The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

National Merit Scholars Announced

Left+to+right%3A+Finalists+Alex+Schlegel%2C+Ava+Benbow%2C+Ana+Humphrey%2C+and+Mark+Bailey
Left to right: Finalists Alex Schlegel, Ava Benbow, Ana Humphrey, and Mark Bailey

Four Seniors Qualify as Semifinalists

Griffin Harris

Four T.C. Williams seniors have qualified this year as National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists–up from last year’s one qualifier–Principal Peter Balas announced on Wednesday.

Mark Bailey, Ana Humphrey, Alex Schlegel, and Ava Benbow achieved scores on their practice SAT last fall that placed them in the final rounds of the highly competitive annual scholarship.

A small ceremony with the students’ counselors was held in Balas’s office on Wednesday morning to congratulate the four qualifiers and to deliver them instructions for the later rounds of competition, which, unlike previous rounds, includes a full application with writing supplements.

To enter the competition, testers must have a score on the pSAT that is within a certain top percentile in their state. As the rounds progress to the semi-finals in each state, the bar for an advancing score raises. Those testers that were able to enter the tournament but not to advance are recognized as “honorees” and receive no scholarship money.

Some of the semi-finalists offered advice to their classmates on standardized test-taking. Benbow said, “When I study, I time all my practice tests five minutes shorter [than the allotted SAT time], so I have a buffer during the real test.”

Schlegel said that when he studied he focused on knowing “all the basics and fundamentals” and that during the test his goal is to “just relax and try not to worry about my score.”

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National Merit Scholars Announced