Published Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by Tifinie




Becoming a National Merit Semifinalist is a highly coveted achievement!  It gives students eligibility for a FULL SCHOLARSHIP to almost any college!





  1. Be a Junior in High School
  2. Take the PSAT in October of your Junior year
  3. Score in the top .5% of the other Juniors in your state







It’s not as daunting as it sounds.  Last year, Excel had 85 students in the Bay Area, alone, win this recognition!  This year, we want to increase those numbers and are trying to spread awareness about the PSAT, which students are commonly misinformed about.  The PSAT is offered only in October (so register now!!).  Juniors and Sophomores are the only students eligible to sign up for it.  As a Sophomore, you would only be able to take it for practice, but do it!  Not only will this give you more practice for when you take your SAT, but it will also give you practice for when you are a Junior ready to take the PSAT for real.  It’s a win-win for Sophomores.  As a Junior, you’ll be eligible to compete against the other Juniors in your state to become a semifinalist.  Help us make the Bay Area the region with the most National Merit Semifinalists in California and maybe even the country!

For more information about the PSAT, visit the College Board website here!

To register for this exam, talk to your school’s counselor.  The exam is generally administered at the student’s school during a school day.  This year, the main exam date is October 16th.  There is an alternative option available, but it is HIGHLY recommended to make accommodations to insure that you can take it on the regularly scheduled day, Wednesday, October 16th, as you may not qualify for the alternate date and you don’t want to miss your opportunity.  If you are home-schooled, visit this link to register for the PSAT:


This exam costs approximately $17 per student, but sometimes the schools will pay for the cost.  Ask your school for more information on the PSAT being administered at your school.





Now that you know the steps, how can you increase your chances of qualifying?  Increase your scores!  Excel Test Prep specializes in helping students of all levels increase their scores through strategies, techniques, and practice exercises proven to further develop your current skills.  We’ll teach you how to manage the stress and avoid the traps of the PSAT.  We have been doing this for years and know exactly what to expect on the exams.  We also have a complete library of real College Board exams for students to use for practice to continue to develop their testing skills even after their course has ended.

About half of the Juniors out there don’t know why it’s so important to take the PSAT and therefore never do.  Another chunk of them take it but don’t have any help preparing for it.  Then there are students like you-students who are on top of their game and reach for every opportunity they can.  Combine that way of thinking with our course and you will do very well on the PSAT and be ahead of the pack!

We have a 4-week PSAT prep course that is offered year-round.  Students meet 3 times per week and are given 3 in-class practice exams during the course.  This course is guaranteed to increase your score by at least 200 points!   If you really apply yourself and work hard during the course, you can increase it even more!  We have had some students increase their scores by over 350 points with this course!  It all depends on the student’s determination – you got to want it!  For more information on this course, click here!

We also offer a SPECIAL, SUMMER INTENSIVE COURSE that is 6 weeks long.  Students would meet 4 times per week and be given 9 in-class practice exams during the course.  This course has a score-increase guarantee of 300 points!  It comes with more in-depth lectures, more review, and more drills than our 4-week course, plus it includes free 1-on-1 PSAT tutoring during the course.  If you take this course you will be as prepared as you can be to take the PSAT in October.  Think of all the other students that will be taking the PSAT this fall.  How many Juniors out there even take the PSAT?  Of those, how many care and really try?  How many are prepared?  How many of them have taken a prep course?  And how many of them have taken our Intensive Prep Course?  With our help, your chances of qualifying as a National Merit Semifinalist are excellent!  For more information on our 6-week Intensive Course, click here!


(Also, our PSAT course will actually prepare you for the SAT exam as well.  Why not tackle two tests with one course?)



If you want take one of our prep courses to help you do your best on your PSAT this October, SIGN UP NOW!!  The summer is the best time to prepare for this exam.  Our courses will prepare you for the fall PSAT in 4-6 weeks.  After the course, students are given access to Exam Club for 6 months where they can come into our Fremont, Cupertino, and San Ramon locations and take practice exams.  These after-course practice sessions are essential for continuing to build your skills all the way up until your exam date.  If you take one of our June courses, you will have approximately 3 MONTHS to take practice exams every week before the October PSAT!  Then you can continue to use Exam Club for the remainder of the 6 months to help you prepare for your SATs as well.  (Ask us how you can extend access to Exam Club until your high school graduation.)  Utilizing these resources is an important factor in increasing your score.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink…  

Our 6-week Summer Intensive Courses are beginning as early as June 10th, in San Ramon and San Jose, and beginning on June 17th in Fremont and Cupertino.  Time to sign up for these courses is running out and classes are almost full!  If you register by June 10th you can save $100 on our Summer Intensive Courses in Fremont and Cupertino (discount comes from early registration – register at least one week before the intensive course begins to save $100.  Courses beginning on June 10th no longer qualify.)

Final opportunities to get help in preparing for your fall PSAT exam are about to expire.  Don’t waste another summer! 




Be a part of Excel’s Movement to increase the number of students who are honored as National Merit Semifinalist in the San Francisco Bay Area!  Let’s show the rest of the country how the Bay Area excels!






Don’t forget to REGISTER FOR THE PSAT through your school’s guidance counselor before it’s too late!!!


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