ACT and SAT...Take SAT again?

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: May 2003 Archive: ACT and SAT...Take SAT again?
By Beenthereil (Beenthereil) on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 10:12 am: Edit

Son is being recruited by several schools. Some require the ACT, some the SAT with SAT II's.

Has a 35 for the ACT and 1490 on SAT. Taking the SAT II's in October.

Should he re-take the SAT or is 1490 enough for the East Coast/West Coast schools?

By Drusba (Drusba) on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 03:39 pm: Edit

First off when you say "some" require the ACT, some the SAT I, you should check very closely as to what each school actually requires because, with only a handful of exceptions (like Wake Forest which requires the SAT), colleges throughout the US accept either (and that includes Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA, and UCB).

The scores are fine for applying to any school--elite schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton (HYP) accept many with that score; however, for those elite schools just be aware of this: they will accept 10 out 100 who have a 1600 SAT, they will accept 10 out of 100 who have 1490, they will accept 10 out 100 who have 1400; they will accept 10 out 100 of those with a 35 ACT. In fact, if those schools believe the 35 ACT is higher (likely) than the 1490 SAT, they will actually count the ACT and ignore the SAT I. In other words, the scores he already has put him in the same boat as most who can actually get in those schools and whether he gets in will not depend on whether he can squeeze out a little higher SAT score by taking it again; it will instead depend on numerous other factors including SAT II's (where required), GPA, courses taken, essays, activities, recommendations, anything else allowed to be submitted for admission, and a lot of luck that a reviewer (who probably himself never did better than 1100 on the SAT) will just subjectively believe that your son is somehow better than someone else who on paper looks exactly like him.

Also, for all colleges you might consider in the East and West other than the very elites in the East (HYP) and a few of those in California (Stanford, UCB and UCLA), he is already better score-wise than 80% of those who do get admitted and for anything other than the top 10 to 15 schools in the nation, he is already better than 95% of those who get admitted. In other words, his current ACT/SAT scores are the least of your worries.

By Beenthereil (Beenthereil) on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 11:36 am: Edit

Thanks, drusba.

By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 10:30 pm: Edit

do most colleges associate all SAT scores 1400+ above about the same?

By Dschnapps (Dschnapps) on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 08:02 pm: Edit

Lateralus, I think that is the case, because there is a large deviation between different administrations that is just random. Also, missing a few questions can bring you down over a hundred points, and colleges have realized that making a determination based on silly chance such as that is not judicious.

By Peach (Peach) on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 09:39 pm: Edit

No, that is NOT the case. A 1410 is not even remotely the same as a 1560. They absolutely do not look at them as "hey, he got more than a 1400, who cares what the real score is?"

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