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Bob Jones Celebrates National Merit Semi-finalists

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Bob Jones Celebrates National Merit Semi-finalists

Bob Jones Nation Merit Semi-finalists for 2018.

Bob Jones Nation Merit Semi-finalists for 2018.

Bob Jones Nation Merit Semi-finalists for 2018.

Bob Jones Nation Merit Semi-finalists for 2018.

Kylee Henrie, Writer

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It’s that time of year again; the semi-finalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program have been announced. This year, Bob Jones has 15 students on the list of roughly 16,000 students who can now compete for the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships.

The winners were announced by WHNT and al.com, and according to WHNT, dozens of students from North Alabama have been offered this great opportunity. Bob Jones’ sister school, James Clemens, has 15 students on the list as well, totaling 30 for the school district.

In order to become a semi-finalist, applicants reach a benchmark score in the 2017 Preliminary SAT (PSAT). According to al.com, less than 1% of high school students become semi-finalists, whittled down from all test takers to 50,000 high scorers, the top third (16,000) of the high scores becoming the semi-finalists.

Students take several approaches in order to prepare for upcoming PSATs. Some take several of the PSAT classes offered. Semi-finalist Cassie Volkin, a senior at Bob Jones, says she didn’t take any of the classes, “My PSAT score was pretty consistent with my actual SAT score, so I think the best preparation I had was taking the SAT beforehand. It may sound silly to take the SAT pre-PSAT, but I think it helped.” Sometimes practice makes perfect.

Another way many students prepare is taking one or more of the prep classes offered. When asked, Mrs. Lambert recommended preparing for the PSAT by “[taking] the most challenging courses possible for each student, but not [overloading]. One thing that we know about all National Merit Semi-finalists is that each of them have taken at least three AP classes.” She continued to say that a student’s PSAT score is linked with the number of AP classes they have taken. If that seems daunting, students can take an honors class or an AP class instead.

According to Mrs. Lambert, the National Merit Scholarship Program is a very important academic scholarship, with several helpful uses for students. “The exposure [semi-finalists] get to college scholarships is great. It is also something they can put on their resume to compete with other students to get into selective schools.”

Congratulations to all of our semi-finalists this year, and good luck to those who are in the running for next year’s scholarships.

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Kylee Henrie, Writer

I am a Junior at, you guessed it, Bob Jones High School. I love writing and drawing, and I dabble in composing music. I plan on going to BYU-ID and want...

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Bob Jones Celebrates National Merit Semi-finalists