Your child’s junior-year PSAT is not only an excellent opportunity to practice for the SAT—it also allows your child the chance to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. Students will take the PSAT in October of their junior year. The following April, approximately 50,000 juniors with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (or total PSAT scores)—roughly the top 3% of junior testers—are notified that they qualify for NMSP recognition. The Selection Index qualifying scores vary from year to year and state to state. Each state’s qualifying score varies based on that state’s percentage of the national total of high school graduating seniors. Students are selected for NMSP recognition from each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
If your child took the PSAT/NMSQT in October of 2021 and received a very high score, he or she may be entered in the 2023 competition for National Merit Scholarships. In September, about 34,000 students will receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their high PSAT scores, though they will not continue in the competition.
About 16,000 of the highest scoring students will qualify as semifinalists. These students represent approximately the top 1% of testers in each state. In February, those semifinalists who meet academic and other requirements will advance to Finalist standing. In April, scholarship winners will be notified.
To see how your child’s score ranks in your state, you can compare his or her scores to the estimated qualifying score range.
Estimated Qualifying Score Range by State for the Class of 2023
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