National Merit Semifinalist Cutoffs Class of 2024

By December 4, 2022 January 3rd, 2023 National Merit, PSAT

Compass has analyzed the October 2022 PSAT/NMSQT results to see how scores will impact the class of 2024’s National Merit hopes. Almost 1.5 million juniors took the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship Program, and more than 54,000 of them will receive some form of honors or scholarships.

The Continued Drop-Off in High-Scorers
Students compete for National Merit honors. The more competitive the class, the higher the qualifying scores required (“cutoffs”). How well did students do this year?

In the class of 2020, more than 70,000 students scored above 1400 on the PSAT. This year the figure is under 45,000. This year looks surprisingly similar to last year. Test taker volume is still off more than 13% from pre-pandemic levels, and only 3% of those testers achieved a top score. The results in the last two years may reflect pandemic-related learning losses. Alternatively, College Board has scaled recent PSATs more unfavorably than in the past.

What is a Selection Index and why does it matter?
Instead of using PSAT scores directly, NMSC calculates a Selection Index (SI) that can be found with the online PSAT report. [For a general overview, including information on the Selection Index and the various stages of the selection process, see our National Merit FAQ.] A student scoring 720 ERW and 680 Math has an SI of 212. A student scoring 680 ERW and 720 Math has an SI of 208. On average, students scoring 1400 and above have Selection Indexes of 210 and above. That information allows us to estimate where the Commended level will fall based on how many students receive scores of 1400 or higher.

Years in which a large number of students achieved high scores are associated with Commended cutoffs above 210. Years in which fewer than 60,000 students got top marks are associated with Commended cutoffs below 210. Compass expects this year’s Commended cutoff to fall somewhere between 206 and 209, with a 207 being the “most likely.”

Commended versus Semifinalist, national versus state
The relationship between nationwide performance and Semifinalist cutoffs is more complex. The Commended cutoff is determined by looking at the top 50,000 scorers nationally. Semifinalist cutoffs, on the other hand, are determined state-by-state. The performance of students in Georgia or Michigan has no impact on the cutoffs in New York or Ohio. NMSC establishes a target number of Semifinalists based on the high school population in each state. California, for example, has a target of approximately 2,000 Semifinalists. NMSC determines the Semifinalist cutoff that comes as close as possible to producing 2,000 Semifinalists in the state. While this methodology ensures a national distribution of Semifinalists, it means that some states are far more competitive than others. The table below provides Compass’s estimates for Semifinalist cutoffs.

StateClass of 2024
(Est. Range)
Class of 2024
("Most Likely")
Class of 2023
Class of 2022
Class of 2021
Alabama210 - 215212212212212
Alaska208 - 213209210208212
Arizona214 - 219216214218218
Arkansas209 - 213211210211212
California219 - 222220220221221
Colorado215 - 219217217217217
Connecticut218 - 221220221220220
Delaware217 - 221219218220219
District of Columbia221 - 224223223224222
Florida214 - 218216216217216
Georgia216 - 220219218219219
Hawaii214 - 218216215217217
Idaho212 - 216214215214214
Illinois217 - 220219219218219
Indiana213 - 218215214215215
Iowa210 - 215212212211212
Kansas213 - 217215214215214
Kentucky210 - 215212212212214
Louisiana211 - 215213213213212
Maine210 - 216213215211213
Maryland220 - 223222222224221
Massachusetts219 - 222221220221222
Michigan215 - 219217218217216
Minnesota215 - 219217216218218
Mississippi209 - 214211210213211
Missouri212 - 217214213214214
Montana206 - 211208207208210
Nebraska209 - 215211212210213
Nevada210 - 215212210214215
New Hampshire212 - 216214213214215
New Jersey221 - 224223223222222
New Mexico208 - 213209208210211
New York217 - 221219219220220
North Carolina215 - 219217217218217
North Dakota206 - 210207209207209
Ohio214 - 218216216215215
Oklahoma209 - 213211211210211
Oregon216 - 220218216220217
Pennsylvania216 - 220218218218217
Rhode Island213 - 217215216213216
South Carolina211 - 215213213213212
South Dakota208 - 213211212210209
Tennessee213 - 218215215215215
Texas218 - 221219219220219
Utah210 - 215212211212212
Vermont210 - 215212213211212
Virginia219 - 222221221221221
Washington218 - 221220220220220
West Virginia206 - 210207207207209
Wisconsin212 - 216214213214213
Wyoming206 - 210207207208209
​U.S. Territories206 - 209207207207209
​​Studying Abroad221 - 224223223224222
​​​Commended206 - 209207207207209

Consider the range
State cutoffs fluctuate from year to year — even when the Commended cutoff is unchanged! Rather than expecting that a single score is the correct estimate, Compass recommends that students consider the possibility that a state’s cutoff will fall within the estimated range. Over the last ten years, only 27% of Semifinalist cutoffs have remain unchanged from one year to the next. [Compass’s historical archive of National Merit cutoffs dating back to 2008 can be found here.]

Compass projects this year to be more stable than most because of the similar national performance compared to the class of 2023. However, in Compass’s 15-year database, there has never been a year when the majority of state cutoffs remained the same. So while “no change” is usually the best bet one can make, it’s also a bad bet. Consider, instead, the estimated range.

Small shifts can matter
It doesn’t always require a large change in testing behavior to cause a state’s cutoff to move. NMSC has no way of making fine distinctions within a state. Everyone at a given score is either a Semifinalist or not. The organization tries to come as close as possible in meeting the state’s allocation of Semifinalists (a number it does not directly report), but the nature of the Selection Index means that small variations can move a cutoff higher or lower.

Let’s assume that the target number of Semifinalists for a state is 300. If 282 students had Selection Indexes of 220 or higher and 315 scored 219 or higher, then 219 comes closest to meeting the target and will be set as the cutoff. If only 5 students at 219 had gotten 1 additional question right, there would have been 287 students at 220 or higher, and a 220 cutoff would have been chosen by NMSC. Small differences in class makeup, test form difficulty, or a few extra students guessing correctly on a problem can move the Semifinalist cutoff by a point.

When your selection unit is not a state
The Semifinalist cutoff for each of the 50 states is calculated independently. However, some cutoffs are not independent. NMSC considers boarding school students, students studying abroad, and students in the District of Columbia and in U.S. Territories or Commonwealths as separate “selection units” that follow specific rules. The net effect is that the cutoffs for the District of Columbia and students studying abroad are always set at the level of the highest state cutoff. The cutoff for U.S. Territories is set at the Commended Student level (as it is with some states). The cutoff for a boarding school is set at the highest state cutoff within the boarding school’s region.

The role of test scaling
The PSAT is usually taken by about 1.5 million students each year. The pool is (or was) large enough and consistent enough that the scores of the top 50,000 students should not change much. And yet they do. This reflects a shortcoming of the PSAT/NMSQT — it’s well-designed to measure the performance of the average student, but is more prone to error at the edges. College Board attempts to scale each PSAT so that a particular score represents the same level of achievement. In practice, we see clear examples of where College Board’s numbers are “off.” The class of 2021, for example, had an unusual test form that produced far lower cutoffs than in the previous year. Further confusing matters is that several different test forms are used each year. Compass’s analysis shows that this year’s PSAT — or at least the primary form, taken by more than 1 million students — was difficult. This difficulty can show up throughout the range of cutoffs, but lower scoring states tend to track the Commended level more than do the higher scoring states.

Updates and comments
Compass will update this post as new developments arise. We try to (eventually) answer all questions in the comments, but please be aware that comments are moderated and will not display until approved.

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Art Sawyer

About Art Sawyer

Art graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he was the top-ranked liberal arts student in his class. Art pioneered the one-on-one approach to test prep in California in 1989 and co-founded Compass Education Group in 2004 in order to bring the best ideas and tutors into students' homes and computers. Although he has attained perfect scores on all flavors of the SAT and ACT, he is routinely beaten in backgammon.


  • Sree says:

    Hi, My son has 213 and we are from Missouri, what are the chances to qualify as semifinalist?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      This year — nationally, as least — looks to be shaping up like last year. That would be good news go your son, as Missouri’s cutoff was 213. However, states don’t always follow the national trend, and MO came in at 214 in the two previous years. I’d say his chances are 50/50.

  • Sam says:

    Hi! I took the 2024 PSAT in the state of Louisiana. I got an index of 212 even though the cutoff is expected to be 213. Do I have a chance of making the cutoff? If I do, is there any further steps that I need to take? Thank you! Also, if I barely make the cutoff, will that affect my chance of making it to become a finalist?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Louisiana was at 212 as recently as the class of 2021, so there is certainly a chance. Realistically, it’s probably less than 50/50. The good news is that barely making it is still making it. Your Selection Index does not impact your chances of becoming a Finalist.

  • Anna C. says:

    Great article! My daughter scored an index of 217 and we live in Ohio. Is this enough for Semifinalist or Commended?

  • Marlie says:

    Hey Art,
    I am a student in Louisiana, and I got a 213 as my index. What do you think are the chances of me being a semifinalist? Thank you!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      In years where we see stability in cutoffs, about two-thirds of states see the same cutoff or a lower one. I think we’ll see a stable year, so I’d estimate your student’s chances at 60-70%.

  • Brayden says:

    I got a 213 on my PSAT and it says I am in the 99th %tile for people. I live in Wisconsin. How likely am I to make the semifinalist cutoff since I am on the line but I do see top 1% which considering they name 16000 people and less than 1.6mill took the test I would ASSUME I would qualify. Where did you get the number that 214 was the most likely number from Wisconsin considering scores overall did not appear to vary at all. I will be very sad if I miss it by one point and have been stressing for a while if I will or will not get this award. I got 99% in english and 99% in math.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Choosing between 213 and 214 for my “Most Likely” was a little arbitrary. WI has recently had cutoffs as high as 217 (albeit in an up year nationally), so I was conservative.

      Percentiles, unfortunately, don’t provide us any useful information when it comes to National Merit: (A) they are not based on the Selection Index (B) they are for 3 previous class years and not your class year (C) in the case of “Nationally-representative percentiles”, they include estimates for students who didn’t actually test (D) they are rounded, and the rounding matters and (E) they are not reported by state, and Semifinalist status is determined ONLY by state.

      I recommend assuming the best and taking your mind off of it until September.

  • Emily says:

    Y’all should know that Art is a blessing to all things National Merit! His guidance is invaluable. My son is (likely) a National Merit Finalist for 2023 and Art’s advice and predictions have been spot on. Trust the process and congratulations to your children on their success!

  • Elise says:

    This is such valuable information! My daughter got a 215 in TN and I see that historically, that is where it has hit. She is quite nervous since it is so close. I read above she can retake it? She also took the ACT her sophomore year and got a 34 without preparing. I also saw you mention ACT can be used? How would she take it again or use ACT? We too were told it had to happen during a specific testing time. She is currently a JR.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Students who took the PSAT cannot retake an exam for Semifinalist qualifying. Students who missed the PSAT and are qualifying via Alternate Entry are able to repeat the SAT. What you may be thinking of is Finalist qualification. Once a student is named a Semifinalist (fingers crossed for your daughter), she will need to provide a “confirming score” as part of her Finalist application. That score can be an SAT or ACT and can be repeated anytime between fall of sophomore year and December of senior year. Your daughter’s 34 is likely already high enough. [I have to say likely because there are some quirks in converting an ACT to an SAT Selection Index. You can find out more in our National Merit FAQ post.]

  • Liz says:

    Hello (from California)!

    My son’s NMSC index is 220, he took SAT in Nov, 2022 and scored 1530. If Cal index is 221, he would miss it. My question is if someone meets the index (e.g. 221) but he/she would only need 1400 SAT to qualify for semifinalist? Thanks!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Only the PSAT score is used for determining Semifinalist status. I’m not sure that I understand your question about the 1400. If someone meets the index, they qualify as a Semifinalist. They then need a confirming SAT score to qualify as a Finalist. A 1400 is approximately the score needed. A 1400 would not qualify a CA student as a Semifinalist.

  • Monica says:

    Any predictions for Maryland’s cut off this year? My son’s index score is 223. His high school college counseling office said that the cut-off are determined in in December. Is that correct? Why aren’t they released until August? Thanks!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Cutoffs are not determined in December. They are not finalized until May/June at the earliest and are kept under lock-and-key at NMSC until notifications are sent out. NMSC does notifications via schools, so it makes more sense to wait until August than to try to do something over the summer. The 224 cutoff that we saw for the class of 2022 was caused by the mass cancellations in Maryland. I don’t think we will see a repeat this year.

  • David says:

    What about 2024 students just below the “commend” line (say index @ 200)? Obviously, that’s a formidable score. Do they receive any accolades? Do colleges/scholarships traditionally value anything below “comenend” line? Assume one student at 200-205 from NJ vs one from West Virginia.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Except for its use in National Merit, I am not aware of any schools that evaluate students or offer scholarships based on PSAT scores. Instead, it’s best to view a formidable score on the PSAT as a prelude to success on the SAT. It’s the latter that matters for admissions and awards.

  • Rod says:

    Hi Art!

    Hope you had a great Christmas! Thank you for the article it was very informative.

    My son scored a 215 in Florida. What do you think are his chances of making the semi-finals?


    • Art Sawyer says:

      Thank you, Rod!

      I’d say that it is close to 50/50 on a 215 versus a 216 cutoff this year.

      • Max says:

        Art, thank you. Your data suggests my daughter will qualify as a semi-finalist and assuming her resume/SAT scores confirm those results so she’s lucky enough to be named a finalist, I have a very specific question. I read where if you qualify for a corporate reward (let’s say I work for a sponsoring company), you wouldn’t be eligible for a school award. Of course they don’t want double dipping, but what happens if the Corporate Award would be more beneficial at a school that doesn’t offer significant National Merit aid, but would be significantly less than another school that sponsors more finalists? I know there is some risk involved in choosing your primary school, but does National Merit award the scholarship that will be best for you if you name both a school and a corporate sponsor?

        • Art Sawyer says:

          Sorry for the long delay. I consider myself an expert on score and eligibility questions, but I get hazier when dealing with some of the advanced questions on scholarships. The matching process is still almost a year away for your daughter. My advice is to contact NMSC once your daughter becomes a Finalist. NMSC will help determine the best course.

  • Harold says:

    Hello, what are the chances that I qualify with a 216 in Florida? Thanks

  • Rich says:

    Great article, My son scored a 217 in Missouri. Will that qualify as a semifinalist? Thank you,

  • Josie says:

    Could you tell me if the top 3% scoring 1400 and above (N=43,575) in your table is based on hard data or an estimate? The test seemed particularly difficult. Thank you.

  • Chandra says:

    My son graduates high school in 2024. My son’s PSAT selection index is 226. We are from Arizona (AZ). I believe he will be named a Semifinalist. My question is, for the SAT requirement to become a Finalist, does he need to take the SAT test during a specific time? In other words, he has already taken the SAT on 12/3/22 and he scored well (1500+). Can we use this SAT test results to meet the SAT requirement for becoming a Finalist? Or does he need to take the SAT during a specific time, like, between October 2023 and December 2023 to meet the Finalist requirement? I read somewhere that we need to take the SAT during a specific duration. That is why I am asking the question. Thank you for taking time in answering my question.

  • Kim says:

    Do you know if alternate entry will require a confirming score for the class of 2024? I am unable to find any answer on the NMSC site. Thank you!

  • Laura says:

    Thank you for this article it has been extremely helpful. I think my daughter scored high enough to make the South Carolina cutoff and has already taken the ACT/SAT and done well in her sophomore year, are those scores applicable toward becoming a Merit Finalist ? She plans to take them both at least 1 more time. Is there a specific score she needs to be competitive to be a finalist? Thank you!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      As long the the scores were earned in the August of her sophomore year (technically right before her sophomore year) or later, she should be fine. The confirming score for Finalist is all or nothing. In other words, a high score doesn’t make it more likely to qualify. A Semifinalist needs to earn an SAT score (or equivalent ACT score) that is at least as high as the Commended cutoff selection index. Roughly, that means a 1400 or better on the SAT.

  • Andy says:

    Hi Art, My son has 220 in 99th percentile in NYS. NY has been at 219-220 for the last 4 years. Does he have a shot?

  • Sam says:

    Hi Art,
    Thanks for such an informative article. My daughter has 219 for selection index on the PAST, which she took in October 2023. What are her odds of making it to Semi Final. We are from Colorado.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      A 219 has an excellent shot this year. While CO has seen cutoffs of 220 and 221, recently, those were during years where all of the cutoffs were high. I think we are seeing a “low” year this year.

  • Alden says:

    Thanks for the informative article! California Junior here with a 220 selection index score, what do you think is the likelihood I will be a semifinalist?

  • Adam says:

    Hi Mr. Sawyer, great article! I got a 216 in Florida, 99th in English, 98th in math, but 99th total percentile. Does everyone in the 99th percentile get national merit, or can some not get it? I know that I’m right on the cutoff, so I’m pretty nervous

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Percentiles are not applicable for National Merit. First, they are national, and National Merit (despite the name) is decided at the state level. Second, percentiles are based on a hypothetical set of all test takers, not on actual test takers. Third, percentiles are based on prior years and not on this year. Fourth, … you get the point. I think you’ve got a better than even chance of Semifinalist with a 216, but it is not because of percentiles.

  • Julie says:

    When will the final selection index score cutoff for each state come out?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      In late August NMSC will notify schools of Semifinalists. Schools will then notify Semifinalists. It’s around that time in early September when we learn the cutoffs. Alas, there is no early release.

  • Dee says:

    I had read commended was about top 3%, so how does percentile correlate with that at all (if at all)? My son was 98th percentile, but his score is under the 207 projected for commended.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      College Board presents percentiles in a misleading way. Rather than base them on the actual test takers, it bases them on a hypothetical group of all high school juniors. While your son is in approximately the top 2% of that hypothetical group, he is likely in the top 4% of actual test takers. Also, National Merit uses the Selection Index, which does not have an attached percentile.

  • Dav U says:

    Hello! I scored an index of 215 and I live in Texas. Is this enough for Semifinalist or does it fall short?

  • Grace says:

    Hey Art,
    I have kind of a double situation. One of my children lives in alabama and got a 220 index and the other lives in Louisiana and got a 212. Any insight or opinions on national merit for them? thanks

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Your student in Alabama will qualify as a Semifinalist next September. It’s going to be a waiting game for your student in LA. While Louisiana’s cutoff has gone as low as 212 (most recently in the class of 2021), it’s cutoff usually falls higher than that.

  • KB says:

    Thank you for such an informative article! My child received a score of 209 in New Mexico. Do you think that will be commended or semi-finalist?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      New Mexico’s most recent cutoffs have been 210 and 208, so it is definitely possible that your student is named a Semifinalist. Your student should at least be named Commended.

  • Steven says:

    My son got 226 (Delaware), he says it does not guarantee any thing beyond becoming a semifinalist, is that true?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Congratulations to your son! He is correct. The Finalist stage is completely separate and depends on grades, a confirming score on the SAT or ACT (just getting an SAT score at around the Commended level), and a recommendation from his school. He will also submit an essay. Most Semifinalists become Finalists.

  • Sang says:

    For Illinois, my stuent has a 218 selection index. What is the likelihood of qualifying as national merit semi-finalist from Illinois? Since Illinois selection index did go up by 1 point for class of 2023 – do you think that upward trend will continue for class of 2024? Also does having a 99th percentile in both Reading/Writing and Math play a role in what the national merit semi-finalist qualifying selection index will be for Illinois?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      We can’t call a 1-year change a trend. There is a chance that Illinois’ cutoff will drop back to 218. No, the percentiles do not provide insight, unfortunately. They are based on previous years data and are estimates of a percentile rank if every junior in the country took the PSAT. We won’t know how IL students actually performed until later Aug/early September.

      • Julie says:

        My child also scored a 218 in IL. I see your predicted cutoff is 219… would you put 218 as a slim chance, or more like 25-30%. Just trying to manage his expectations. Thank you so much for your thoughts!

  • Kevin says:

    Very interesting article. Given your suggestion to use the “range” as an indicator for semi-finalist cutoff, a score of 222 in Texas has a fairly good chance. In your opinion, will that score make the “finalist” list?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Thank you for thinking in terms of ranges! There is no chance that a 223 falls within Texas’s range. A 222 will achieve Semifinalist honors. Finalist is a different stage in the competition and does not involve the Selection Index. Instead, Semifinalists submit an application, including an essay. NMSC considers your grades and school recommendation. You must also obtain a “confirming” SAT or ACT score, which basically means a score at around the level of the Commended cutoff (about 1400).

  • Annie says:

    Hello Mr. Sawyer,

    With a 216 and in 99 percentile in GA, will my child has any chance to be named Commended Students by NMSC. Thank you!


  • Laura says:

    My son took the PSAT as a sophomore with a score of 211. Unfortunately his score dropped this year to a 206…and he is looking at a school which gives full tuition for a commended scholar. That’s a hard one to take when just a couple questions could have made the difference.

  • Mel says:

    Hi Art,

    Thanks so much for your helpful blog posts! My son has a selection index of 218 and is in Colorado. Do you think it’s possible that the cutoff could increase to 219, or can we safely assume that he will be named a NMSF in Sept.?

  • Maddie says:

    Any updates or ideas on if scores are likely to drop of go up for louisiana? or are you thinking 213?

  • Nina says:

    I got a 222 but live in NJ. Do you think I still have a chance of being a semi-finalist?

  • Lili says:

    Hi – my daughter is a Florida junior with an index score of 218, has the index score been set for 2024? I see the chart shows range and most likely. Thanks!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      These are only my estimates, and I am not affiliated with National Merit. The official announcements will not be made until September 2023. Very unofficially, I can say that there is zero chance that Florida’s cutoff will be above 218 this year.

  • Thomas says:

    Daughter in Ohio with index of 208. Odds of getting Commended?
    Thank you so much for this wonderful resource.

  • Anonymous12 says:

    I got a 219 in Texas. Should I be an NMSQT Semifinalist? Is this prediction certified?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      I think it is likely a toss-up between 219 and 220. I am not affiliated with National Merit, so this is not at all certified. Semifinalists won’t be announced until September 2023.

  • Joseph says:

    Hi. I have a selection index score of 221 in Georgia. What do you think my chance of become a semifinalist is?

  • Amy says:

    Hi Art, My daughter is a junior in CA, with selection index score of 221. She may qualify for the selection. Do you know when she need to take SAT exam to be consider? Thank you!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Technically she has until Dec 2023 to take the SAT for Finalist consideration, but I would never recommend waiting that long! She can also take the ACT if she prefers.

  • AFU says:

    Hi Art,
    For some reason , user can not see older comment. We can only see the last reply to Asunator. Clicking on “Older Comment” also doesnt do anything.
    I am curious to read your response to my query but I cant get to ti.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      It’s a bug with our website software. If you right click on Older Comments and open in a new tab, you should be able to navigate to previous comments. Oh, and I just answered your original question!

  • Liana says:

    CT Junior here with index score of 222. What’s the chance CT cut off will go up more than 2 points this year?

  • Asunator says:

    Hi! I’m an Ohio junior with a selection index score of 220. What do you think my chances of making it to the semifinalist level are?

  • Tammy says:

    Hi Mr.Sawyer, My scored high on English but did bad on Math. Her PSAT index is 208. Does commended cutoff only look at index not the actual past score? Thanks

  • Christa says:

    After reading all of the comments, it seems like a 218 in Florida is very likely for NM. Thank you for all of this information.

  • SG says:

    Art, thank you for the clear explanation. My daughter attends international school overseas and should be in the “study abroad” group, aka, the highest national cut-off line. She got 222 (1490). Are we still looking at MD, NJ and DC this year? Any more information sharing for this special group? thank you!

  • Prin says:


    What is the likelihood of qualifying as a semifinalist with a 221 in California?

    Also, once a student is qualified, does a student with lower index will automatically have lesser chance to be finalist compare to someone with higher index? Or the index doesn’t matter anymore once you are qualified as semifinalist?

    Thank you

    • Art Sawyer says:

      I’d say that it is a a 75-90% likelihood. I don’t think California will go up by 2 points this year. The cutoff is a qualifying number and does not change one’s chances of being named a Finalist.

  • Andy says:

    Thank you for this informative article! Any chance a 218 can qualify as a semifinalist in Georgia? Would appreciate the rationale for moving the cutoff estimate up one point to 219 from 218 last year?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      In a year where the national numbers look so similar to last year’s numbers, there is clearly an argument that most cutoffs will remain the same. So 218 is a good possibility. Why did I go with 219? I looked at the 4 years in the last 7 that are “low years.” Georgia’s cutoff was 219 in 3 of those years. That was my rationale, but I always recommend students reflect on the potential range.

  • Lizzie says:

    Hi! Thanks for this great article. I just need a quick clarification. If a cut-off for semi-finalists is, say, 221, does that mean that 222 and above qualify, or 221 and above qualify?

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