The National Merit Scholarship Program for the Class of 2022 will be unusual. There was a large drip in the number of PSAT takers. Only about 737,000 juniors were able to take the October 2020 PSAT. This is a just 44% of the number of student who took the PSAT in October of 2019. Almost 1 million students were not able to test. The January exam will have narrowed the gap somewhat, but the number of participants will be low.

Students who missed the PSAT can read about how to participate in the National Merit Scholarship through Alternative Entry.

The Top 50,000 students, based on the PSAT Selection Index, are selected nationally to establish the Commended cut off. Semifinalists follow an allocation based on the number of high school students in each state. For example Rhode Island will have approximately 50 semifinalist, Georgia will have approximately 450, and California 2,000. The student in Georgia is not competing with the student in Rhode Island. This is why states have different cut offs.

One of the reasons the number of commended students is so low is because schools with historically strong PSAT scores will push to administer the exam.

While we are making projections for the class of 2022, we are providing wider ranges.


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