Kokomo High School senior Aditi Sood earned 2017 Semifinalist status in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, which means she scored in the top 1 percent nationally among the 1.5 million juniors nationwide who entered the National Merit competition by taking the 2015 PSAT.
“Aditi is an incredibly gifted student who has taken advantage of our many college preparatory courses at Kokomo High School,” KHS Principal Angela Blessing noted. “Aditi completed the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program as a sophomore, and has taken 6 Advanced Placement courses each of the last four semesters. The multitude of high-level AP and IB courses offered at KHS has allowed students like Aditi to flourish. I am very proud of Aditi’s accomplishments.”
Aditi is among 16,000 Semifinalists throughout the nation who have been recognized for their outstanding potential for academic success based on their PSAT scores. Aditi recorded an outstanding 76 (out of a possible 80) on the Critical Reading portion of the exam along with a 72 in Mathematics and a 72 on the Writing portion of the exam for a solid total of 220.
“Finding out I was a Semifinalist was an amazing feeling,” Aditi explained. “It meant even more because it was actually Mrs. Blessing who told me. I just hugged her and was in shock.”
Aditi, who ranks 1st in her class of 386, believes her scores, in part, are a testament to the quality instruction at KHS. Aditi is enrolled in some of Kokomo High School’s most rigorous courses. Aditi has completed 10 Advanced Placement courses, which include English Language Composition, Macro Economics, Micro Economics, U.S. Government, U.S. History, Calculus AB, Statistics, Biology, Physics 1, and Physics C: Mechanics.
“The new PSAT is different from the old one, but I felt the differences reflected more of what we were actually learning in school,” Aditi noted. “The new PSAT definitely requires you to manage your time well. I believe my AP and IB classes helped immensely. Both helped me do well on two very important aspects of the exam. The difficult texts we read in my IB classes helped improve my reading comprehension – a skill for which I could not be thankful enough. Preparing for AP exams helped me manage the clock on the PSAT. Both programs helped improve my knowledge base by test day, and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to study through both programs.”
Aditi recently was named an AP Scholar with Distinction, which is granted by College Board to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of the exams. Aditi earned the top score of 5 on two exams: English Language Composition and Calculus AB.
“I am incredibly thankful for all the opportunities I have at Kokomo High School,” Aditi said. “As I complete college applications and scholarships, I can see how the KHS College Prep Academy has put me a step ahead of students from other schools.”
The KHS senior could qualify for some of the National Merit scholarships as the teen moves forward in the National Merit program. To become a National Merit Finalist, Aditi must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which she provides information about her academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. She must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a KHS official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm her earlier performance on the qualifying PSAT.
From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists.