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King School

An independent day school educating students PreK-Grade 12

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National Merit Semifinalists

The King School community is thrilled to celebrate Gouri Krishnan ‘23 and Ben Persily ‘23 being named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. 

To qualify for the semifinalist level of the competition, students must achieve extremely high scores on the PSAT, or Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, a standardized test administered by the College Entrance Examination Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

Initiated in 1955, the NMSC recognizes students who excel academically by offering nationwide academic scholarship opportunities in an effort to promote learning, celebrate student achievement, and encourage academic excellence.

Gouri in lab

“Being named among the top PSAT takers in the country is extremely exciting, and I'm proud to be able to represent King in this regard,” Gouri said. “Achieving a high score on the PSAT would not be possible without the support and guidance of my teachers - the critical math and reading skills I've developed through high school were essential for preparing for this test.”

Ben shared Gouri’s enthusiasm.

Ben in lab

“I studied in preparation for the ACT back in my sophomore spring and did quite well,” Ben said. “When it came time to take the PSAT for national merit qualifications, I had not studied for the SAT and felt a bit underprepared. I decided to give it a shot, and spent a a couple of weeks studying before taking the PSAT. When I saw my score, I was beyond excited, as I knew that meant I would be a semi-finalist, and after hearing the official announcement, that excitement only grew. It is such an honor to be named one of two national merit semi-finalists from King.”

Director of College Counseling Jessica Landis said she is proud of Gouri and Ben for achieving the semifinals recognition. 

"Achievement takes many different forms at King and I am always excited to see our students recognized for their hard work and perseverance,” she said. “Ben and Gouri have already submitted their applications to move on to the finalist stage and I am looking forward to seeing what happens when the results are announced in a few months!"

To advance to the finalist round, semifinalists must maintain a high academic record, write an essay, provide an endorsement from a school official, and take the SAT or ACT test and earn a score that confirms their PSAT/NMSQT performance.

“I'm fortunate to be able to pursue this incredible opportunity further through my application for National Merit Finalist,” Gouri said. “I look forward to seeing what happens next.”