Should I retake?

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: March 2004 Archive: Should I retake?
By Student8712 (Student8712) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 03:47 pm: Edit

Right now I have a 1490 (verbal: 720, math: 770). When I got that score I was surprised because I expected the opposite (I'm in AP English and only pre-calc for math). On practice tests I've always done much better on verbal than math. Considering that, should I retake even if it means I'll get another 1490 only with a 770 verbal and 720 math so that my composite will be 1440? (Of course I may get higher in verbal than 770 and lower in math but you see where I'm going)

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 04:00 pm: Edit

If you think you can do better then it's a win-win situation. If you got 770 Verbal and 720 Math the second time, your composite would be the same, and if the college took the 2 highest scores your composite would be 1540. Practice and take it again!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 04:33 pm: Edit

My personal opinion is that 1490 is excellent and good enough for any college.

Since you said on practice tests you always do better in verbal than in math and this is your usual pattern, then the real test you took did not follow that pattern. I suppose, given that, you could take the test one more time with the hope that you do higher in verbal (even if math stays the same or goes down) and end up with a higher composite. They do take your highest Verbal and your highest math, so in that regard, it may yield a benefit to you. Otherwise you truly are fine as you did already.
Congrats to you!

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 04:58 pm: Edit

Another possible factor - some schools use cutoffs for merit aid - in which case, squeaking out another 10 points might be worth it. You could check that at individual schools, however.

By Student8712 (Student8712) on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

Thanks for the advice so far. By the way I made a mistake in the original post, I meant to say my composite would be 1540 in the end. My concern is that colleges would not like that my scores flip flopped like that (and the scores will)...

By Yoyomama04 (Yoyomama04) on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 11:15 pm: Edit

Most schools take your highest in each section, and if you've only taken the SAT once anyway, I'd go for it and take it again. Study well enough for math again and the scores shouldn't really flip flop as much as you're worried they will.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 11:41 pm: Edit

And a flip of that magnitude may not matter anyway.

As to whether it's worth it or not, I must disagree with my distinguished colleague from Vermont. If you're applying for the top schools, the difference between 1490 and a 1540 may be enough. Watching the general trend on some of the EA admits/defers/rejects, while there weren't *absolute* barriers, the trend was definitely the higher the better. I sure as heck wish my D had the 1580 she ultimately got rather than the 1480 she had when she was rejected by Yale EA.

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit

I would say take it one mo' again, then stop.

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