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Results

More than two decades of data are conclusive. Students who achieve National Merit Commended or National Merit Semifinalist status double to triple the gains anticipated by the College Board, makers of the PSAT/NMSQT. Note the following two research studies.

Beginning in 1989 and continuing to the present, in one of our larger Illinois schools we have evaluated sophomore to junior year growth on actual PSAT/NMSQT exams for students enrolled in our PSAT 1520 program. In the early years of our research, the College Board anticipated gains of 8.4 points for students testing in their sophomore year and retesting in their junior year. Since the revision of the PSAT/NMSQT in 2005, the College Board anticipates gains of 10.6 for students testing in their sophomore year and retesting in their junior year. Typical of past years, our most recent gains were 27.3 points for Merit qualifiers and 23.3 points for Commended students.

In a related study of the Class of 2009 for another high school, data proves that scores of students who took the PSAT/ NMSQT who were not enrolled in PSAT 1520 grew 11 points. Test scores of students who were enrolled in PSAT 1520 who achieved Semifinalist status grew a substantial 25 points. Test scores of students who were enrolled in our program who achieved Commended status grew 24 points. Overall, in this study our PSAT 1520 participants averaged a gain of 22 points, double that of students not in our program.

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