Our Merit Scholar Program strives to achieve maximum results for the upper 5% of students. We combine our test preparation instruction with a new format to make a course designed for high-achieving students. In the six years we have offered this format, nearly 80% of our students have become National Merit Scholar Commended Students. Some students have raised their Selection Index by as much as 42 points! Most of our students now come as a result of referrals from counselors or previous students.
Sophomores who meet the requirements for the course will meet individually with a Townsend instructor four times in the spring or summer. During the meetings, students will be evaluated, instructed in Townsend PSAT strategies, and given a course of self-study. In the fall, the students will meet four times in small group classes to review and finish their preparation for the PSAT. They will also prepare for the ACT and SAT to be ready for those tests anytime during their junior year. Many students will be done with college testing by January.
The PSAT IS NOT just practice. The real name of this test is the PSAT/NMSQT - (The Pre-SAT or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.) For the best students, it can be more important than the SAT because many scholarships are dependent on it. The PSAT is the sole determining factor for becoming a National Merit Semi-finalist (90% of these students become Finalists). Finalists are eligible for full scholarships at many colleges; they are virtually guaranteed admission to most very selective colleges; they are often recruited for college honors programs.