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Six semifinalists compete for National Merit

Seniors Daniel Buffum, Justin Fang, Eyal Kattan, John Kim, Anusha Manjunath, and Jonathan Yn all scored in the top percentage compared to other Missouri applicants.

Athena Stamos, Managing Editor

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Seniors Eyal Kattan, Jonathan Yn, Justin Fang, Anusha Manjunath, Daniel Buffum, and John Kim were the six semifinalists for the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Photo courtesy of Tim McCarthy.

Six students were semifinalists for National Merit for the PSAT, the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test. Semifinalists include seniors Daniel Buffum, Justin Fang, Eyal Kattan, John Kim, Anusha Manjunath, and Jonathan Yn who all scored in the top percentage compared to other Missouri applicants.
“It stands out on your college application, which gives you more of an edge when applying to schools,” Manjunath said.

These students are able to become National Merit finalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, where there’s a greater chance for scholarships because they scored in the top percentages. During their junior year, they took the PSAT which gives the opportunity of National Merit.

The PSAT contains fourt timed sections. In order to manage time, Manjunath encourages others to watch the clock and skip a question and come back to it if someone gets stuck on the question.
Fang did not do much academically to prepare for his junior year PSAT. His main piece of advice for these standardized tests is to get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam, and to eat well.

“I did eat a good breakfast,” Fang said.

Similar to Fang, Kattan advises not to stress about these standardized tests and he believes that anxiety can affect people’s testing ability.

“If you go in calm and stress free,” Kattan said. “It can drastically help your ability.”

Kattan felt stress free while he took the test during his junior year and believes that is why he did so well.

Manjunath’s older brother got National Merit which motivated her to do her best on the standardized test. On the other hand, Kattan was the first person in his family to receive this recognition.

“It is nice to have something to show for all my efforts,” Kattan said.

The summer prior to the PSAT, Kattan did ACT prep and that was it. Manjunath took practice tests specifically for the PSAT to judge how she would do on the actual standardized test.

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The Student News Site of Parkway Central High School
Six semifinalists compete for National Merit