The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

MTFH Seniors
Top row (left to right): Gabrielle Romano, Aubrey Barotti, Keira Robinson,  Calli Campagna, Nia Mountis, Brenna Campagna, Abby Labezius
Bottom row (left to right): Kristen Nam, Zoe Caloviras, Summer Strauss
A Record Season for MTFH
December 3, 2023

Four MT Students Are Recognized as National Merit Semifinalists

From left to right: Timothy DeMarco (commended), Katherine Riley, Sydney Zimmerman, Suraj Dumasia, and Vraj Parikh (semifinalists) Photo credits to MTSD Instagram

Last year on Oct. 15, 2022, the PSAT was conducted at MTHS. The PSAT serves as a practice test for students of all grade levels to get a sense of how well prepared they are for the SAT, and how they can improve. 

The National Merit Scholarship is a well-known program that serves as a recognition to students who have done exceptionally well on the PSAT. Those who have scored high on the PSAT first become semifinalists then move on to become finalists once they submit a strong application. 

This year, MT has four students who have been recognized as National Merit Semifinalists. They are Suraj Dumasia, Vraj Parikh, Katherine Riley and Sydney Zimmerman, who are currently seniors at MTHS.

“It’s pretty nice to be able to look back and see how I’ve improved over time. The school hosts an event where we can invite a pre-high school teacher, and I found that process to be quite rewarding as well,” Parikh said.

MT hosted a dessert reception on Nov. 6 that recognized students who are National Merit semifinalists. 

The length of the PSAT test is two hours and 45 minutes, making it 15 minutes less than the SAT. Dumasia, who took both the PSAT and the SAT, found the PSAT to have more pressure because of this time difference.

“Personally, I found the PSAT to be a little bit tougher just because there are less questions, so you have less time to get into the rhythm of taking a test,” he said.

Dumasia and Zimmerman agreed that the reading section of the PSAT was more difficult because of the lack of time. They realized there’s only time to skim through the reading text and answer the questions as quickly as possible while also aiming to answer correctly.  

“Don’t focus too much on just getting the scholarships—focus on doing well too,” Zimmerman said.

Afterwards, those who do become semifinalists must meet other academic expectations, submit an application and write an essay in order to become a finalist. After that, around half of the finalists are awarded the National Merit scholarship of $2,500. Ka

“Make sure to take the PSAT in 11th grade so you can get the scholarship,” Dumasia said.

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About the Contributor
Emily Lai, Staff writer
Emily is a staff writer for The Township Times and is a sophomore at MT.

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