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Taking the SATS more than once- why should colleges care?

sraid7777sraid7777 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
edited June 2005 in College Admissions
Basically, a lot of people say that taking the SAT 2 or 3 times is bad for colleges, because they will think you are obsessed/ too focused on grades...but here why I don't understand that argument:

1) if you take it multiple times and get a good score, it showsthe school it wasn't a one shot deal.

2) if you take it multiple times and improve, it shows that you are motivated enough to study harder and do better, OR it shows that something went wrong the first time that you did badly

3) I don't see how it is being obsessed if you simply want to show your true academic capability- maybe you were sick the first time, random thing X happened the second time, and neither score is truly representative of you.

4) it's a double standard- so taking the SAT's >2 times is *bad* because you are obsessed, but taking as many AP's, honors, and difficult courses in every possible area isn't bad?

can anyone else explain how universities look down on multiple tries at the SAT?
Post edited by sraid7777 on

Replies to: Taking the SATS more than once- why should colleges care?

  • A.S.A.P.A.S.A.P. Registered User Posts: 2,663 Senior Member
    There's nothing wrong with taking sats twice, or even three times.
    After that, some colleges average your scores. I'd say up to 3 is fine.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,810 Senior Member
    for the most part, they don't care how many times you take it. BUT, once you exceed 3 times, the odds of significant improvement are small (at least that's what CB research shows). Moreover, colleges will start to wonder if you have nothing better to do with your Saturday mornings than be a professional test taker.
  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    It is what ASAP said. If you take it 3 or less times, they will use your best verbal score, your best math score, and your best verbal score. If you take it more than three times, they will just average the verbals, the maths and the writings. It is to your advantage not to take it more than three times because of the way they calculate the final numbers that they will use. I'm sure that they do it this way to keep from encouraging applicants to take it ten times hoping that they will eventually get lucky.
  • kfc4ukfc4u Registered User Posts: 3,415 Senior Member
    "After that, some colleges average your scores."
    "If you take it more than three times, they will just average the verbals, the maths and the writings."

    I have a question though. Would colleges really WANT to average out the scores? If they always just took the highest individual scores, wouldn't they be able to boost up their average and thus help boost up their US News rankings? (Remember, a drop in rank = less applicants next year due to perceived decrease in quality = admissions dean might get fired).
  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    That's an interesting point. Maybe we should give them some credit for not doing it that way. If they didn't average the scores after your third time, there are people who would take the SAT every single time it was offered after 9th grade. Maybe they just don't want to see the CollegeBoard make too much money.
  • chanmanchanman . Posts: 1,667 Senior Member

    do ivy leagues do that?
  • JMAN1211JMAN1211 Registered User Posts: 263 Junior Member
    Say I took the OLD sat three times and the NEW sat one time, would they still average the scores?
  • jaimie17jaimie17 Registered User Posts: 580 Member
    They might average them for admissions purposes, but then release the highest score for ranking purposes. Just a thought.
  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    There is no one-way of doing anything. Each college does it however they do it, but the guides say that there is a tendency for colleges to average the scores if you take them more than three times.

    Since nobody has had time to take the New SAT more than three times, I think that JMAN1211 has hit the relevant point for chanman's question. Since the New SAT is so "new", it is hard to tell what colleges will do with the old SAT scores. They might not use them at all. Perhaps someone can email the CB and ask if they are even reported. If they are, then perhaps someone can ask a college how they plan to handle it. They may not even know yet. It certainly would not make sense to average the old scores with the new scores. As we used to say in algebra, that would be like adding apples and oranges.
  • irock1ceirock1ce Registered User Posts: 1,017 Senior Member
    if you get a 2390 and decide to take it over again, you look anal and obssessed with your test scores. Colleges hate kids who are completely obssessed with test scores and cannot stand any sort of "imperfection". Colleges want people, not machines that study for the SATs 5 times to get the perfect score.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,810 Senior Member
    asap & dufus: pls list the schools that average. I have personally been to numerous info sessions and the answer has always been 'we don't care how many times you take it'.

    When you think about it, it is NOT in their best interest to average scores, since their average app pool then goes down....
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Each college decides how to handle multiple test administrations. Given the fact that the SAT changed this year, I imagine that colleges will be very flexible when it comes to judging multiple SATs by members of the h.s. class of 2006. There are plenty of excellent reasons why such students may have chosen to take more SATs than has been typical in previous years.
  • jamimomjamimom Registered User Posts: 3,278 Senior Member
    There is not even necessarily a set policy at many schools on how to handle multiple SAT sittings. As NSM says, the fact that the SAT has changed makes this even trickier. A student who is from a challenged background who takes the SAT too early and gets a lousy score--retakes late junior year and does much better, then twice more senior year is not like to get the same treatment as someone who keeps taking the SAT and is getting small increases or some ping ponging. Also if your ECs show that test taking and prep look like your main activities, you are not going to be perceived as a very interesting applicant at many selective schools regardless of how high you bring up your score. You can increase your chances by doing some more worthy things when you are dealing with such schools, I assure you.
  • chanmanchanman . Posts: 1,667 Senior Member
    what about ACTs??

    I've taken the ACT 4 Times, and I got 25, 27, 28, 32

    i'm going for 1 more shot, a 33-34!!

    I REALLY need to

    but, if penn averages them, i'm screweeddd!
    ..i dont really like this system haha, coz i didnt know about it until today
  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    As you can imagine, I can not give a list of what colleges handle SAT scores in a certain way. Anything that an adcom does is secret. If an admissions officer for an Ivy can say that they consider many other factors besides SAT scores and that a person with a low SAT (1200) should still apply, then I think that that admissions officer might just be trying to keep their selectivity numbers high. "The Gatekeepers" and "Admissions Confidential" both support this opinion. At least five guides that I have read mention the rule about averaging SAT scores. For a lack of better information, I am mentioning that the guides say that. As far as the number of times that someone takes the SAT this year, I agree the New SAT has put an entirely different slant on things for this year. I would be amazed if they would average scores from the old SAT with the new SAT since they are different tests.
This discussion has been closed.