About 3.5 million students take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) each year. Recent reporting by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation indicates that four Gilmour seniors performed exceptionally well on this test. The PSAT is different from the SAT, a test administered by the College Board used by most colleges and universities for admissions decisions.
Annamarie Martin (‘19) is one of only 16,000 students in the country to be recognized as a National Merit Semifinalist in acknowledgement of her outstanding academic promise based on her scores on the 2017 PSAT/NMSQT.
Additionally, James Berner (‘19), Elizabeth Espenschied (‘19), and Gabriel Gainar (‘19), placed among the top 34,000 scorers to receive Letters of Commendation for their notable performances. Martin is in the top 1.25% of students who took the PSAT/NMSQT, and Berner, Espenscheid, and Gainar are in the top 4.25%.
This test acts as a simulation of other standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Espenscheid said it is important to take the PSAT/NMSQT because “it not only prepares students for the actual SAT or ACT, but it prepares them for graduate school exams such as the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).”
Many students take pride in this accomplishment because it proves to colleges that they are students of high academic caliber. It also opens up scholarship opportunities for students to help ease the cost of college tuition.
Martin plans to use her acquired test taking skills to assist her in her future plans of studying mechanical engineering. She said, “It shows that you are a productive worker in a pressured situation. These skills can be applied to my work as an engineering student as I will have to be able to work well in unexpected circumstances.”
Students can take advantage of obtaining practice materials for next year’s PSAT/NMSQT on College Board’s official website.