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Students commended for success

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Students commended for success

Matthew Cox and Thomas King received news of their award from principal Todd Loupe.

Matthew Cox and Thomas King received news of their award from principal Todd Loupe.

L. Fruge

Matthew Cox and Thomas King received news of their award from principal Todd Loupe.

L. Fruge

L. Fruge

Matthew Cox and Thomas King received news of their award from principal Todd Loupe.

Autumn Rendall and Krislynn Tapley

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For the upperclassmen of LCM, the future is approaching quickly and that means academic achievement tests and stress are knocking at the door. For Thomas King and Matthew Cox, the hard work they have put into their academic studies is already starting to pay off. Both seniors were recently named as Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

In order to practice for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) is offered to sophomores and juniors to provide an example of what the SAT will be like. College Board, the organization that issues the test, looks at the national results of all participating students who took the PSAT. Of the 1.6 million students that take the test, around 50,000 with the highest scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The top 34,000 scores approximately are selected to be recognized as Commended Scholars.

According to Cox, he was in shock when he first heard the news of this achievement.

“I was under the impression that I didn’t do so well,” Cox said. ‘But when they told me, I was like ‘Yes! Success!'”

When they told me, I was like ‘Yes! Success!”

— Matthew Cox

The redesigned PSAT test involves evidence-based reading and writing, along with math. Cox did the best on the reading section, while King did better on the math portion of the test. 

“There was a math with calculator section and math without calculator section on the test and the math with calculator surprisingly gave me a little bit of a struggle,” King said. “I did, however, miss several of the reading comprehension questions, but apparently I didn’t miss too many.”

The PSAT is arguably one of the most difficult tests a high school student can take. Many hours of preparation are required in order to succeed. King practiced with an example test, while Cox had a different approach to his test preparation. 

“I got some advice from a previous SAT taker,” Cox said. “He actually got the scholarship but I also practiced online for it as well.”

While it is evident King and Cox put a lot of effort and time into their studies, both seniors are also involved in plenty of other activities. Cox actively participates in Key Club, various UIL teams, and the marching band, while King enjoys many of the same activities.

“I’m in band which takes up a huge part of my time,” King said. “I also do Number Sense, General Math, and Computer Science UIL. I hope to advance to the State meet again this year.”

Though Cox and King will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, they will both become eligible for various scholarships that will help lead them on to their future careers. 

“I’m looking at a career in Computer Science,” King said. “I’m not quite sure about which field within that, but once I get to college and learn more about it, I’ll figure it out.”

Along with educational and career-related advantages, the Commended Scholar award has also served as a motivating factor for Cox and King.  According to Cox, it was a goal of his to reach this level of academic success and King said it has boosted his self-confidence. 

“When I’m now faced with daunting prospects such as this English essay I have to write tonight, I can go into it thinking, ‘Alright I got this, I’m National Commended Scholar,'” King said. “It’s a very good feeling.”

It’s a very good feeling.”

— Thomas King

The National Merit Commended Scholar award is one that many other students may strive for, so King has some advice for those working toward that goal. 

“Focus on your studies,” King said. “Don’t always sit around and play Wii Sports. Do something that will benefit more in the long run.”

 

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Autumn Rendall, Writer

Hello! My name is Autumn (if you call me Fall you aren't creative, I promise). I am the LCM Band Pit Captain and I enjoy music, dance, writing, and bein'...

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