On the Spot: Annual PSAT test gives juniors opportunity to qualify for scholarships (with video)


Ale Ceniceros

Coppell High School tested for the PSAT this morning in the gyms. Sophomores take this test as a practice for their junior year PSAT, and juniors take it in order to earn the National Merit Semifinalist award to earn scholarship money for college.

Video by Clare Klement, KCBY

Gracie Blackwell, Business Manager

Seniors and freshmen had the liberty of staying at home and arriving later to school today. Sophomores and juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), a standardized test administered yearly at Coppell High School.


Sophomores are required to take it, providing them the chance to take it before the actual SAT.


“[The PSAT] gives [sophomores] an opportunity to take it one time before they actually go through the real process of [the SAT] and it gives us some data to look at some of the kids that have had some real success and to kind of look at what their pathways are to try and figure out how we can help continue to grow them in those certain areas,” CHS associate principal Sean Bagley said.


For juniors, however, they have the option of taking it. Juniors get the opportunity to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program, determined based on score.


The test is important to students for the opportunity to be given scholarships. Next spring, more than $32 million will be offered to the 16,000 qualifying students.


In 2016, CHS had a campus record 36 National Merit Semifinalists.


Last month, Coppell ISD announced 22 students from this year’s senior class have qualified as National Merit Semifinalists.


Each year at CHS, when the National Merit Semifinalists are announced, the “Wall of Honor”, along the main hallway, is updated with framed pictures of each qualifying student.


This year, Principal Dr. Nicole Jund wanted to surprise the students who qualified as National Merit Semifinalists in a new way.


Jund, assistant principals and counselors went to the qualifiers homes and surprised them with their own yard sign, which says “Home of a Semifinalist”.


“It was really unexpected because I had no idea, I had never heard that they give out the signs so I was super surprised,” senior National Merit Semifinalist Maydha Kohli said. “I was just sitting at home studying for my chemistry test and I hear this knock on my door and my mom is like ‘oh, it’s for you’ and I was like ‘what?’ and so it was a really nice surprise.”


The PSAT allows students to assess their knowledge of what they have learned in high school and how well they will do in college.


“You know it’s just a big honor, we want to identify and celebrate our kids who have had success and just the hard work that they’ve put into that,” Bagley said.


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