How do you think Covid-19 will affect the National Merit Cutoff?

As an incoming high school Junior, I was wondering how Covid-19 would affect the national merit cutoff for the class of 2022. While it’s impossible to know for sure, I see two likely possibilities.

  1. It lowers, due to less things being learned this spring, and people worrying about other things or moping because almost all activities have been canceled( and for a good reason)
  2. It raises quite a bit higher, since most activities were cancelled. Some students, especially those aiming for top colleges, are likely to spend their newly increased time practicing for the PSAT and SAT, leaving the rest of the juniors in the dust.

I personally spent most of the spring and summer moping, but I’m starting to practice the SAT and PSAT again. I’m trying to practice extra now to make up for the lost time, but I’ll probably fail to completely make up for the months of moping.

I see three possibilities.

  1. It goes up.
  2. It goes down.
  3. It stays the same.

I think it will go up. Why? Many schools/states give the PSAT to all students for free, so the low scores in the past might be earned by those who really don’t care much for school or by those who aren’t thinking about college but just take the test because they are a junior and that’s what juniors do on that day.

This year, those students may not make the effort to take the test. Those who do take the test are the ones who make the effort. Colorado announced that the fall SAT and PSAT will be offered in school on 2 dates in Sept/Oct. Now the school districts are starting to announce no in person classes until Sept and maybe not for the first quarter (and then they’ll reassess). Those students who want to take the SAT/PSAT will have to go to school specifically to take the test (weekday test, not Sat)