The PSAT exam is optional for Juniors. It is a good measure of progress, and it is the entry point for National Merit Scholar consideration, so we encourage participation among those who might show up well and perhaps win some financial support as a result. National Merit competition is fierce, requiring that students perform at the very top of their national cohort.
Corbett Charter School has already seen one National Merit Scholar and a National Hispanic Scholar in its short history. We have also had students who received commendations from The College Board for their exemplary work. This year (our second) is shaping up along the same lines, with at least one student scoring well enough for Merit Scholar consideration and others knocking on that same door. Nothing will be official until the Fall, but here is what we know now.
30% of Corbett Charter School's 11th graders took the PSAT, and their average scores placed them in the 90th percentile in the College Selection Index, which is a summary of their performance. (statistically, one would anticipate that the mean of the top 30% would be the 85th percentile). By subject area, they averaged in the 90th percentile in reading, the 88th in math, and the 87th in writing. In each case, their median score was actually higher than the mean, so we literally place more than our share of students among the top scorers in the nation.
Corbett Charter's top 10%? Each scored in the top 7% nationally...always taking a little more than our statistical share, even against the top students in the county.