A classical (clitche) question: how important is the SAT

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: August 2003 Archive: A classical (clitche) question: how important is the SAT
By Amylase (Amylase) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 08:34 am: Edit

How important is SAT in admission to the top notch?

Can 1600 on SAT guarantee admission?

If not, how much can it increase your odds of getting in?

By Pookdogg (Pookdogg) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 11:21 am: Edit

SAT I are not nearly as important as they are cracked up to be. If you have a high SAT score, it's only really useful in conjunction with your GPAs and ECs.

A 1600 CANNOT guarantee admission. In fact, Harvard, as a hobby, rejects a lot of its 1600 applicants. While a 1600 will definitely help, it won't make or break your application. It may cover up a low-ish GPA, but not by much.

By Serene (Serene) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 12:23 pm: Edit

Harvard doesn't reject 1600 applicants just because of the 1600. So it's not really a hobby but more like a necessity since they aren't qualified in other ways.
Usually 1600 applicants have a good chance but that's only because most 1600ers have good grades/ecs etc as well.

By Andy7733 (Andy7733) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 12:48 pm: Edit

if harvard, for example, rejects 60% of people who scored 1600 on the SAT, it means that 40% have been accepted, a far higher rate than the norm. of course, this is attributed to other things, in addition to the SAT (GPA, EC, etc.).

By Plastikcup (Plastikcup) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 01:10 pm: Edit

It is important because it is REQUIRED. A top score is just one factor and probably not the most important factor.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 01:29 pm: Edit

Serene, I believe that "Usually 1600 applicants have a good chance but that's only because most 1600ers have good grades/ecs etc as well" is not reflected by lots of curriculum posted on this board.

There ia a very high percentage of the 1600 SAT club -or very close to 1600- who have an uncanny similarity in listing a great number of EC that share the same lack of depth and qualities, as well as the obvious stigma of having been developed for the sole purpose of "looking good" to an adcom.

However, despite the fact that some schools routinely reject 50% or more of 1600, the corrolary is that those applicants END up being accepted in one of their choice college.

We have to assume that the 20,000 or so applicants at Harvard, most often also apply at a great number of elite schools such as the other Ivies, MIT or Stanford. This means that the pool of applicant is NOT distinct from school to school. In my opinion, the statistics of the abysmal admission rates do not reflect that QUALIFIED applicants do get accepted in greater number at the top schools. To a certain extent, the schools are keenly aware that applicants apply to multiple schools and may weigh how their school match up against another school and accept/reject a student on that basis. They wont "sweat" too much in rejecting a stellar applicant -who may not add to the diversity they strive for- when they believe that the same applicant would be a shoe-in at a competing school.

However, regardless of its comparative weight, the 1600 SAT will always being viewed as a truly remarkable achievement. After all, it is a PERFECT score and speaks volume about the abilities and drive of the holder of that elusive mark.

By Amylase (Amylase) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 07:44 pm: Edit


Check out this link. it has some solid data about acceptance rate for people with various SAT scores.

It shows that acceptance rate for 1600s at Ivys are 80%

By Congresssenator (Congresssenator) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 10:12 pm: Edit

SATs seem to serve to get you in the running to be considered-- at elites, 1450+ should be adequate. It'll never be the deciding factor on an admissions decision. And let me refute an argument I can already anticipate. "What if there are 2 or more applicants who are the exact same but one has a higher SAT score?" Well, if they're "exactly the same," it's highly likely they aren't unique or interesting people. Harvard will bypass both of you and take someone who will fit a needed niche on campus.

By Congresssenator (Congresssenator) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 10:13 pm: Edit

Addendum-- this only applies at HYPS, it seems. The rest of the schools probably crave 1600s. It all depends on how much lower you're willing to look to find your "good fit."

By Plastikcup (Plastikcup) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 12:57 am: Edit

Amylase, thanks for the link.

By Icarus (Icarus) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 05:28 am: Edit

The SAT I test has lost a lot of weight in college admissions in recent years. Colleges have begun to rely more on SAT II subject tests, which are supposed to be a better indicator of proficiency in a subject. Therefore, mostly due to pressure from the University of California, Collegeboard is significantly changing the SAT. I think the new version, which will now include an essay portion, is due out for 2005 or 2006.

By Amylase (Amylase) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 08:22 pm: Edit

Have you see my link Icarus?

By Antithesis (Antithesis) on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 04:46 pm: Edit

According to a Yale admissions officer, an SAT score of 1200 or lower results in an immediate rejection, except in extraordinary circumstances. Take that for what it's worth.

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