SATI Math: Save me!

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: January 2004 Archive: SATI Math: Save me!
By Argilospsychi (Argilospsychi) on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 06:28 pm: Edit

I've taken the SAT I 4 times and every time I've gotten a 650. I'm taking it for the last time on Saturday and I'm really really trying to get atleast a 680.

But I always get stuck on stupid questions. I always end up picking the hardest possible way to do something (and I always run out of time), I have never gotten the hang of using the answer choices to guide me to the answer, i make stupid little mistakes, like answering in minutes instead of hours or adding wrong, etc etc.

Can anyone give me any pointers or strategies?! Anything at all would be really helpful.


By Dhonch (Dhonch) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 09:31 am: Edit

I'd rely on your calculator as much as possible. There is always a quicker way to do those types of problems using technology. Good luck. Your struggle sounds like the one with my verbal scores (740 math, 660 verbal)

By Argilospsychi (Argilospsychi) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 01:45 pm: Edit

yeah, i'm 720 verbal (recently had an 80 point jump, 110 overall on that) a mere 30 points and ihave a 1400.

that would make me so unbelievably happy. *prays to the SAT gods*

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 02:17 pm: Edit

To be honest with you, I think taking the SAT 5 times will hurt your chances more than having a 650 on Math. Three is generally regarded as the highest acceptable maximum number of times you ought to take the SAT... after that you're really hurting yourself. To be honest with you, I would not take the SATs again on Saturday, if I were in your situation.

By Argilospsychi (Argilospsychi) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 02:33 pm: Edit

How are you hurting yourself?

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 02:52 pm: Edit

Because colleges get a FULL REPORT of all your scores and every time you've ever taken any SAT or SAT II. They tend to get pissed off that for example, in your case if you take it a 5th time, you wasted over 15 hours of your life on a retarded standardized test.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 02:54 pm: Edit

Probably a lot more than 15 including studying and crud.

By Argilospsychi (Argilospsychi) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 03:07 pm: Edit

A heck of a lot more. A ton. Hours and hours. But why would that tick them off?

I know that what some might think is that my scores are less "valid," so to speak, because i took the test so many times. but that is just ridiculous.

please explain more.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 03:40 pm: Edit

That would tick them off because you could have spent that time with much more productive pursuits than some futile ridiculous test.

Quote from "A is for Admission":

" Regarding SAT Is: How many times should a student take them? As I mentioned earlier, scores will generally go up a few points each time the student takes the test, as the student's familiarity with the test increases. The problem is, once a student has taken the test two or three times, scores usually plateau, so there is no need to keep on taking them. All the highly selective colleges and Ivies will take into account only the single-highest verbal and math scores, whether the student takes the test once or ten times. Keep in mind, though, that the colleges will get the scores reported on an official printout from ETS that will list all the scores, including the dates of all the tests. Though they will officially look only at your highest, they will see all the other scores, too. It does not necessarily make a strong impression on officers if they see a student has taken the SAT I six or seven times, because they might think to themselves, Doesn't this student have anything better to do with his time? After all, testing isn't everything - maybe the student should have spent the extra time doing better in high school.
There is a certain resentment or even suspicion regarding students who take the test many times. There is really no need to take the test more than two or three times at most, in my judgement. It makes the student look score-obsessed, and it also shows the range of improvement. So I might not that the student originally had a 500V and got it up to a 620, a good jump (although I would probably assume it was after taking a prep course), but still not impressive in the overall pool of applicants, despite all the effort. My suggestion is to take practice tests in your own house as often as you want, but take the actual SAT I only once or twice, three times at the most, if for some reason you anticipate a major rise."

And my personal opinion on the matter is that, if you take the test lots of times and keep getting the same or similar scores, it just cements in the adcom's mind that's who you are... it makes it seem more like an actual accurate judgement of your capability or limit for reasoning if you just can't get higher than a certain score, whereas if you take it once and get a poor score there is a much better chance that they might brush it off and say, "Oh, maybe he was just having a bad day... oh, its just a stupid standardized test, it doesn't mean anything." Just my opinion anyways.

By Infinity (Infinity) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 04:36 pm: Edit

Point taken Voigtrob. Along the lines of taking the SATs more than once, I heard that a score increase of approx 300 points is automatically placed under investigation. Is this rumor? In some ways it makes sense and in others it does not. I agree that taking the SAT more than three times is pointless, but I am puzzled as to why a student would be investigated for a large score increase. Has anyone heard of this? Apparently there was a recent case.

By Argilospsychi (Argilospsychi) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 04:56 pm: Edit

"Oh, maybe he was just having a bad day... oh, its just a stupid standardized test, it doesn't mean anything." Just my opinion anyways.

I don't think they EVER think that.

The thing though is that the 2 and 3 time I took it my score only went up a pitiful 10 points each time. (On verbal, 620 to 630 to 640)However, on the fourth one I jumped to a 720. That's a big improvement! And being over the 1300 hump is helpful. So my many times was anything but pointless.

But I don't know. Would they rather see a bad score taken once or twice or a better score from having taken it several times? I think the latter. They put A LOT more empahsis on SAT than they say they do. Obviously, a 1400 scored the first time is more impressive than a 1400 scored on the 5th time. But considering its importance at the highly selevtive level, how can they blame us for obsessive-SAT score-diligence.

Lets say I do get a 1400 (very possible). Am I viewed as a smart and hardworking kid who finally broke free from some of the SAT mumbo jumbo and showed a glimpse into her potential, or as an persistant overachiever who isn't actually very smart, beacause afterall, she got a low score so many times.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 11:49 pm: Edit

Honestly, I think they're much more likely to think the second. Just imagine what your score sheet looks like, and consider what you would think in someone else's shoes. I REALLY suggest not taking it tomorrow....

By Argilospsychi (Argilospsychi) on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

That just doesn't make sense. If that were true than the entire SAT system would break down.
Because what that would say is that the score you get doesn't unequivically represent your intelligence (in the SAT sort of way, that is). If we are to say that my score is a fluke because I've taken it several times, what's to say that anyone's score isn't a fluke! I still earned the score. Shouldn't that acount for something?

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