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Articles / Applying to College / Impact of Lower Scores from Second Testing

June 6, 2014

Impact of Lower Scores from Second Testing

Question: My child has taken SAT once and is registered to take it again on June 7th. He is not well prepared. If his scores from the June 7th test are lower than the previous time, will it affect his admission process negatively?

Does he have to report his SAT scores from all attempts for college admission? Or can he choose to report only the best SAT score? He is planning to go to one of the in-state universities.

Some colleges require that students report ALL scores while others allow students to select “Score Choice,” meaning that they only submit their best results. The majority of public universities allow “Score Choice,” but the policies vary from school to school.


The colleges that require all scores almost always tell their applicants that they will only officially “use” the best scores, but they will typically still see everything.

Keep in mind, however, that it is to the college’s advantage … and not just the student’s … to use the best test scores, because then the college can include these higher scores when publishing annual averages.

So if your son does worse tomorrow, it should not have a negative impact on his admission verdicts. And if you feel that he has not adequately prepared, remember that often the mere act of re-taking a take can lead to higher scores, even if the student didn’t have the time … or inclination … to properly study.

Good luck … to both of you.

 

Tags

SAT

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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