SAT Score Advice To Retake or not to retake?

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: SAT Score Advice To Retake or not to retake?
By Whirlziggi (Whirlziggi) on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 08:06 pm: Edit

Hey everyone can you please give me some advice. I took the SATs in Jan and got 710 M 750 V. Do you think I should retake in June? I feel like I know the math but I'm scared that I'll make careless mistakes and get the same score.. or even worse get an even lower score? My guidance counselor adviced me not to retake the SATs and see what I get on my SAT IIs first.. becuz she said those would balance the score out. But I go to a really competitive school and I'm afraid i wont get in with an SAT score below 1500. Waht do you think, retake or not? THanks a bunch, any advice would be helpful :) Also, do you know if colleges still take the highest V and M and combine them?

By Jsberting (Jsberting) on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 08:20 pm: Edit

Do whatever you feel will be right, have confidence in yourself.

By Skapoor1 (Skapoor1) on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 11:34 pm: Edit

I would retake them, especially if you didn't do very much prep. I'm fairly sure that SAT scores are significant, even though colleges repeatedly tell you otherwise.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 01:12 am: Edit

Your GC is an idiot.

If you scored 710 on the Math, it shows that you master all the material. You have an excellent chance to boost that to an 800.

Verbal is harder to increase but your 750 is grandfathered. Getting both score above 750 is very helpful, and you seem a perfect candidate for a retake.

Make sure to seek additional advice on CC, and take your GC's advice with a huge grain of salt.

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 10:49 pm: Edit

The UC's (and a few others) look at the highest single sitting score - but most others look at your highest composite. The only reason for not retaking in June would be if it would screw up your SAT II schedule (where it is also possible to retake). Your 1460 is a good score - but it does not put you solidly in the top quartile of the most competitive schools. You might want to play with the AI calculator widget on this site and see what going from a 1460 to say, 1520 would do for you.

By Sticksandstones (Sticksandstones) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 11:24 pm: Edit

Xiggi, i like your picture of clinton, kennedy, and kerry in your profile. its hilarious!!

By Yoyomama04 (Yoyomama04) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 12:27 am: Edit

Xiggi, that's rather extreme. His/her guidance counselor's advice is actually not bad. Waiting until you see your SAT IIs isn't a mistake. A 1460 is a competitive score, and the fact that the OP's high school is competitive has more of an impact on the competitiveness of his/her grades more so than the SAT.

Whirlziggi, it wouldn't hurt to retake if you can devote some time to practicing with 10 Real SATs. If you're scoring higher than your current scores in practice, then go for it. But if you choose not to retake it's not going to make or break your college applications.

Xiggi, one final thought. I've read your posts on this forum for a while now, and while you often have good insights, you really need to show more respect for other people's opinions. I think you can be very helpful but you can often be arrogant and opinionated to the point where you attack others for their opinions and seem to attempt to invalidate them if they are in direct opposition to yours. I find it a lot harder to respect your contributions here, and you as a person, when you so often present yourself on the ultimate authority and act like we all need to answer to you. It's gotten very tiresome. You should be commended (and often are) for your positive contributions, but honestly, if you don't learn some humility, and the ability to be more open-minded to others' contributions, it's eventually going to come back and bite you in the a$$ in real life. My oldest brother (considerably older than me) is a senior manager in a Fortune 500, and people who behave the way you do are the first ones he lays off when he's got to make a cut. They're also the last to get promoted. He's had to fire one or two who just couldn't work with a team because they were know-it-alls. I am not saying you're at that point, but just be aware of how you come across sometimes and realize that it can sabotage the success that you likely would otherwise gain through your intelligence and willingness to help others.

Please don't take this as a personal attack, but just something to think about. Peace out.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 04:56 am: Edit


There is a great thing about free advice. If you decide to ignore it, you lose very little. Simply stated, if you believe that my advice/opinion is wrong, just ignore it. If it really bugs you, do some research and post a rebuttal. Feel free to fire away and start posting. The purpose of this forum is to discover what works best.

That being said, I still believe that telling a junior -or lower- NOT to retake a 710 Math is dead wrong, especially if the student wants to apply to a very competitive school. If this advice comes from a supposed professional, you'd have to wonder about his/hers qualifications. Since increasing a math score is much easier than increasing a verbal score, what would be the basis to recommend NOT to retake? Also, what would the SAT-2 scores have to do with retaking or not retaking the SAT-1? I would love to read the analysis of the possible results of the SAT-II and HOW they impact the SAT scores.

Based on reading the experiences of many, many posters on CC, I believe that there is ample justification to label the advice of the GC as lacking and misleading.

However, feel free to disagree with my opinions.

By Yoyomama04 (Yoyomama04) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 01:52 pm: Edit

Hey, Xiggi - I have no issue with your sharing your opinions at all. Just the way you express yourself. It doesn't leave much room for others to share theirs without feeling like you'll attack them.

By Strider (Strider) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit

Whirlziggi , you sound like a person I don't happen to go to Plano?

By Whirlziggi (Whirlziggi) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 06:59 pm: Edit

Thanks everyone for the vote of confidence! To respond to Xiggi, my counselor's reasoning was that if i do really well on Math IIC then that would show that i do know math, and therefore balance out my 710 on SAT I Math? I've been reading other ppl's posts though and it seems like a LOT of people get 1500-1600 and do lots of amazing extracurriculars so i feel like i need that extra boost of having a higher sat score? i dunno.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 09:41 pm: Edit


I am sorry you feel that way. I state and defend my opinion but also accept the opinions of others quite easily, especially if backed by facts. However, asking me to agree with opinions that I know are lacking is not exactly a sign of humility. This is not a contest about who is right; it is all about finding the best information to help everyone preparing the best application.


I did expect that this would be the reasoning of your GC. However, I do not believe that a PERFECT SAT Math IIC will easily compensate for a 710 SAT1 score. Please consider the distribution of the Math IIC scores ... with the very generous curve, there are many students who score a perfect 800. Look at the percentiles of that particular test! Anyhow, the main issue is that there is no certainty that colleges would even analyze the scores past their basic values. Since it SHOULD be easy for you to increase your math score from 710, why lose a chance that is at your disposal?

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 10:29 pm: Edit

Its important to remember how the scores and statistical distribution line up. If you look at the statistical distribution, a 710M is about top 8%, whereas a 750 is top 3%.

With the avalanche of applications at the very competitive schools, I don't think you can take it for granted that an adcom will have the time to think - oh look, his IIc is great, makes up for the math 710. If they are looking at a composite score - you will be in very much better shape with as high an SAT (and SAT II's) as you can manage.

Look at Harvard's acceptances as an example. If you're male, 10,000 other males apply. This year, there were about 1000 males accepted. About 100 of these were black, 100 hispanic, 190 asian, 610 (presumably) white and other. The acceptance rate is only 10% of the highly self-selecting applicant pool. We won't even talk about legacies. Now the question is, are you happier being in the top 8% of the whole herd for math, or the top 3%?

HYP etc. are the extremes, of course, but due to the expanding student population, many college are also ultra-competitve now.

I think that a great many college counselors have not responded to the change in the admissions game in real-time. Most people don't like change all that much, and are happy to go with what they learned in college and in continuing education courses - things that other people teach them. Is this regurgitated information - processed with a significant time lag good enough? Well, maybe, maybe not.

Whatever you decide, Whirlziggi, remember that your guidance counselor's credentials are only as good as his or her ability to understand what's going on *right now*, and to apply it to your case in particular.

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