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NMSQT Qualifying Scores?

I'm taking the PSAT/NMSQT soon and I wanted to know what the qualifying scores are for the National Merit Scholarship. Does it vary by state or is it the same for everyone? Thanks for the help!

6 months ago

The qualifying scores for the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP) do indeed vary by state. Each state has its own cutoff score, which is determined based on the number of participating students and the overall performance of students in that state. The reason for this variation is to ensure that an equal proportion of top-performing students from each state are recognized as National Merit Semifinalists.

To give you some context, the PSAT/NMSQT score ranges from 320 to 1520. Semifinalist cutoffs usually range from the low 210s to the low 220s, depending on the state. Historically, states with higher cutoffs tend to be more competitive, like California, New York, and Massachusetts. Conversely, less competitive states will have lower cutoffs.

It's important to note that these cutoff scores will change slightly each year. To get an idea of what the qualifying score for your state might be, you can look up the previous year's cutoffs, but keep in mind that they're subject to change. Additionally, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) will notify those who qualify as Semifinalists in their junior year, usually around September.

While it's good to aim for a high score on the PSAT/NMSQT to increase your chances of qualifying for the NMSP, remember that the scholarship competition is only one aspect to consider. Focusing on your academic performance, extracurriculars, and college applications will also be crucial for your overall college journey.

Good luck on your upcoming PSAT/NMSQT!

6 months ago

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