For a NORMAL ORDINARY person - is a 1290 that bad? (1st try)





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: July 2004 Archive: For a NORMAL ORDINARY person - is a 1290 that bad? (1st try)
By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 02:11 am: Edit

June 5 (1st take): 660V (91%) 630M (81%)

How bad is this? It's depressing... Y'all are too smart!

Well I would love to raise my score to the higher 1300's or maybe even 1400 (I was only one question away from a 1300!) but I feel like I'm losing time on SAT test taking dates. I'm going to be a senior. I'm retaking my SAT II's in October (writing, IC, and possibly literature), if I took SAT I's in November, is that still okay for college applications? I'm going to take the ACT's at least once or twice more (I got a 26 before, dismal I know, but I know that I can really improve it with studying).

Another question... how do colleges view SAT scores... as the grand total out of 1600 or looking at the scores individually. Do you think the colleges would prefer my 660V 630M (1290) or, say, a 790V 500M (1290 - or switching the M and V around) or does it not matter?

P.S. just a simple question, does not need to be answered, but would work in placating those unhappy with their SAT scores: what's the lowest SAT score you've ever heard about (that someone you know or your friend's know has gotten on the I's)

By Vinny919 (Vinny919) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 02:37 am: Edit

A 1290 is not bad at all. You did better than 86% of the people that take the test. If you do want to retake and do so in November, it will be fine for Regular Decision applications.

Colleges do look at scores individually. Usually, they like to see scores closer together, unless you're applying to MIT with an 800M 300V because you came straight from Asia and learned English the Friday before the test.

The lowest I've heard about is a 490.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 02:43 am: Edit

Thank you Vinny919! Very helpful :)

By Elizabeth22 (Elizabeth22) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 07:54 am: Edit

That's not a bad score at all. But if you'd like to raise it, I bet you could (I went up 300 points from lowest PSAT composite to first SAT composite). Just practice vocab and review some math strategies. And I heard about someone who got a 410 on a practice test (200m/210v).

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 04:09 pm: Edit

tech schools don't care too much if your scores are lopsided (if math is a lot higher); but they wouldn't like to see EXTREMELY low verbal scores; liberal arts colleges like to see higher verbal scores, and won't care too much for math; all other colleges like seeing scores close together; it depends on the major-engineering, physical sci, math, math can be a lot lot higher and it would work to the advantage; history, english, psych, philosophy-lopsidedness with high verbal would work to the advantage; for life sciences, and lots of other majors, scores should be close togehter

By Hhfm786 (Hhfm786) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 05:23 pm: Edit

i got a 1040 on my PSATs last october and now (with studying 2 months before) i got a 1280 (690m/590v)....does anyone feel there can be significant improvement with a summer of prep for the october sat??

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 02:52 pm: Edit

Oh ya, I have one more question: How will colleges view a 1290 vs 1300. Will they view it the same? Considering the difference between a 1290 and 1300 is one more raw score point or just leaving more blank... I know a 1300 is more aesthetically pleasing... Will they compare a 1290 vs the other 1200's or in the tier of the high 1200's to the low 1300's?

By Skiowad (Skiowad) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 03:07 pm: Edit

Remember that a score can generally go up or down 30 points each time. So a 1290 is pretty much the same as a 1300. It would even seem trivial to retake just to make 1300. It depends upon each college as to the last date they accept SAT scores. If ED/EA, it's usually Oct, but sometimes Nov. If regular, I think you can usually take it as late as January, so you have plenty of time to achieve higher. Congrats on your score. Many at my school would be excited for a score like that.

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 03:25 pm: Edit

Some colleges use SAT's as cut-offs for honors programs or merit aid as well as admissions. This can factor in your SAT strategy as well.

By Twinkletoes696 (Twinkletoes696) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 09:49 am: Edit

Crazylicious, I got a 1290 the first time around too. You can go up a lot with practice. I recommend picking up a copy of the 10 Real SATs and taking the tests, then going over them and reviewing the types of problems you got wrong or skipped so you can find your weak areas.

I know someone who got a 520 on their SATs- combined. A 1290 is not bad at all and will be sufficient to get you into MANY schools- maybe not HYP (where a 1600 isn't even guaranteed to get you in!) but you can definitely boost it and raise your chances. People say the math is easier to raise than the verbal, but you'll figure that out for yourself if you prep for it a bit. Good luck to you and don't get discouraged! You have all summer and September to improve your score!:)

By Conker (Conker) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 10:43 am: Edit

Crazylicious, I wouldn't be surprised if you could get your score up to 1400, and I'm pretty sure you can get a 1300. If you haven't done so already, buy prep books, especially 10RS, PR, and Barron's. Now you are probably already subconsciously aware of most of the strategies they discus. What's important now is that you do tests, tests, and more tests. The more the merrier. This is especially helpful for math. Once you've seen enough math problems, even the hardest math problems will become second-nature. Bumping that math score to a 700 isn't unrealistic.

As for Verbal, read classics. And don't just read--read deep into the story. You should be pausing to note the irony or the peculiar metaphor. Critical reading can also be improved by doing practice AP English or SAT II Literature tests. These tend to be quite a bit more difficult than the SAT I CR, so if you can master them, you will be fine.

Also, for SC's and Analogies, there really is no substitute for just sitting down with a vocab book and memorizing the words. Keep a notebook for recording difficult words that you might encounter in everyday life: reading a book, watching the news, or *gasp* talking to your friends. :)

By Mattman (Mattman) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:13 pm: Edit

A 1290 is not bad. I got a 1270 first time and 1280 next and got accepted to all four colleges I applied (two of which are top 25 nationally and three of them being top 15 in engineering, my major).

For a regular guy who is, presumably, not applying to the top colleges in the nation, your score will get you virtually anywhere.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 03:47 pm: Edit

conker> thank you for the advice. yup, just need to practice practice practice. i'm normally quite proficient in verbal (i get 5's on practice ap english lang tests for class - we'll see how i do for real when ap grades come out next month). also need some motivation when i practice! however, i am more interested in taking the SAT just once more and taking the ACT as many times as possible (since you only have to report one score) to raise my ACT score well above my SAT score.. hmm... we'll i'll just try my best in all of those tests and see.

mattman> if you don't mind me asking, what 4 colleges accepted you?

By Chocoman (Chocoman) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 04:08 pm: Edit

A 1290 is good. I scored similar my first time (1300) and went up to 1470 the second time.

By Philntex (Philntex) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

*echo reverb of what everyone else is saying*

I took it and got a 1270 for the first time, then read "Up Your Score," took it again, and got a 1370. Hopefully the last time I'll take it, I can crack 1500. It's possible; just depends on how much work you put into it.

But if you stay with a 1290, as others have said, you've done way better than most of your peers :)

By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:58 pm: Edit

a 1290 is awful


and when i say awful, i mean great

By Mattman (Mattman) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 07:19 pm: Edit

Crazylicious, to correct my last post I got into 3 of the top *16* engineering colleges, not 15.

I applied and was accepted to
Vanderbilt University (19th nationally)
University of Michigan (25th nationally, 7th engineering)
Purdue University (9th engineering)
Penn State University (16th engineering)

A 1290 will get you most anywhere you want to go.

By Wunderkind__Not (Wunderkind__Not) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:09 pm: Edit

My cousin was accepted to Cornell ILR with a 1290

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 11:09 pm: Edit

"A 1290 is not bad at all. You did better than 86% of the people that take the test."

I thought 1290 was at least 90th percentile. Could be wrong though.

By Mattman (Mattman) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:11 am: Edit

According to last year's stats a 1290 is 89th percentile. A 1310 will get you 90th percentile. Regardless, it is a very good score.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:54 am: Edit

Benzinspeicher: I think Vinny919 just mentally averaged the percentile of each subject (660V-91%, 630M-81%) to get the overall average. But clearly, the general 1290 average is different.

Anyways, I feel happy that a 1290 is actually such a good percentile - 89%... considering all these 1600's parading these boards, you'd think a 1290 or 1300 was on the bottomn 40% or something. A huge concentration of the top 5% SAT scorers must be on CC... geez

P.S. I'm a girl and a 1290 for girls (since girls tend to do worse for some reason) is a 91 percentile... yay

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 12:41 pm: Edit

yea-do yourself a favor and don't look at this board to see how you are with respect to everybody else; the "real world" is quite different; 1290 proves mental talent, and you'll easily get into several US News Top Tier schools with that, granted you have everything else; good work!

By Vtran31 (Vtran31) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 02:49 pm: Edit

u know, at some colleges around 1300 you get a full ride (free tuition and stuff). If U are thinkingn of liberal arts, and if it is kinda liek it iis at 2 texas schools I looked at, a bit more and u could get some serious free money.

just an idea. good job.

By Physiclas87 (Physiclas87) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 12:46 am: Edit

For a normal ordinary person, yes that is great.

But normal, ordinary people don't get into top schools.

By Liek0806 (Liek0806) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 02:06 pm: Edit

yes they do get into top schools, admissions is always so random you never know who can get in. i personally think that the discussion board of can i get in, isn't really helpful in the sense that kids think they'll get in depending on what other kids say, and we are not admissions counselors who know for sure. You can have the most stellar stats and the most stellar ec's, essays, and everything, but that doesn't garantee you admissions at a top school because everything is so random. however if students would be admitted based on sat and gpa only, then i think people could say they can get in or not.

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 05:49 pm: Edit

I'd say student wise, a top school would have an average SAT of at least 1300, and your 1290 is close enough, so good job! But, to secure chances, you should retake, and keep up the ECs and grades too.


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