Duong honored for National Merit performance


Senior Yuki Doung shows off her distant learning work station.

Nicholas Baca, Editor-in-Chief

Many students use the PSAT  to identify the areas they need to study to get a good score on the SAT, but for senior Yuki Duong, the test showed how prepared she already was. 

As a result of her junior-year PSAT score, Duong is now receiving national recognition for being among the top 50,000 scorers. She is a National Merit Commended Student, an honor given to only the top one percent of test-takers. 

The PSAT doubles as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test for students who take it during the fall of their junior year. Because so much time elapses between the original test date and National Merit Award announcements, the news can come as a real surprise for students. Duong says she knew about the National Merit Scholarship, but she never thought that her test score would lead her to national recognition. 

All students have the chance to take the PSAT, and studying for it early is a key to success. Duong said her English classes at Burroughs especially helped her increase her score. 

“Taking AP Language helped me to study for the PSAT,” said Duong. “The AP Lang multiple choice is similar to the Reading section of the PSAT.” She credits the new way she was taught to think in AP Language for sharpening her skills for the kind of analysis she had to do on the exam. 

BHS Principal Carrie Cope was excited to hear about Duong’s national recognition, which she says will help her as she applies to college. Duong is hoping to attend a UC — UCLA is her top choice — depending on where she is accepted. She plans to study medicine and become a doctor. 

“Yuki should be very proud of her accomplishments,” said Cope. “It’s something she has earned through hard work and dedication to her academics.” 

She also offered high praise for Duong’s teachers.

“The Burroughs staff should be recognized for their rigorous curriculum and commitment to teaching our students,” said Cope. 

Duong’s award did not come to her easily. She studied for the exam well prior to the test date and paid particular attention to managing her time and being able to respond to all questions within the time constraints.

“My advice to a junior is to study and familiarize yourself with the test format,” said Duong. 

This year’s PSAT test will be offered Jan. 26, although it may only be open for juniors.