ACT or no??

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Discus: College Admissions: December 2003 Archive: July 2003 Archive: ACT or no??
By Shortie87 (Shortie87) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 06:15 pm: Edit

Would taking the ACT's help me in getting into a college of my choice (i.e. UPenn, Columbia, Brown) as well as the SATs?

By Drusba (Drusba) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 07:02 pm: Edit

A way to look it at is as follows:

1. At both Brown and Penn, if you go the SAT route then you need to submit both SAT I and SAT II's. Both those colleges accept the ACT in lieu of all SAT tests (I and II's). Thus, if you have a very good ACT and weak SAT I or II's, the ACT becomes your best bet.

2. The above is not true for Columbia, which accepts either the ACT or SAT but also requires SAT II's even if you submit the ACT. Nevertheless, if your ACT is considered by the school to be better than your SAT I, the admissions personnel will rely on the ACT.

3. All SAT tests you take (I and II's) will be sent to a school if you requeest any one score to be sent; you cannot prevent that. The ACT folks send only the test you request to be sent.

4. Bottom Line: if you already have great scores on your SAT and SAT II's, the ACT adds nothing. If you are worried about any of your SAT I or II scores or still haven't taken them, the ACT may be worth the shot.

By Teli (Teli) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 10:45 pm: Edit

Well, I have to admit, my SAT scores aren't the best. I think the choice of ACT or SAT is a strategic advantage if used properly. After feeling like a complete idiot after seeing my SAT score, I glanced at an ACT practice test. The test looked like something I could blow away easily. I can't believe that I wasted my time studying for the SAT. So I took the ACT and scored significantly higher.

I think (and so do the authors of The Princeton Review's "Cracking The ACT") that the ACT is a better test than the SAT. Why? The College Board says the SAT tests "ability" - yet ability cannot be truly defined. The ACT tests the topics learned in high school and is a content-based test. A major advantage of the ACT is that there isn't a guessing penalty.

However, in the end, both tests have one flaw: The SAT tests your ability to take the SAT and the ACT tests your ability to take the ACT.

By Marthpodi (Marthpodi) on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 12:08 am: Edit

If you've done well in the SAT I and II's there is still a benefit to taking the ACT IF you are confident that you'll be able to do as well or better on it. This shows consistency in excelling on standardized tests and certainly cannot hurt.

By Mike (Mike) on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 01:22 am: Edit

Counselors at my HS push the ACT because studetns usually do better on the ACT. Most do. It was about a dead heat for me 1370 on the SAT and 31 on the ACT.

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