This past September, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced that three of our Lynx Seniors, Claire Kvande ’19, Sammi Weiss ’19, and Andrew Calkins ’19, are Semi-Finalists! After taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) during their junior year, the three have qualified as Semi-Finalists and are now in consideration for scholarships awarded to high school seniors entering college Fall of 2019. Claire Kvande and Sammi Weiss have shared their reactions and insight into becoming Semi-Finalists.
How did you react when you learned of your qualification as a 2019 National Merit Semi-Finalist?
CK: I was surprised and very pleased.
SW: I found out almost a year after taking the PSAT, and around eight months after receiving my scores, so it was definitely off of my radar. When I initially heard, my first reaction was something like, “oh, okay!” But later on, I was really happy and proud.
Did you have a personal goal to become a Semi-Finalist?
CK: No – I wasn’t really sure how to go about getting it.
SW: Not particularly. I practiced a little for the PSAT, just as a way of preparing myself for taking the SAT that December. When I got my scores back a few months later, I was surprised to see I had scored higher than I thought.
Do you feel your time at Lausanne and within the IB Program had prepared you for the PSAT?
CK: Yes – I didn’t do any outside preparation, so my success is entirely attributable to what I’ve learned in the IB Program.
SW: I think some aspects of being at Lausanne prepared me for the test, like our challenging academic environment. But a part of me wants to say that the way I did was due to chance: the right questions being on the test in the right year.
What do you hope to gain or accomplish as a Semi-Finalist?
CK: I would love to progress to Finalist status and hopefully win a scholarship.
SW: Not everyone who becomes a semi-finalist gets a national merit scholarship, so above all I hope to be one of the people to receives the scholarship.
Do you have any advice for underclassmen hoping to achieve this same honor?
CK: If you’re close to the cutoff in 10th grade, maybe do some outside studying to ensure you get it in 11th. Mostly, just keep up with your classes and make sure you understand core math and grammar topics.
SW: My best advice is to practice a little bit, but also recognize that four hours of your time don’t reflect your entire intellect. Don’t let preparing for one test come in the way of your regular life!