Lake Oconee Academy 9th and 10th Graders Perform Higher Than State and National Average on PSAT/NMSQT Test


Greensboro, Ga. (March 7, 2016) – The College Board recently released the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores. The PSAT/NMSQT was administered to all LOA 9th and 10th grade students in October, 2015. The results show that LOA students performed higher than the state average and the national average. The mean total score for LOA students is 1037, the state is 900, and the nation is 931.

LOA 10th grade students also met and surpassed another important benchmark on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math assessment. 100% of LOA 10th grade students met the ERW benchmark and 80% met the Math benchmark, which is an outstanding achievement. The percentage of students meeting both benchmarks is 80% for LOA students, 39% for the state, and 47% for the nation.

The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT each year. Scores from the PSAT/NMSQT will determine eligibility and qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program. You must be a junior level student to qualify for the scholarship program. LOA students will not qualify this year, but look forward to participating in their upcoming junior year.

LOA believes that using the Summary of Answers Report (SOAR) provided with the PSAT/NMQSQT is an important tool to help build on success and strengthen skills for college readiness preparation. The SOAR allows teachers and students to understand the skill or knowledge being tested in each question, find out how the student scored on each question, and delineate steps to improve the score. In addition, the College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to provide free, personalized test building practice online to all students. Through Khan Academy, each student is able to connect to a personalized course of study tailored to the results of the questions from the PSAT/NMSQT.

“The SOAR is the strongest use of the PSAT as an indicator of how well a student will perform on future college entrance exams,” said Dr. Hester Vasconcelos, LOA AP Coordinator. “Using the SOAR as a tool for improvement, and not just as a report, helps students build the skills necessary for success. The key is to build the skills and strategies that allow students to apply knowledge learned in all content areas, synthesize and analyze information, and evaluate the best procedures to focus on problem solving. The SOAR is also a valuable tool for classroom teachers who can study the results and determine which areas or problems still perplex students. Lessons can be designed to give students practice with the skills and strategies across content areas.”

The Georgia Department of Education covers the cost for 10th graders across the state to take the PSAT/NMSQT. LOA invests in its students by providing the test at no cost to 9th grade students in an effort to provide practice and support in preparing students for the college admissions process.

For immediate release
Contact: Kerry Minster