Should I retake the SAT?

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: July 2004 Archive: Should I retake the SAT?
By Emilia (Emilia) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 03:38 pm: Edit

I took the SAT for the first time in May and got a 1460 (670 M, 790 V). I didn't study at all because that coincided with a heavy few weeks of IB Biology. I was really surprised at the low math score...I thought I did much better. And of course I'm happy with my 790; that was quite unexpected.

And so I'm wondering if the low math score will hurt my chances of getting in the schools I'm going to apply to (right now, the list is Rice, Davidson, U. of Chicago, Yale, Princeton, and maybe a few others). I'm planning to major in chemistry and it would be great to get accepted into some advanced program, but I'm scared my score will rule me out.

So is it vital to retake? And 1460 is high enough to get me through to NM Finalist, right? (Provided I write a good essay and all)

I'm considering applying ED to either Rice or Davidson, which means the last day I can test is October 9th, the first exam of this new school year, but I really have to take the three required SAT IIs on that date...I don't know what I'm going to do.

BTW, my highest ACT composite is 33 (34 writing, 32 math, 34 reading, and 30 science)

By Emilia (Emilia) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 06:42 pm: Edit

Anyone? Any opinions would be appreciated.

By Varr (Varr) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 07:19 pm: Edit

You could take your 3 SATII's, but you should focuse in taking the SATII MATHIIC OR IC, and if you manage to get over 750 then you really wont have to worry as much about your Math SAT score.
You also have your ACT which you can mail to the schools.

How ever If I were you Id retake the SAT in Nov or December.

I hope this helped :)

By L_J (L_J) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 07:30 pm: Edit

1460 and 33 are 98 percentile scores, but Rice is a tough admit. I would bet your in at Davidson and Chicago. The Ivys as always are a crap shoot

I sugget you pass on ED. Maybe it would be wise to do the SAT II first and if your math score is 700 or above pass on the SAT and go with what you have already scored. Otherwise prep hard for the math section of SAT 1 and push your Math score up above 720 then do the ll's

1460 is a slam dunk for NM finalist IF your index is good enough to get you to semifinalist status in your state

* disclaimer...the above is just My hunch opinion based on what I have read online and intuition

By Emilia (Emilia) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 07:39 pm: Edit

Thanks for your input :). As I mentioned in another thread, I'll be taking a campus visit to Rice in a few days at which point I'll hopefully be able to put into focus whether I'm going to apply ED to anywhere. If not, I'll probably be able to take the Oct. 9 SAT IIs including math IIc and if that score isn't above 750, then I could take the SAT I over again focusing on math.

L J, I got a 228 on the PSAT with a perfect 80 in math...I don't think I should be having any problems with selection indexes :).

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 10:11 pm: Edit

670 math isn't bad at all. I'd say, the threshold score for somebody who can get an 800. Just get 10 Reals and practice the #24s and #25s, and while taking practice tests, pay attention to the question detail, and quickly check over your answer to make sure you didn't make a stupid mistake.

By Trigulater127 (Trigulater127) on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 10:57 am: Edit

I thought that NM finalist stuff was only for the PSAT???

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 01:02 pm: Edit

My son has the exact same split - what was it with that May test, anyway?. The math looks looks like it will be an issue at some of the schools (you need to look at the 25/75 scores for the Math as well as combined - if you're only sitting at 25% for Rice, that's not too good). My son's strategy is to take his remaining II's in October, send out all scores, then retake SAT I in November - and send no scores until he sees his results.

Since you are not positive you will be accepted ED, you could follow pretty much the path, SAT II's in October, retaking the SAT 1 in November, leaving December if you have to retake an II.

As Varr said, a good SAT II math 2c will somewhat mitigate your math score - but part of that has to do with how your application is processed. Will it be looked at in a holistic manner? Will your 'stats' be turned into an 'academic index'? If the later is true at Rice, you might be better served by waiting. Anyway, you will be able to as about it shortly.

Have fun on your trip to Rice, and good luck?

By Elizabeth22 (Elizabeth22) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 08:15 am: Edit

You're pretty close to my split (750 v/ 700 m)
on May- and I'm not sure what to do either. I'm really tempted to just leave it and find something better to do with my Saturday, but I kind of feel like I could bring it up. If you think you can do better, then retake (especially if you didn't prep for it the first time). If you think you did about as well as you're going to do, then leave it alone. My schools are about as difficult as yours (though very different- Dartmouth, Williams, Brandeis, etc.) and I'm leaning towards letting them take my first shot score.

By Emilia (Emilia) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 02:09 am: Edit

Sorry for abandoning the topic - I just got back from "the trip."

After thinking on this (and having practically no computer access) for a week, the wisest choice seems to be what some of you have suggested, to take the SAT II math and if that's not above 750ish, then to retake the SAT I. So that's what I'll tentatively be doing.

Trigulater, from what I've gathered from reading this board over the past nine months or so, your PSAT score initially gets you qualified for NM, but if you become a semifinalist, a good SAT score and essays, recommendations, etc. will get you to the finalist status.

Good luck to Ohio_Mom's son and Elizabeth - it's good to know that that May test was frustrating for a number of people. I walked out of the test thinking I had done better in math....

Just curious, on the May test, did you all have three math:four verbal sections or four math:three verbal sections? I had the three math:four verbal, and I remember walking out thinking I totally blew a verbal section as I guessed on a number of answers (I'm not one to leave answers blank).

I should probably start a separate topic in a different board to discuss my campus visit.

By Andrew1218 (Andrew1218) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 02:28 am: Edit

i also had the may test and i had 3 math 4 verb.. i came out of the math kinda mad because i realized i made 3 dumb mistakes and was expecting like 650 counting on other dumb mistakes... i ended up with 700 but 560 retaking in october

By Ohio_Mom (Ohio_Mom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 11:01 am: Edit

My son had 3 math 4 verbal on the May test, too.

Emilia, I'll look for your college visit thread! I think your strategy of retake SAT 1 if SAT 2 not > 740 is pretty reasonable if you're not a standardized test junkie. There is only so much time and energy to spend, after all.

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