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Old 01-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #16
tar heel
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One of my sons got a 227 as a junior. I can't remember what his sophomore score was except that DH and I were surprised that it was so low based on his 7th grade SAT score and standardized tests through the years. When his little brother got a score in the 190s, we assumed his would pop way up to the next year, too. Nope, it went up like 5 points.

My older son is a really good standardized test taker. Is yours? That may give you a clue to what will happen next year. I will tell you that the kid who was number one in my older son's class took the SAT a couple times between the two PSATs, and he did get a National Merit.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:33 AM   #17
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My Ds score went up about 20 points between 10th and 11th grade tests
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethbuchall

According to their website, http://www.nationalmerit.org/entering.php, it appears that you can take the PSAT as a sophomore and then re-take it as a junior to be eligible for the scholarship competition.

It does sound, though, as if the school needs to sign you up differently depending on whether you are simply taking the PSAT or trying for the scholarship.
This year DD had initially not signed up to take the PSAT as a junior (took it as a sophomore). She was busy with so many things and just kept putting it off. Then a couple of days before the registration deadline, she said her name (along with about 10-15 other names) was called over the announcements at school to report to some classroom about signing p for the PSAT. She went to that room and the teacher or counselor said something like, "You all had high scores on the PSAT last year, but didn't sign up this year to take the test. We want you to take the test."

So I gave DD the money (schools here don't pay for it) that night and she registered the next day. The school took care of the paperwork, I guess. The school obviously wanted these kids to take the test to try for the Merit scholarship.

DD has not received any mail from colleges, either. I know at one point I had marked "no 3rd party mailings" on her school registration paperwork because she was getting so much junk mail and charter school post cards, but I changed it last year so that she could get college mailings. She still has not received one college letter, even though her PSAT scores were great. I'm guessing that her mailing info never got updated.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:22 AM   #19
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DS , on the SAT's, went up from 1300 to a 1510 from junior to senior year. Don't recall his PSAT score. It was enough to make it through the first round of the National Merit program as a Commended Student.

ACT went from a 32 to a 34. He is one of 40 kids who interviewed yesterday at u of Buffalo for their Presidential Scholarship-tuition, room and board. They will give 25 Presidential Scholarships so we are crossing our fingers.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmeck
I thought you could only take the PSAT your junior year in order to qualify? We were told that taking it earlier disqualified you for NMS.
Sophomore year is standard. DS made first round NMS.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:51 AM   #21
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DD has not received any mail from colleges, either. I know at one point I had marked "no 3rd party mailings" on her school registration paperwork because she was getting so much junk mail and charter school post cards, but I changed it last year so that she could get college mailings. She still has not received one college letter, even though her PSAT scores were great. I'm guessing that her mailing info never got updated.
Did you mark "no 3rd party mailings" on her high school paperwork? If memory serves, there is an area on the actual PSATs that the student has to check if he/she doesn't or does want to receive college mailings, which is unrelated to school paperwork.

I informed my child to check "no correspondence" for the freshmen and sophomore PSATs, but "yes" for the junior year. As a result, there were no mailings from colleges the first two years, but our mailbox has been swamped this year.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinijocaro View Post
Sophomore year is standard. DS made first round NMS.
When you say that sophomore year is standard, do you mean that every student takes it during their sophomore year?

The local high schools here have all freshmen and sophomores take it for free, then every junior takes it for free as well, which is the actual test that qualifies for NM.

I learned that not all schools provide this service. Some don't provide free PSAT tests even for juniors. Others don't offer the test during sophomore year, and so on and so on.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:17 PM   #23
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We paid for every test D took, PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP etc.
You do need to check the box to receive mail, D did not check it until Junior Year.

Different tests are better for different students. She was National Merit Commended, but her ACT scores were much better.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWJDS

When you say that sophomore year is standard, do you mean that every student takes it during their sophomore year?

The local high schools here have all freshmen and sophomores take it for free, then every junior takes it for free as well, which is the actual test that qualifies for NM.

I learned that not all schools provide this service. Some don't provide free PSAT tests even for juniors. Others don't offer the test during sophomore year, and so on and so on.
In our school district PSAT is offered to all sophomores and juniors. Children who have qualified for reduced or free school lunch to not pay the fee for the test, the other students do pay a fee to take the test.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #25
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Just reading along as I literally just dropped DS13 off to take the SATs! Nervous for him!!!
LOL. I dropped DS13 off this AM for the SATs as well. Not nervous since it doesn't count for colleges or anything beyond the Duke TIPS program. I think they use it to see how much the kids improve from year to year if they maxed out on the state standardized test. So, the pressure is on the teachers not the students this early in the game.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #26
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That explains the spurt of college mailings!!!

I'm here to tell you that you get them regardless of the score. I don't know what dd15's (sophomore) score was, but it wasn't very good. I don't remember there being a total, but each part was over 50th percentile, but not great. Still getting 6-8 pieces of mail a day. We thought it was something else that triggered it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:55 PM   #27
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It is possible to increase your score that much, but not without a lot of prep. Sign up for the SAT question of the day (it's free) on College Board, Dictionary.com has a word of the day to help vocab. Take some practice tests. I got my daughter a DS quiz game for SAT prep. My DD got a 195 as a freshman, then 210 as a sophomore then 221 for National Merit as a Junior.

Sign up and take the October SAT in Junior year. This is the most important tip! It is a few days before the PSAT. It is the best possible practice. Bonus is that you might be done with testing at that point (we were).
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:59 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinijocaro View Post
Sophomore year is standard. DS made first round NMS.
Well, then we were screwed by our guidance department! Younger daughter waited until junior year to take the PSAT, and made Commended status. She would have done much better if she had taken 'practice' ones years in advance.

BTW, it's not really a "National Merit" since it is based on state scores. Some states have really high scores (ours being one) and others have really low ones. DD would have been a full merit scholar in most states. I know an attorney who is getting involved with this issue. (not for us, but for others who think the term is misleading and unfair)
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:48 PM   #29
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It seems like most people didn't check the 'Don't share with Universities and Colleges' box, but just make sure you don't in their junior year. My daughter was a merit finalist and was offered full scholarships to University of Alabama, California Tech, University of South Carolina and University of Arizona just because she was a finalist. Read that mail; you may be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:37 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWJDS

Did you mark "no 3rd party mailings" on her high school paperwork? If memory serves, there is an area on the actual PSATs that the student has to check if he/she doesn't or does want to receive college mailings, which is unrelated to school paperwork.

I informed my child to check "no correspondence" for the freshmen and sophomore PSATs, but "yes" for the junior year. As a result, there were no mailings from colleges the first two years, but our mailbox has been swamped this year.
I never saw the paperwork. DD filled it out at school. She said she does not think she checked anything about not getting any mail. She already knows where she wants to go to college, but it would have been nice for her to have seen some other options, too. Oh well.
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