By Brandon Lee
Four La Cañada Spartans - Lawrence Cheng, Suma Gudipati, Sean Lee, and Monica Song - were named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Competition on September 10th. These students are among the 16,000 highest scoring students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in California. Although becoming semifinalists for the national Merit Scholarship was tough, becoming finalists takes even more work and dedication.
Founded in 1955, the National Merit program is an academic competition for scholarships and recognition. In order to become finalists, qualifying students need to meet all the requirements and deadlines or else they will be withdrawn from the competition.
The candidates are approaching their qualifications in the competition with different perspectives.
Monica Song does not like how people are judged by their test scores and gives her opinion about these judgements by saying, “I think it’s important to remember that it’s just a test score. I’d like to thank the counselors and faculty for being there for me during lunch. Study hard for the SAT and if you do well, you’ll probably do well on the PSAT as well. And if you're not good at taking tests, just remember that you are not defined by a number on a page.”
Sean Lee didn’t expect to become a semifinalist and describes his reaction by saying, “It’s a relief because I know that the cut off score rises every year and I wasn’t sure if I would make it since my score is really close to last year’s cutoff. I’m glad because I probably barely made it.”
La Canada High School is very proud of these four individuals’ outstanding performance and supports them fully as they attempt to qualify as finalists.
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