

After her May 1 AP test she’ll start studying in earnest for the SAT/PSAT.

That is our plan as well (I like the devil you know) but other than being familiar with the format, I think sticking to paper prep will be fine.

I don’t believe the content/tested skills are supposed to be inherently different.

I know that the reading passages will be a lot shorter and only have 2 or so questions for each one. It’s also adaptive which I do not like!

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In the past, I have been critiqued on having my kids spend their summer preparing for the PSAT. 16 year olds have plenty of down time every summer. We spend very little of it studying but we do favor preparing. In our family it is preferential to a summer job as we plan to use National Merit for scholarships to finance college. In that regard it is a summer job.
My S2025 says digital wont affect his test taking as he has plenty of experience in digital State tests.
We will definitely search for the digital SAT’s.

Thanks for the education on the digital PSAT. We now have the 4 digital practice tests which will last until October. I had no idea. it was happening.

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Hello. S25 will be making a run at NMF. His older sister was NMF class of 2020 and is now a junior at UCF. Her NMF scholarship was life changing for our family. Can lightning strike twice?

He got a 1450/219 on his 10th grade PSAT prior to any prep (state cut off was 219 that year) so he’s got a decent shot, though of course you never know.

S25 was going to take the SAT in August, but he’s hitting high enough scores on his practice tests that we decided to just go ahead and have him take the SAT in June, hopefully get his target score then, and just do maybe some vocabulary review over the summer.

For those preparing for the first digital PSAT - the word is that vocabulary is much bigger deal on the digital tests than on the paper ones.

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Yes, lightning can strike twice. And a little prep goes a long way. 100% Cost of Attendance can be life changing for those families who choose to take advantage of it. The PSAT is in 5 months!

As some of you know, we are proud at Univ. of Tulsa to offer the best scholarship in the nation for National Merit Semifinalists. I’m the President of TU. This year, we will have 159 NMSFs, more than 25% of the class. This will almost certainly be the highest density of NMSFs of any university in the nation.

Happy to answer any questions. At the following link, you can read more about it.


Summer has started and my S2025 has taken his practice PSAT. He scored a 1470 with a 219 SSI. Our state usually requires an SSI of 214 so we are good. We will now focus on the computerized practice tests at least twice this summer.

Just had my daughter take the free digital PSAT test offerred by Compass Education Group and got a 222. My son was a NMF class of 2021 so really trying to make sure daughter also hits the correct number. How does one obtain access to Blue print tests?