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Articles / Applying to College / SAT Re-Test for Near-Perfect Scores With Lower Essay?

April 23, 2013

SAT Re-Test for Near-Perfect Scores With Lower Essay?

Question: My child got these SAT scores: Reading 800, Math 800, and Writing 720, with an Essay score of 8. He is a very strong writer, a top student in AP Lit. Somehow he didn’t do well on the essay. Does he need to retake the SAT? Thanks.

“The Dean” recommends that your child NOT re-take the SAT. Given those very strong scores, he would run the risk of having admission officials think that he is an obsessive perfectionist if he were to try the tests again. 😉 You shouldn’t worry about the essay score. Many of the most selective colleges don’t use it at all, and it will take a back seat to his 800’s, regardless of where he applies. It’s not as if an 8 is a disaster. Your son may indeed be able to do better, but he definitely doesn’t have to.

 


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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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