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Should Football Recruit Take SAT or ACT test?

MarshackMarshack Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
edited March 2013 in Athletic Recruits
I have a son who is a Junior at prestigious prep school and will be the captain of his football team next year.

He has taken the SAT twice and did worse on his second attempt:

- first attempt: Reading 660, Math 680, Writing 610
- second attemp: Reading 610, Math 650, Writing 560

He is intestested in attending a NESCAC school and I would like some guidance as to what he should do next.

1. Should he take the SAT again and hope to better his first attempt?

2. Should he take the ACT test? (I heard somewhere that this test is easier to reach the schools thresholds)

3. Should he take both tests?

thank you for any help you can give
Post edited by Marshack on

Replies to: Should Football Recruit Take SAT or ACT test?

  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Registered User Posts: 988 Member

    Good luck with your NESCAC recruiting. To answer your question I think it depends on the kid. My two oldest sons took the SAT and ACT. They both did better on the SAT, and both have a strong engineering thought process. We found the rumors of the SAT testing logic and reason, and the ACT measuring what you've learned to be true. Your son's mileage may vary.

    If he hasn't done well (by his standards) I'd suggest he take the ACT as he has nothing to lose except a few hours of test taking. I'd also think about why he didn't do as well on the 2nd SAT....were there different circumstance that led to the slight decline? I'd give it some thought.

    Good luck!
  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc Registered User Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    Take the ACT. My second son did about the same as your S on his SAT, and then we tried the ACT. He got a 31 composite, which made him extremely competitive with his 4.0+ GPA in IB. Midd loves the ACT and the IB, where he is a recruited athlete.

    The other advise I have is that if he is trying Williams, they require SAT2s, which Midd does not. He did not do well on his SAT2s either, but took them so late he could not retake them (or try different ones) in time for ED1. If I had to do THAT again(thank God I don't) I'd make him take the SAT2s sooner so he could repeat them. Or get him a tutor. 18 year olds can be a bit stubborn, and part of our parenting is to allow them to make some bad decisions and bear the consequences. Tho going to Midd instead of Williams isn't exactly a bad consequence....I don't want to hear any Midd slammin' from any Ephs!
  • myluckydogmyluckydog Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    SAT and ACT are different tests. My kids tell me that the ACT is a bit more straightforward, less tricky than the SAT, so have your son take the ACT.

    And don't sweat his SAT scores even he if doesn't do better on the ACT. First, it means absolutely nothing that he didn't do as well on his second try as he did on his first, only the first score will be used. Second, his first score was actually pretty good - the equivalent of a 30 on the ACT - good enough to get him into any NESCAC (as well as the Ivies - assuming he has a 3.5 gpa his AI is about 207, making him either a 4th or high 3rd band recruit) if the schools want him for his football talent.

    And don't bother him with taking the SAT again. I sat in on a Princeton admissions info session last year and the AO gave the best advice I had heard on the topic - stop taking the tests when you get a score in the range with which you're comfortable. Again - his SAT scores are good enough to get him into any NESCAC (and the Ivies) if his football is good enough.

    What are you thinking about camps for the summer? Let us know.

    Best of luck.
  • krabbiekkrabbiek Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Definitely take the ACT. We were at a Junior day at a HYP and the coach suggested taking both by stating most students do better on one or the other. My D liked the ACT better. Coach indicated many do better on ACT...Also stated that some areas in the US do not offer the SAT (not sure about that as I have not done any research....)
  • squidgesquidge Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    ABSOLUTELY take the ACT - as others have said, it's very different than the ACT and for some kids makes more sense. My D did well on the SAT but got a near perfect score on the ACT. She said the format made much more sense to her and she found it far less stressful.
  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc Registered User Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    I don't agree that the SATs are good enough for any NESCAC, unless he is getting a "slot", or full coach support, not a "tip". To quote the Amherst Coach, "you need a 32 on your ACT because I can't give you full support. I only have 4 slots, and I am not able to give you one, as much as we'd like to see you on our team"
    The ACT has a general knowledge section which my son got a 35 on, raising his composite to "acceptable" levels for Midd.
    It's great to hear the Princeton reviewer's advise, but the Princeton reviewer who interviewed my oldest son told him "with your SAT scores, you'll have your choice of schools" and he was rejected outright 3 months later.
    If everyone has a 4.0, and has excellent letters and essay, test scores are going to help or hurt some applicants.
  • MaryOCMaryOC Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    If he is a top athletic recruit or slot candidate, those SAT scores will be fine at any NESCAC school... including Williams. Amherst and Middlebury. If they are not as interested in him athletically, he will need to have scores closer to the mean for all admitted students.

    Have any NESCAC coaches seen his film yet, or has he had any contact with his regional recruiters from these schools? They will tell you what they need to see for test scores, based on their positional need, and the potential value your son would bring to the team.
  • MaryOCMaryOC Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    And to answer your testing question...

    If coach response to his film, test scores and transcript is lukewarm...or anything less than enthusiastic... I would have my son take the ACT this spring (as well as SAT II's, if required), when course knowledge and review for any AP exams is most comprehensive/current.

    If you or potential coaches would like to see more improvement in his SAT or ACT scores thereafter ... get the boy some private tutoring over the summer, and take a last crack at sitting again in the fall, for whichever test he and his tutor feel would offer him the greatest potential gain.
  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc Registered User Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    Isn't that what I said? Except for the tutoring of course.... Prospies getting full support are a totally different animal than those getting "tips". Seeing as there is NO WAY to tell if one's child is the top recruit til next Fall, best to prepare now.
  • MaryOCMaryOC Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    If he is a rising football captain at a NE Prep school... chances are very good he's going to be a desirable athletic/academic recruit for NESCAC schools... especially if he has reclassified (repeated a year of HS) along the way, and is bigger and stronger than most public school peers. Look at the rosters for any NESCAC football team - the lion's share of them come from private Catholic and prep schools.

    My son was pulled aside from the crowd at every recruiting event we attended from spring of Junior year, straight through summer. He was ushered into a private room to speak with coaches, while the rest of the recruits continued on a tour of the facilities or sat in a conference room to discuss financial aid.

    You are mistaken by saying "...there is no way to know if one's child is the top recruit til next fall." Slot offers are made as early as summer camps in July and August - when coaches have tangible test scores in hand and can see recruits perform in person.
  • etondadetondad Registered User Posts: 1,122 Senior Member
    If one takes the ACT with writing most colleges--not Williams-- will consider that sufficient--Williams wants the SAT2s as well (in fact when my D was being recruited and had the ACT in hand her coach, gauging her interest told her that she had two weeks to study for the SAT2s if she wanted his support-- she took them and went).

    The two tests are very different and many kids can have very different results on the two-- try both out (PSAT will give you a good sense of the SAT style, you can do a practice ACT under test conditions with a number of the study guides to see how you will do on that. Just remember, just bc you took the ACT w/ writing doesn't mean SAT2s aren't in your future-- P'Ton does the same, I know, not sure about other schools.

    Don't worry OldBatsieDoc, this Eph parent isn't knocking Midd at all--Midd is a fine school--and when I went up to the Midd dual, I discovered it is very beautiful as well...I DID like the hockey jersey style warm ups Midd wore for the NESCAC championships this past weekend too. :)
  • MarshackMarshack Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Are you saying if my son takes the ACT he should take the ACT with writing? Is the ACT WITHOUT writing not looked upon highly by NESCAC schools?

    I signed him up for the other test...I wonder if I can change that now.
  • myluckydogmyluckydog Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member

    Definitely WITH WRITING.

    Some schools (not all) will only consider his ACT scores (in lieu of the SAT) if it is the ACT with writing, other schools will waive SAT II testing requirements only if he took the ACT with writing.

    Now before somebody feels the urge to post that the above is not true for ALL schools, let me emphasize that I said SOME schools, and that there are indeed other schools that will accept the ACT without writing and even others that require no SAT or ACT. It seems to me, though, that unless you know exactly what schools you'll be applying to and what their requirement are, if you're taking the ACT anyway you might as well take it with writing to get the most potential benefit from it.

    There's a great article from the New York Times, dated November 4, 2007, by Michelle Slatalla entitled "ACT vs. SAT"
  • SwimkidsdadSwimkidsdad Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    Marshack- I agree with MLD, take the ACT with writing. Amherst admission site says the written portion of the ACT is “recommended”. For a highly selective college this means required unless you have a very good reason not to. At this stage in the recruitment process you should be very familiar with the admission requirements of any school that are high on your S list.
  • trekslxchicktrekslxchick Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    ACT with writing is a must. Most if not all of these NESCACs superscore the ACT as well, so keep that in mind.
This discussion has been closed.