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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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How crucial is PSAT/NMSQT score for junior year and what's considered a good score?

Hey everyone, I'm a junior and I just took my PSAT/NMSQT. I'm wondering how crucial this score is for college admissions, and also, what score range would colleges generally consider 'good'? Plus, is there a specific threshold for being National Merit Semifinalist-worthy?

8 months ago

Hi there! I understand why you might be concerned about the PSAT/NMSQT. As a starting point, you should know that colleges do not use PSAT scores for admissions decisions; the test is primarily a practice for the SAT and serves as the qualifying test for National Merit Scholarships.

A 'good' score may vary, but typically, scores in the 90th percentile or above (generally 1200-1220 and up) are considered strong. For National Merit consideration, the cutoff scores vary by state and by year but usually fall within the top 1% of scorers. For instance, a score of around 1400-1470 out of 1520 might be around the cutoff for many states.

It's a significant achievement to become a Semifinalist, so if you're in the ballpark, it's worth preparing seriously for the SAT to potentially validate your PSAT scores if you do become a Semifinalist. Keep up your good work, and remember that many scholarship and enrichment opportunities value students who are well-rounded, so keep focusing on your overall high school journey!

8 months ago

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