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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

BOHS Senior Minjun Kim Vies for National Merit Scholarship

Jacob An
Minjun Kim, senior, works on an animated tutorial project using JavaScript. Kim’s score on last October’s PSAT qualified him for a National Merit Scholarship, and placed him in the top one percent of all test-takers nationwide.

Less than one percent of the 1.3 million high school juniors that took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) last October were named semifinalists and advanced to contend for a $2,500 scholarship. Anderson “Minjun” Kim, senior, is one of them.

“Walking into the testing room, I didn’t really know about [the program] and just did my best, [as] practice, because I knew I was taking the SAT the month after. I was honestly surprised when my parents told me I was a semifinalist,” Kim said.

To enter the competition,​​ students had to earn a qualifying PSAT/NMSQT score. While the qualifying score varies by state, California requires a score index of 220 (out of a maximum 228) to be considered as a semifinalist.

“You can’t just be smart to be in the top one percent. You have to be a hard worker like Minjun,” Todd Salesky, Global Information Technology Academy (GITA) teacher, said. Kim has been in the GITA program since his freshman year, an experience that has led him to consider computer science and economics as majors in college. 

The PSAT and SAT tests for competence in four sections: reading comprehension, grammar, and math with and without a calculator. Kim, who received a 1590 out of a possible 1600 on the SAT, prepared for the exam by completing practice tests on Khan Academy.

To become one of 15,000 finalists, the current pool of 16,000 semifinalists must complete additional steps, including an essay for the National Merit Scholarship Application, earn competitive grades, receive a principal’s recommendation, and achieve a comparable SAT or ACT score. 

From the finalists, around 7,500 students will be selected to receive corporate scholarships, and 2,500 will win the $2,500 National Merit scholarship award.

Last year, there were three National Merit Semi-Finalists at BOHS: Ian Kim, Jason Wang, and Lauren Yu.

“It’s truly an honor to be put on a list with the top students in California, and I hope I can become a finalist,” Kim said.

Finalists for the National Merit Scholarship will be announced on Feb. 12, 2024.

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About the Contributors
Ellen Kim
Ellen Kim, Editor-in-Chief
Ellen Kim, senior, has been a member of the newspaper staff since her freshman year and is excited to lead the staff as Editor-in-Chief. Alongside her leadership in the Wildcat, Ellen is involved in ASB as Senior Class President and can be spotted in many clubs and organizations across campus including HOSA, Mubotics, Orchestra, and FTOC. Outside of school, Ellen can be found learning the ukulele, listening to her favorite pop tunes, or playing a competitive round of Uno. Ellen has published over 35 pieces for the Wildcat and is thrilled to create lots more during her final year at BOHS.
Jacob An
Jacob An, Photographer
Jacob got his first camera last December, and has been developing his photography skills by capturing the beauty of everyday things through landscape and portrait shots. His hobbies include flying airplanes, Muy Thai kickboxing, playing the bass guitar, and scripting games.
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  • JayLeeOct 2, 2023 at 10:30 pm

    Nice Work Minjun!!