About one percent of high school seniors are chosen each year for the distinction, which is based on their scores on the PSAT tests they took as juniors last year. The list of semifinalists in the 59th annual competition was released earlier this month.
The semifinalists are eligible to compete to become a finalist and win a scholarship as a 2014 National Merit Scholar.
The Berkeley High semifinalists are:
- Flynn L. Buxton-Walsh
- Elsa de Becker
- Margaret F. Gallagher
- Michael Hess
- Carlin X Hudson
- Katherine I. Reed
- Luke A. Fleischman
- Maxwell A. Goldstein
They are among approximately 16,000 students nationwide to achieve semifinalist status among the approximately 1.5 million students who took the qualifying PSAT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), according to the National Merit Scholarship Program. The standardized test measures critical reading, math problem-solving and writing skills.
Scholarships worth more than $35 million total will be offered in the spring.
While semifinalists are chosen according to the highest PSAT scores, finalist status and scholarship awards are based on a broader range of factors, including academic record, activities, leadership abilities, an essay, honors, awards and SAT scores.
About half the semifinalists are expected to be awarded a National Merit Scholarship.
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