This school year, seniors Nicholas Anello, Gabriel Cope, Daniel Johnson, Emily Rienwald and Ryan Sienes received the National Merit Scholarship for their achievements on the Preliminary SAT.
Students prepared a number of ways for the test.
“I think doing a few practice tests on my own time and also taking the PSAT in previous years really paid off,” Reinwald said. “Since I was willing to put in a little time on my own, I familiarized myself with the test and felt comfortable taking it.”
According to Sienes, it is not only important to focus on the scholastic aspect of preparation but also on the physical aspect.
“As for any standardized test, I prioritize getting a full night’s rest and a good breakfast. I try not to eat too much or eat something I don’t normally eat on a regular basis to avoid unwanted stomachaches,” Sienes said. “I also prepare the materials I need for the test the night before. Rushing in the morning only makes you anxious, and it’s best to have a clear mind going in.”
Although some students do not feel nervous going into the test because they view it as practice, it does serve as the qualifier for scholarships.
“Before the test, I felt indifferent: it was just another standardized test that was meant to be a practice for the real deal. Yet, I still went in with motivation to get a high score and to try my best,” Sienes said. “Afterwards, I was happy I did well. When I realized the scale was lower than the new SAT, I was even happier. But two years later, when I was recognized both privately and publicly, I felt honored to have been awarded for genuine hard work in academics.”
The National Merit Scholarship awards students’ scholastic achievement and is recognized by colleges. Many of the finalists receive scholarships if they plan on going to sponsor colleges.
“The honorary title is definitely a great thing to put on my college applications. More importantly, this honor shows me that academic vigor and dedication are entirely worth it in the long run. It’s a benefit that will forever inspire me to keep up the good work,” Sienes said.