36 vs. 1600





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: June 2004 Archive: 36 vs. 1600
By Chatterjoy87 (Chatterjoy87) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 12:43 am: Edit

Which is more preferred or harder to obtain?

By Phi2402 (Phi2402) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 01:01 am: Edit

36

Far less people attain this score than a 1600, due to a tougher curve - you can't miss as many questions as you could for a 1600.

By Phi2402 (Phi2402) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 01:02 am: Edit

or atleast that is what I heard :)

By Anijen21 (Anijen21) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 01:19 am: Edit

They're both awesome.

Just let it be at that.

By Norseviking (Norseviking) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

Being an east-coast kid I'd rather have a 1600. Now having said that schools along the coasts prefer 1600. Princeton really hates the ACT. Schools in the Midwest and such would probably rather see the 36.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 03:02 am: Edit

Norseviking: how do you know Princeton really hates the ACT?

By Welshie (Welshie) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 03:35 am: Edit

Perhaps they don't accept it...?

By Needhelp06 (Needhelp06) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 10:20 am: Edit

well you can miss two questions and still get a 36 on the ACT which is the same amoutn you can usually miss and get a 1600(as long as you dont miss a science question).

By Qwert271 (Qwert271) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 11:44 am: Edit

I think overall the 36 is much rarer, but that reflects of fewer geniuses taking it than the SAT. Most people in the midwest who want to go to a great college will take the SAT, although most people in the northeast who want to go to a great college won't take the ACT.

By Chatterjoy87 (Chatterjoy87) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 01:51 pm: Edit

So why do colleges usually say that if you take the ACTs you don't need 3 SAT IIs, whereas for SATs you do? It seems cheaper to take ACTs, or do colleges really like SAT+3SATIIs but say ACT for people who can't afford it?

By Drusba (Drusba) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 03:41 pm: Edit

Colleges that require SAT II's (a small minority-- about 50) may or may not accept the ACT in lieu of the II's depending on college, e.g., of the ivies Yale, Penn, and Brown accept ACT in lieu of both SAT and SAT II's but others require the II's even if you submit ACT. So whether you can do that with ACT depends on college to which you are applying.

As to Princeton's prejudice on the SAT: A Princeton professor, Carl Brigham, actually created the SAT in the mid-1920's (he was a white supremicist who wanted his test to be used by colleges because he believed it would keep all minority groups like blacks, hispanics, asians, jews, and others from qualifying for admission to college and would keep colleges pure and occupied by only white anglo-saxon males which he firmly believed was necessary to keep America from collapsing; Harvard was actually the first to adopt his test as a requirement for admission; Cooper Union and Princeton followed shortly thereafter). Princeton has always been a leading member of the College Board and its sister company ETS. In other words, Princeton has a financial interest in maintaining the SAT. Though all the other ivies long ago decided to accept the ACT, Princeton refused and instead created a weird rule -- you can submit the ACT in lieu of the SAT only if all the other colleges to which you apply require the ACT. As far as I know, schools that accept only the ACT are very few in number and may be only one (Brigham Young) so Princeton's rule effectively requires the SAT. Nevertheless, Princeton has been known to actually admit some who submitted the ACT and not the SAT as long as SAT II's are also submitted. In other words, for the truly outstanding student it will probably bend its own rule.

ACT and SAT publish figures for the number who actually score 36 and 1600. The numbers are published for a graduating class and include all tests taken by the class going back to sophomore year of high school. For the high school graduating class of 2003, 195 (.02%) out of 1.2 million test takers scored 36; for the SAT, 944 (.07%) out of 1.4 million scored 1600. Those are single sitting numbers. For admission purposes, it is actually easier to get a 1600 on the SAT than those numbers indicate. Most colleges (with notable exceptions like the UC's) for the SAT determine your score for admission purposes by adding your highest math and highest verbal even if the two are from different tests. Counting that way, the number who actually have 1600 for admission purposes gets well into the thousands. Most colleges will not add subscores from different tests for the ACT but instead take only your highest composite from any single test.

By Chatterjoy87 (Chatterjoy87) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 05:22 pm: Edit

wow, thanks Drusba for all the information

I had no idea the SAT was actually created with THAT purpose in mind :-(

By Feuler (Feuler) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:23 am: Edit

From what I understand, that is a slight (read: slight) exaggeration/misrepresentation of Carl Brigham, but it is true he was a eugenicist and all that.

One part I find humorous about it is that once he saw the SAT starting to spread, he realized it was a bad thing and actively spoke against it's use in admissions, but failed to stop it from spreading.

Neither a 36 nor a 1600 is impressive. People can debate about which is harder to obtain and whatnot, but the bottom line is that, while it may be hard to get them, those that can get them are able to because of some sort of knack for tests that is practically worthless in the real world. It does correlate to useful characteristics, such as reasoning skills, but not as strongly as people think. It correlates more strongly to things like being white, having rich parents, and the like.

And I'm not just saying that to justify a low score, because I did get a 1590. I know people with much lower scores whom I consider much smarter and more capable than myself.

By Adnan88 (Adnan88) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 10:56 am: Edit

The valedictorian of my school last year, in a class with 600 people, had a 1600 on his SAT and 780+ on every SAT II he took. He got rejected from Harvard and John Hopkins(for Bio). Its easy to see that test scores count less and less now towards admission. He didnt have any EC's. One of my mom's friends from Columbia said that they use SAT scores for elimination practically. A 1500 and a 1600 arent considerede much different. They just use the SATs to filter out the low scoring applications.

By Justice (Justice) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:06 pm: Edit

he was a white supremicist who wanted his test to be used by colleges because he believed it would keep all minority groups like blacks, hispanics, asians, jews, and others from qualifying for admission to college and would keep colleges pure and occupied by only white anglo-saxon males which he firmly believed was necessary to keep America from collapsing

Haha screwed up there didnt he...

By Neom3x11 (Neom3x11) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:52 pm: Edit

I wholeheartedly agree with Feuler. People in general pay too much attention to test scores. I got a 1560 and when another friend got the same score, she called me up just to tell me that we tied. Yippee...who cares? It was pretty annoying, to say the least.

I just wish everybody the best of luck on their paths to college, no matter what test scores they got.

By Madd87 (Madd87) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 08:25 pm: Edit

A 36 is harder. About the same number of people take the ACT as the SAT and there are like 4x more 1600s than 36s.

By Pcrunner17 (Pcrunner17) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 02:02 am: Edit

Does anyone have any figures as to how many ACTs are taken in comparison to the number of SATs that are taken?

By Apemanttt (Apemanttt) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 02:59 am: Edit

Here ya are:

"For the high school graduating class of 2003, 195 (.02%) out of 1.2 million test takers scored 36; for the SAT, 944 (.07%) out of 1.4 million scored 1600."

By Drusba (Drusba) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 10:49 am: Edit

As noted above both the ACT and SAT publish figures for how many students from a high school graduating class take the ACT or SAT. For 2003, that was about 1.2 million for the ACT and 1.4 million for the SAT. Those figures count heads and not number of tests taken and include tests taken from sophomore to senior year. Neither publishes the actual number of tests taken per year which would be significantly higher than those figures because juniors and seniors, and many sophomores and freshmen, take the test during any given year and many repeat taking the tests. Neither organization considers number of tests given in a year a useful figure for evaluating anything (except their own income). However, they mention numbers unofficially once in a while (which cannot necessarily be relied on) and actual tests given in any year (for last couple of years) are just under 2 million for the ACT and about 2.4 million for the SAT. The SAT has a higher "repeat" rate (it is also the only test available in some foreign countries from which students may apply).


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