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Math Level II vs New SAT Math Section

computer-firecomputer-fire Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
I am curious about how schools like Caltech, Harvey Mudd, and MIT will interpret my math test scores. I got a 750 on the math section of the New SAT, but then a couple months later I got an 800 on the math level 2 exam. Will they just focus on my stronger score or is the SAT Math section more important? Also, will my calc BC score matter? Thanks for any response.

Replies to: Math Level II vs New SAT Math Section

  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,167 Senior Member
    I'd like to know the answer to this as well! SAT math is only up through trig (and barely) while SAT Math 2 is through Pre-Calc and, obviously, BC is Calc. I sort of feel like doing well on Math 2 and BC will help the 750 and a student shouldn't worry about that 750. It probably has something to do with that student being a little rusty on geometry since a student taking BC took geometry a long time before taking that SAT.

    A strong Math 2 and BC score shows proficiency in much more advanced math.
  • SpringbirdSpringbird Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    First, those scores are both great, so be proud.

    I have no idea how the colleges weigh the different scores. But it is important to note that while both tests are scored on an 800 point scale, the scales are different so you aren't comparing apples to apples.

    An 800 on the SAT2 is at the 80 percentile: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/sat/sat-percentile-ranks-subject-tests-2016.pdf

    A 750 on the math section of the SAT is at the 99th percentile: see page 7 of this guide: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/understanding-sat-scores-2016.pdf

    It is easier to get an 800 on the Math 2 than the math section of the SAT. But also keep in mind that fewer students take the Math 2 than the regular SAT, presumably a higher level of student since the lower level students would likely take the Math 1. And as noted above, their content is different. So again, it's hard to compare the two scores.

    But regardless, your scores demonstrate that you are a capable math student.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 750 Member
    First off what are your Verbal scores, these colleges are going to weigh them as well. And do you have any hooks - legacy, URM, first-gen? SATs are evaluated in context, rarely on their own.
  • computer-firecomputer-fire Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @theloniusmonk No hooks other than coming from a bad high school w/o much academic opportunity. I got a 720 on the verbal on the day I got the 750 in math and 740 on verbal on a different day when I got a 730 on math.
  • computer-firecomputer-fire Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Also got a 5 on Calc BC. So really it's just my SAT Math score that isn't quite up to par with these schools.
  • ThinkOnThinkOn Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
    The two tests (Subject test in Math 2 and SAT Math section) seem very different based on the information my son has provided me. While he just scored 800 on the Math 2, as he is taking practice tests for the SAT this month, he seems to get one or so wrong on the math section. He indicates that yes the Subject test Math 2 covered higher order concepts, but the questions are very straightforward. For the SAT math section, however, he states that if you're not careful, the wording of the question can trip you up. Most of his wrong answers are because he read the question wrong, not because of computational errors.

    So his suggestion for the SAT math section is to read the problem very carefully, and hone in on the exact question they are asking you to solve.
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