Every year a group of outstanding individuals are picked from across the nation to be honored as National Merit scholars based on their PSAT score result. PMHS has had a long history of students being picked for this award and this year, senior Isaac Blackburn continued that tradition as he was honored as a candidate for the National Merit Award. Not only does this come with a significant amount of prestige, but if he advances to the final stage he may obtain scholarships to college.
Blackburn plans to study in a field of science, potentially physics. Not only does he have big aspirations, but his deep presence in much of the schools activities which furthered his knowledge as he led the forensics team, political debate club, and the Tri-M honor society. Outside of school he studies the composition of music and works with a professor from Hofstra University in researching BrachyTherapy.
Isaac had a strategy in place for the test. He spent some of his summer free time following his sophomore year studying with prep books. Isaac has advice for juniors who are gearing up to take the PSAT.
Issac said, “Nothing beats actually doing tests. You start to get a feel for what to read for and what the questions will ask. One trick is to always come up with an answer to the question before reading the answer choices; this prevents them from influencing your thinking and keeps your mind clear. Additionally, the math questions lend themselves well to double-checking if you have time to plug the answers back in.”
Having to work through a global pandemic is not what a traditional senior year entails, but Blackburn is contemplative about this.
He said,” I like that everyone seems to be pushing in the same direction and trying to make hybrid and virtual work. The first half of senior year is always tough because of college business but I look forward to the rest of the year.”