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top score on ACT...can we skip SAT?

oldschooldadoldschooldad Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
My son got a very good score on ACT, 36 composite (10 on writing). Can we skip SAT? Or would lack of SAT somehow compromise his admissions stats?

My initial inclination is to be be a one-and-done test taker and focus on essays and SAT subject tests. The only reason I can think to take SAT is for National Merit competition (he did take PSAT and make initial cut, barely!), but frankly that seems a lesser priority right now and we would only do this as afterthought in fall. He's got enough on his plate right now and I would rather let him enjoy summer without worrying about another test....But I am new to this game and not 100% confident in my judgment and thus seeking second opinions. Thoughts?

In looking at profiles of applicants to top schools on this board, I see a lot of kids list both ACT and SAT. Is there any reason to take both? Is getting a top score on BOTH somehow better credential than top score on one? Or is demonstrating aptitude on one enough?


Replies to: top score on ACT...can we skip SAT?

  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 3,782 Senior Member
    The only reason would be to get a qualifying score for National Merit Finalist purposes. Congratulations to him!
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 15,557 Senior Member
    ^ agree. Nevertheless, 2/3 of NMF do not benefit from this title.
  • 10s4life10s4life Registered User Posts: 492 Member
    edited May 19
    A 36 is a top score. No need to take the SAT. Most schools now view both equally. That will get him into many fine insitutions. Congrats! I got into top 15 engineering schools with only a 31. He should be very proud.
  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School Registered User Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    My son also got a 36. He took the SAT only for NMF qualification. There is no other reason to take it, and he did not report the SAT scores. He may need to take SAT II tests however, depending where he is applying.
  • SoccerMomGenieSoccerMomGenie Registered User Posts: 163 Junior Member
    Do your family have an affiliation (job / organization) that awards NMF scholarships or is your son interested any schools that offer NM scholarships? If so, it's definitely worth the effort. If not, there's a low chance of winning the (one time) $2500 NM scholarship (especially if he qualified with the PSAT by the skin of his teeth). If he scored that high on the PSAT and on the ACT, he'll probably achieve a qualifying SAT score with little or no extra effort, so the "cost" is little more than a Saturday morning.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 23,974 Super Moderator
    Is getting a top score on BOTH somehow better credential than top score on one?
    No. Absolutely not. As long as NMF qualification is not in the cards, he should move on.
  • oldschooldadoldschooldad Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Thanks to everyone for replies. Good advice all around.
    Thanks for reminder about scholarships from organizations and employers related to National Merit. I had forgotten about those.
    At this point, I will suggest my son take SAT in fall, but not worry about it much until then. Instead we'll focus on other tasks like narrowing college list, thinking through what kind of schools would be good matches, and essays. (That said, we WILL take a few SAT subject tests and get those out of way).
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 2,478 Senior Member
    If there's a chance he'll get NMF AND you need the financial aid offered for that status by many schools, he should consider taking the SAT. Otherwise, don't bother.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 15,557 Senior Member
    Don't forget there is an SAT in August this year.
  • MSHopefulMSHopeful Registered User Posts: 378 Member
    My daughter was a one-and-done with the ACT with her 34C. Didn't take the SAT. I don't think it affected her admissions at all.
  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 402 Member
    Yeah, let him enjoy the summer. That's pretty important too. He's not going to be seventeen/eighteen forever.
  • pickpocketpickpocket Registered User Posts: 310 Member
    edited May 23
    You ask a good question and the answer may be elusive.

    Take Yale: you can fulfill testing requirement with ACT, but it is still recommended to submit SAT subject tests in addition. HOWEVER, if you report any SAT subject test, it appears you must report ALL SAT scores. (yet you can do score choice among the subject tests...very confusing.)

    So I agree with other posters: if your son is otherwise competitive for top ~30-40 schools, NMF is not critical and he should ride the 36. No need to risk diluting this with a non-perfect SAT score.

    A couple decades ago, ACT was not considered as prestigious as SAT, at least among East Coast Privates. I think that has totally changed now.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 3,572 Senior Member
    Pet peeve, so be forewarned, but will you take the SAT together? If not, "we" won't be skipping the exam. :D
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