Percentile vs. Scores





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: June 2004 Archive: Percentile vs. Scores
By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:19 pm: Edit

what's more important

By Monoe (Monoe) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:23 pm: Edit

Percentiles, obviously - or else admissions officers would be jumping out of their seats for 800 on IIC as much as 800 on Math SAT I.

Percentiles don't lie. Scores do due to curving.

By Altf4 (Altf4) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:25 pm: Edit

i say score

By Altf4 (Altf4) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:26 pm: Edit

i say score

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit

okay i got pretty low percentiles for my writing and math SAT IIs

but my SAT Is are okay...

should I consider the SAT IIs as "More urgent" to retake? (epseicially if i'm applying early action to schools?)

By Irock1ce (Irock1ce) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:28 pm: Edit

pretty much as long as ur average is a 750 or more... ur gonna be fine. forget percentiles if u can average that much

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

my SAT I= 1370 (i consider that "okay" by my standards) i was in the 95th percentile in Verbal and the 89th percentile in Math

and my SAT IIs= 570 Math IIC (i totally freaked out the day of hte test..left so many blank etc..etc..) --that's the 16th percentile, so i'm extremely worried

i got 760 US history last may, i'm not retaking htat

and i got 730 on Writing..and that's only the 87th percentile!

By Curtisny (Curtisny) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

"pretty much as long as ur average is a 750 or more"


don't set the bar to high or anything...christ

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:43 pm: Edit

i just want to know what's smarter to retake first.

I did a lot worse on my SAT IIs, but should i put it as higher priority than taking hte SAT I?

Early Action deadline is NOvember 1st for most schools

The next SAT date is in October...and the one after is in November AFTER the deadline...

grr this is not how i wanted to start off my summer =(

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 05:08 pm: Edit

BUMP

By Maud (Maud) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 05:14 pm: Edit

How does a 750 Math 2C but 76% look? I dont know if I should take it again...because i dont think I could stand taking another one of those tests lol but especially for Ivies does the percentile make the score look worse?

By Imac7477 (Imac7477) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit

Only the scores get sent to colleges...not the percentiles.

By Valk78 (Valk78) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 05:57 pm: Edit

yea waht are you guys talking about ? im pretty sure colleges ONLY see the scores

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 06:02 pm: Edit

Remember that in most cases (except for California) only those students applying to very competitive schools will be taking SAT II's. For example, in Ohio for 2003, about 35,000 seniors took the SAT I, while only 3,800 took the SAT II. SAT II percentages compare you to only the top students. SAT I's compare you to everyone.

By Erics123 (Erics123) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 06:10 pm: Edit

Obviously scores. The reason percentiles are so low for Math 2c is that only the top 10% of the population takes it. So if 10% of them get an 800, an 800 suddenly becomes 90%ile, even though it's 99%ile of the general population. That's why you can't compare percentiles across tests.

By Nealious (Nealious) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 06:12 pm: Edit

well why would they even give you a score if the percentile is more important? eh?

By Curtisny (Curtisny) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 08:49 pm: Edit

"well why would they even give you a score if the percentile is more important? eh? "

that was deep, lol
he's right though. Percentiles are for your own purposes

By Cognitio (Cognitio) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 08:59 pm: Edit

Well, when colleges look at your score, they look at it in the context of comparing you to other applicants. As such, your score is only valuable relative to the scores of those other applicants, and therefore the percentage IS more important. Also, just because colleges don't neccesarily see the percentages doesn't mean they can't roughly correlate a score with a percentage. For example, any college knows that an 800 on the Math IC is harder, relatively, to achieve than an 800 on the Math IIC. So, working from that logic, someone who scored a 700 on the Math IIC and got in the 50% percentile versus someone who scored a 700 on the Math IC and got in the 90% percentile would be at a significant disadvantage, even though they took a harder test and got the same score. Colleges know, don't think you can fool them.

By Haruhara (Haruhara) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 09:03 pm: Edit

besides, you guys must consider that most of the SAT II takers are more serious about getting good scores than the rest of the population. SAT-I is pretty much required, which is why the percentiles are much more realistic on those. 90% on IIC is pretty good because those that take the IIC are generally math-saavy guys that pretty much score higher than those taking the IC - note the discrepancies between IC percentiles and IIC percentiles.

By Kewlkiwi102 (Kewlkiwi102) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 09:12 pm: Edit

Haruhaha- math-savvy girls too! Lets not be sexist here!
:)

By Athlonmj (Athlonmj) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 09:24 pm: Edit

Math-saavy girls? Where? Didn't know they existed!

j/k :-P

By Mrbesch (Mrbesch) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 09:41 pm: Edit

is a 740 writing 89% ok?

By Crypticism (Crypticism) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 10:01 pm: Edit

Shortcakefairy, I suggest retaking whichever you think you can most improve on.

By Vtoodler (Vtoodler) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 10:14 pm: Edit

percentiles should have more weight. Percentiles show how a score measures up. Getting an 800 means little if a majority of kids also got that.

By Imac7477 (Imac7477) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 10:29 pm: Edit

It's harder to achieve an 800 on the Math IC in that you need to get more right, but easier in the sense that you do not need to know as much, and not in as much depth. Colleges use SAT II scores mostly as a method to try to see how a grade in one school compares to the same grade in another school. Also, for the Ivies, they do that and just plug it into a formula to compute your Academic Index score...i doubt they have time to guess everyone's percentile score, much less consider it as a factor.

By Mrbesch (Mrbesch) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 10:29 pm: Edit

If there was an SAT II Cooking test, I'm sure the gender breakdown would look like this-

800
% of men who got it- 21%
% of women who got it- 98%

Sorry, I saw the thing about not being sexist and I couldn't resist.

If there was an SAT II Sitting On Your Ass and Watching Football Test, the breakdown would be the other way around.

By Aceofhearts54 (Aceofhearts54) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 10:41 pm: Edit

I'm a girl and I would so ace sitting on your ass watching football!

Anyways... My goal was to get at least 700 on all 3 SAT2s. I did this, but my percentiles are making me consider retaking. Is there really a reason to retake if I'm applying to good schools but not ivies?

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Aceofhearts i think everyone else is right about the whole scores mattering more than percentile

getting above 700 on all of them is extremely stellar, and it's not worth risking "going down" in..so i guess it just depends on how motivated you are going to be before it hehe (i mean some people are so obsessed with getting that 800, they...well they sacrifice a lot)

i'm just worrieda bout how these scores will affect my chances at early action admission..if i dont have time tos end my "better" scores by the deadline.

do most schools have "rush delivery?" option ig uess...

By Mrbesch (Mrbesch) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Aceofhearts, if that's true, we need more women like you where I live! :p

By Athlonmj (Athlonmj) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 11:59 pm: Edit

Aceofhearts, do you watch Bears? I've become kinda disillusioned with them.

By Aceofhearts54 (Aceofhearts54) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 12:00 am: Edit

Sounds good to me. I have more important stuff to do than study for these things again. I was just kinda shocked to see the percentiles for what I thought were good scores. Oh well, they're still good scores.

And its true Mrbesch. I mean I'm no football trivia expert, but my girl friends know not to bother calling me on Sunday. :)

By Aceofhearts54 (Aceofhearts54) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 12:04 am: Edit

Do not give up hope Athlon! Never! lol Grossman has a good arm, he'll learn to control it eventually, I hope... And, umm, yeah.

Bears win the superbowl in 2010!!! (I'm realistic)

By Chocoman (Chocoman) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 12:12 am: Edit

I wish they went by percentiles.

My 750 verbal was 98th percentile, my 720 math was 96 or 97.

By Entropicgirl (Entropicgirl) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

I'd be one of the 2% to fail cooking.

By Abogachkov (Abogachkov) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 02:04 am: Edit

If I had a good SAT I score (780 Math, and 730 Verbal), and an 800 on Math IIC, should I retake my SAT II Biology, which I got a 740 on? Will it tarnish my other scores.BTW - applying to ivies.

By Spencer915 (Spencer915) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 03:13 am: Edit

Shortcake fairy, I was reading that even though the Early Action/Decision deadline is Nov. 1 for most schools, November, as well as October, SAT scores reach them in time to make their decision. So you possibly have two more tries, one for SAT II's and one for the SAT I. Though check me up on that, I could be wrong.

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 03:54 am: Edit

I think you may be right Spencer...
I decided to read the Georgetown Univ. Early Action policies and it says, send in SATI or ACT scores and SAT II scores *if available*

It also states that Early Admission is based on a student's record the first three yeras of high school, and that it isn't necessary to rush in Fall test scores.

Well I guess the main point I'm making is, even if they don't see the "rush delivery" second time scores...the fact is some schools won't go crazy if you don't have SAT II scores righta way in the first place.

wow thanks everyone for all your help!

and Bears in 2010? LoLL, well--never say never

I live in Cali, but I'm a NY giants fan and if i'm correct, we have Peyton Manning's amazingly talented brother added to the team this year?

hmmm... =)

By Jprencipe (Jprencipe) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 07:12 am: Edit

I would say scores are much more important, especially in the more difficult and competitive SAT II's, such as Math IIC, Chinese, and Physics. These tests aren't really curved on a relative scale, because statistically, the individuals who take the tests have an extremely strong grasp of the material.

This is especially the case with the Chinese SAT II. To the best of my knowledge, if you miss even one question on the SAT II Chinese, your score is bumped down to a 790. Your percentile then becomes hideous (in the low 40's). However, a college admissions officer is still going to know that you have a very strong grasp of Chinese, even if you happen to do poorly.

Generally, the people who take Math IIC, Physics, and Chinese are aiming for the 800. In the SAT I, the percentile is more important than it is on the SAT II's, because far more students actually take the SAT I than take the II's. And many students taking the I's know that a 1600, or even a 1500, or even a 1400, is not realistic for them.

Although my personal advice to people is not to take the Chinese SAT II just for the score, especially if you expect to show an 800. Even one careless mistake can kill you, so I'd stick with a more generously curved test like History.

Joey


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