Upper Arlington News

Wellington School

Two students earn National Merit recognition

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Wellington School seniors Vishal Sharoff and Tyler Michaels earned stellar scores in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Sharoff was named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and Michaels was named a Commended Scholar.

National Merit program officials said the competition draws 1.5 applicants each year. The highest scorers in each state on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying test become semifinalists in the competition.

Finalists for scholarship awards will be chosen in February.

Sharoff, a Dublin resident, has played four years of varsity tennis at Wellington, along with three years of varsity soccer and basketball. He is the co-head of the College Counseling Group and recently started the World Records Group at Wellington.

He said practice tests may have been the key to his success on the test.

"I prepared for the test through self-preparation," he said. "I bought a book full of practice tests and drove through them on my own."

Sharoff said he has not decided yet on a college, but is considering the University of Chicago, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State, the University of Cincinnati and others.

As far as helpful advice to students taking the test, he said, "start thinking about it early and make sure you understand that the PSAT is more than a practice SAT -- it can have a lot of substantial benefits."

Michaels, a Bexley resident, is a member of the Wellington robotics and tennis teams.

"I took timed practice tests that the school gave me to prepare for the test," he said.

Colleges he is considering include Ohio State University, Carleton College and Hampshire College, with a major in statistics.

"I'm currently thinking about becoming a baseball or football statistician," he said.

The advice he would offer to students who are taking the test is, "stay calm."

"It's very important to be prepared, but the most important thing is to be calm," he said. "If you worry too much, you won't be able to perform to the best of your abilities."

Commended students are not in the running for the National Merit scholarship awards, but they placed in the top 5 percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition.

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