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Is having an average / lower than average standardized test score really hopeless?

vincenthan2009vincenthan2009 3 replies10 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited September 16 in Northwestern University
Hello all, thank you for your help.
I am a senior who will start to apply to many private colleges and UC's. I believe that most aspects of my application is good (good leadership, EC's, GPA, AP scores, SAT II scores, letter of recs, and essay), but the only weakness is my standardized testing. I scored a 1490 on the SAT (700 + 790, 7/5/8) and this is really my limit. I just seem to have some natural deficiency in standardized testing. My scores are definitely not the best, and I am wondering if it really is necessary for me to study hard for the ACT (I've already exhausted all my SAT chances). I intend to apply to some top 10 schools like Northwestern University. Am I really hopeless for Northwestern with this score? Thank you so much!
edited September 16
5 replies
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Replies to: Is having an average / lower than average standardized test score really hopeless?

  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 433 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited September 16
    Your score is not remotely average and certainly not lower than average.
    edited September 16
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  • vincenthan2009vincenthan2009 3 replies10 threadsRegistered User New Member
    It's just a little discouraging since it doesn't reach the 1500 barrier... and I see that most applicants are around 1530-1550 on college confidential so I'm a little worried.
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  • Techno13Techno13 175 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I doubt 1490 will cause any school to not accept you. It will depend on other aspects of your application. Which is 700 and which is 790 and what is your intended major? If you want to be physics major and got a 700 in math, that might work against you at top schools.
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 116 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    there is a very good chance you won't get into NW. Just like there would be avery good chance you wouldn't get in if you had a 1530. The vast majority of applicants do NOT get in. Be ready for that and have backup schools you would be happy at.

    I promise you there are people at NW and other top 10 schools with scores lower than a 1490.
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  • ProudDProudD 2 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    First off, please go look at collegeboard.org and you will see a score of 1490 is in the 98% or 99% depending on sample. If you think that is "average/lower than average", then NW may not be the right fit for you. Even for those accepted to NW a 1490 is not below average.

    Second, your SAT is only 1 criteria on your application. A 1490 is not going to make or break you. I know several people at NW with SAT scores less than 1400.
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