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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What PSAT score can help you get a scholarship, and how does it work?

I've heard that doing well on the PSAT can actually help you get scholarships, which sounds awesome. But what score range should I be aiming for if I want to qualify for a scholarship? Also, how exactly does that process work? Anyone been through it and can offer some insight?

8 months ago

Certainly happy to clarify! The scholarship you're referring to is likely the National Merit Scholarship, which is connected to the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). To be considered, you must score within the top 1% of test-takers in your state. This score is known as the 'Selection Index,' which is double the sum of your reading, writing and language, and math scores. The qualifying scores vary by state because they're calculated annually based on that year's results.

Once you've achieved a qualifying score, you're designated as a 'Semifinalist.' To become a 'Finalist' and potentially earn a scholarship, there are additional steps including maintaining a high academic performance, getting a recommendation from your school and having a satisfactory SAT or ACT score. Being a Finalist can lead to scholarship opportunities not only from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation but also from participating colleges and other organizations. I've had a number of students utilize this path to help fund their education, and the preparation often serves them well in other standardized tests too!

8 months ago

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