An Independent School • Grades 5-12

The National Merit Scholarship Program has announced this year's semifinalists and 24 Lakeside students have been named. They are among approximately 16,000 high school students nationally who were recognized. Of the Class of 2021, 16% were named semifinalists, the highest percentage in the state.

National Merit semifinalists are determined through scores on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). It is one of several tests that Lakeside Upper School students can choose to take. Lakeside usually administers the PSAT to sophomores and juniors in October. Because of the pandemic, Lakeside will offer the PSAT to juniors and a virtual practice test to sophomores in January (only juniors are eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program).

During their junior and senior years of high school, Lakeside students can choose between taking the SAT and ACT tests; within the Class of 2020, 79% took the SAT while 61% took the ACT. Lakeside students consistently score in the highest percentiles in the country on both tests, and regularly has a high number of Presidential Scholars candidates, who achieve perfect scores on the SAT or ACT; the Class of 2020 had six finalists, which was tied for the highest in the state.

Seventy percent of the students in the Class of 2020 scored in the 99th percentile or higher on the ACT, and 89% of the students scored in the 95th percentile or higher. On the SAT, 48% of the students scored in the 99th percentile or higher, and three quarters of the students scored in the 95th percentile or higher.

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are regular shifts and changes to standardized testing, including many colleges eliminating their testing requirements (some temporarily and others permanently; the college counseling office is tracking the policies of the 100 most popular colleges among Lakesiders here).

The college counseling office is offering several parents and guardian events focused on standardized testing.

  • Thursday, Oct. 1: Lakeside college counselors present a virtual College Talk on standardized testing for parents and guardians of current Lakeside Upper School students.
  • Thursday, Nov. 12: Jed Applerouth, CEO and founder of Applerouth Tutoring, will give an in-depth virtual presentation on the ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests.
  • Thursday: March 18, Matt Steiner, director of outreach at Compass Education Group, will offer a similar presentation on standardized testing.

Find more information about events and standardized testing on the college counseling resources page. Please note that access to that page is restricted to current Lakeside families; it can be accessed from the Veracross family portal after logging in.