The real truth behind "optional."

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: June 2004 Archive: The real truth behind "optional."
By Rxb (Rxb) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 09:42 am: Edit

What do you guys think? Dickinson, Bard, Bowdoin, Bates etc. Do they really not care if you don't submit? does it greatly reduce your chances if you don't? What's the overall opinion here?

By Zbjz15 (Zbjz15) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 09:49 am: Edit

Are you refering to SAT2s?

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 10:52 am: Edit

I assume the Rxb is referring to the SAT 1. We were at a Bowdoin info session this spring - so this only pertains to Bowdoin. The admissions officer said that if your SAT would help your case, to submit it. If it would hurt your case, don't submit it (folks that have good SAT scores that resent the test also don't submit, but this is rare). The figure that this gentleman used was their average submitted SAT - 1380. If you are around average or above, submit. If not, and you feel you app is very strong with GPA, rank, EC's - and your SAT is way below the average - you might be better off without it. You will have to take the SAT for placement if you are admitted, however.

That said, it you had candidates with equal qualifications - and one had excellent SAT's and the other didn't submit - the one with the SAT's would probably be perceived to be that stronger candidate. However, Bowdoin accepts about 25-30 percent without SAT's considered - so you can see that they take a more holistic approach to admissions.

By Vtoodler (Vtoodler) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit


By Lisasimpson (Lisasimpson) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 05:45 pm: Edit

why bump? i thougth ohio mom answered the question really well.

By Amethyst213 (Amethyst213) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 05:48 pm: Edit

Dickinson said the same thing when we visited last year - submit your scores if you think they will boost your application. They said the same thing about the "optional" interview - if you have one, the notes will go in your file. So a good interview could put you over the top, while a not so good one could mean the difference in being accepted.

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 06:19 pm: Edit

Amethyst - that's interesting about the interview - hadn't thought about it in those terms.

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 06:26 pm: Edit

Come to think of it - I ran into a website (can't remember who's) who said they did not require SAT II's, but would certainly look at them if they were on the score report. This is another case for micromanaging score reports - once you get a decent SAT, send it. When you know your SAT II's, you can choose to send (or not) to schools that don't require them based on how well you did. Ah, for the days of score choice.

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