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Is SAT 25th or 75th percentile a better indicator of how much schools care about the SAT (or ACT)?


Replies to: Is SAT 25th or 75th percentile a better indicator of how much schools care about the SAT (or ACT)?

  • evergreen5evergreen5 2015 replies38 threads Senior Member
    @merc81 Funny, I typed 750 first, and then when I looked again, I saw 760, so I edited. https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=Berkeley&s=all&id=110635#admsns
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  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher 236 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I wouldn't read too much into these things. A lot of factors can influence these numbers. For instance, I imagine that Stanford's lower 25th percentile is largely attributable to the number of student athletes Stanford has. Stanford puts a greater emphasis on athletics than many peer schools and as such may have more recruited athletes and/or more recruited athletes with lower test scores. Other factors, such as how much a school values diversity, legacies, etc., can also play a role.

    There is simply too much complexity behind these numbers to tell a simple story about how much a given school values the SAT. It is also difficult to even speak of how much a given school values SAT scores because any two admissions officers at a given school will likely value the SAT to different degrees.

    Practically speaking, you should aim for the school's 75th percentile. If you are up in the 75th percentile, your score is certainly good enough for that school. For most applicants, the bottom 25 percent is pretty irrelevant to consider, as most applicants are not recruited athletes, underrepresented minorities, development cases, etc.
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  • Data10Data10 3347 replies11 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2019
    UCs have a reputation for more heavily weighting gpa than test scores, yes? An additional weirdness for UCB: The UCB 2017-2018 CDS for class of 2021 (enrolled fall 2017) has EBRW 650-750, math 650-780, while what should be the exact same data (enrolled fall 2017) at NCES is EBRW 630-720, math 630-760. What am I missing?
    The specific number of test takers differ slightly between IPEDS/NCES and CDS, so something likely changed between these 2 dates. IPEDS/NCES is very similar to Berkeley's "enrollment estimate as of 10/2017" I suspect that IPEDS/NCES is an estimate made near this date, while the CDS states a much later date -- "update 8/9/2018."

    It's probably not a big issue at Berkeley, but at many colleges there is a big difference between the score range of those who commit to enroll and the score range of those who actually do enroll and show up for classes. Financial issues is a common reason for failing to attend after committing to enroll -- https://www.newsday.com/opinion/commentary/college-bound-summer-1.19031641 . Some also withdraw midway through the fall semester, which can lead to an ambiguous definition.
    edited March 2019
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  • CU123CU123 3718 replies77 threads Senior Member
    Still that's a significant difference between those who commit to enroll and those who show up. I cant imagine that you have more than a few percent who don't show up, and since the average drops at that point they were mostly on the high end of the scorers.
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