The PSAT at Great Neck North

Caption / Source : GNPS Homepage

Caption / Source : GNPS Homepage

Alyssa Ghassabian, Associate Editor

Five students from Great Neck North High School have been named semifinalists in the reputable 2019 National Merit Scholarship Competition.

From John L. Miller-Great Neck North High School, the semifinalists were Yoel Hawa, Isobelle Lim, Isabella Mirro, Joshua Rothbaum, and Lucien Wostenholme.

In total, 24 students attending Great Neck Public Schools have also been named semifinalists.

These semifinalists were recognized for achieving scores that are amongst the highest in New York State on the Preliminary SAT, also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The PSAT has about 1.6 million entrants each year.

These students took this exam last year, and happened to be amongst the 16,000 named nationwide for attaining this outstanding achievement.

“Hearing my name called and having my picture on the school website was an amazing feeling and it truly was rewarding. I had teachers I never knew congratulate me, and my family was very proud too,” said Mirro, a senior.

The National Merit Scholarship is a scholarship program that uses the Preliminary SAT for all Juniors, and awards the top ranking students.

Scoring within the 99th percentile, these students represent less than one percent of seniors in the country, and will be identified to colleges and universities for their exceptional academic ability, and projected success in rigorous college studies.

“If I was a junior or sophomore looking to succeed well on this test, practice good test taking skills and take this test like it’s the real SAT. Study what you can and make the most out of your skills,” Mirro said.

Most semifinalists will go on to hopefully become finalists in the beginning of 2019. In order to do so, the semifinalists will submit an application. This includes writing an essay and submitting an SAT that they took a junior.

The Merit Scholarship Winners will be chosen from among the Finalists to receive one or more of the Merit Scholarship Awards.

Many juniors are choosing to take the PSAT this year not only for the recognition, but for the practice.

“I don’t even want to take the PSAT, but I feel like I’m obligated to because everyone takes it,” said Vera Cho, a junior.

“It’s good practice, and you never know, you might even get recognition, so why not take it. You have nothing to lose,” said Emma Sassouni, a junior.

However, there are some juniors who have been practicing for this exam diligently, determined to receive recognition.

“I had hopes of trying to achieve this recognition and scholarship, but now I have some doubts,” said Sachita Gupta, a junior.

Many students have other stresses in other classes that they must worry about before the PSAT.

“Due to the stresses of my other classes and commitments, I just don’t think I can do as well as I need to,” Gupta said.

Although the results of the exam may be extremely rewarding and helpful, some students still choose not to take it, especially the underclassmen.

“As a sophomore, I didn’t even complete many of the courses that cover the material on certain sections of this exam, such as Geometry or Algebra Two,” said Sarah Dadfarin, a sophomore. “I’m also stressed with other tests, and don’t have time to worry over a test I don’t have to take for a while.”