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Is it true that there is a 40-50% acceptance rate for 2400ers?

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Replies to: Is it true that there is a 40-50% acceptance rate for 2400ers?

  • siserunesiserune Registered User Posts: 1,625 Senior Member
    The paper is from 2009, with data from a recent year correlating AMC and first (no retake) SAT math scores in a sample of MIT applicants. For students with AMC score in the 120s and 130s the rates of 800 math SAT were 65 percent and 60 percent respectively (42 students total). Only for the very small set of students (five of them) with 140+ on the AMC was there 100 percent attainment of 800 on the math SAT. There are winners of the national competition who did not get 800 on the math SAT and I saw in the recent results thread someone with 10 on the AIME who got 780.

    That's for one section of the current SAT. Over three sections one would have to be perfectionist or specifically SAT trained to reliably get 2400.
  • quickster94quickster94 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    ^ It is important to remember that you don't have to get all the questions correct on the other two questions to get an 800. I got four questions wrong and a 10 essay for a 2400.
  • UMTYMP studentUMTYMP student Registered User Posts: 949 Member
    @siserune Thank you for sharing that paper. I was very surprised that only 15% of people with an SAT math score of 800 who retook got an 800. This prompted me to look at my SAT score reports online and I saw similar statistics (it was 16% instead of 15%) but there is one caveat not reported in the article. The statistic seems to only be for students who took the test the first time as juniors who then retook it as seniors. Although this is damaging for the hypothesis the statistic would probably not include exceptional 2400s if they exist so I wouldn't say that conclusively falsifies the hypothesis. Similarly, although the sample size was very small, the evidence regarding high scores on the AMC 12 and SAT 800 was also damaging to the hypothesis.

    I'm curious to what extent this is unique to math as the possibility for dumb mistakes is surely greater on math tests and the curve is harsher near the top. If people who got 800s on critical reading or writing go look at their SAT score report and go under your score details they should be able to find what percentage of students with an 800 on reading or writing when they first took the SAT as juniors got another 800 when they retook as seniors.
  • siserunesiserune Registered User Posts: 1,625 Senior Member
    I think that much of this is peculiar to the new SAT and the psychology of test takers (at the high end). The test has become easier, duller, longer and manipulable through mind-numbing machinations such as calculator programming and retakes. Sheer jaded boredom makes it more difficult for highly intelligent individuals to focus on the trivia carefully enough to avoid errors and grab the last few points. If everyone were striving hard for an 800, those competition winners would be getting perfect scores at rates more like 90+ percent. But the incentive isn't there when they can demonstrate high math ability by more straightforward means. It is likely that many people who could get 800 are lazy or overconfident about accuracy of the answers, or finish quickly and rest before the next section, or take the test "cold" and are more prone to misinterpret a question or two compared to people who took multiple practice exams.

    In general I think a disproportionate number of the super-high SAT scores on today's exam (and to a lesser but significant extent on the older tests) are coming from perfectionist categories such as high school valedictorian, college admission obsessives, masters of test prep, immigrant cram school attendees, and doctor/lawyer wanna-bes. The grade and test equivalent of compulsive hoarding is rational to the extent that some scholarships and admissions are directly based on it, and there is less of the low hanging fruit to grabbed at university level and beyond.
  • watermeloncholywatermeloncholy Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    There are MOP students who don't get 800's on math. :P
  • JimboSteveJimboSteve Registered User Posts: 834 Member
    I take it you deny the existence of people who can easily get 2400s without studying much or at all. If the hypothesis is false then the difference between 2400s and 2390s would be just a small amount of preparation and luck as you said.

    I would love to find some. That would require a very bizarre set of skills. Every question on the SAT is essentially simple, and with adequate time, few in the unstudied 2200+ range would have any difficulty getting all of them correct.

    However, to get all the math questions right with time constraints, most people must practice, so as to learn how frequently to check mental arithmetic, how to solve certain types of problems without having to think at all, how to spend the least time gridding in the questions, etc. To get all the critical reading questions right (here, I assume a sufficient knowledge of vocabulary, because that's not at all unreasonable), one must understand what is expected: not subtle answers, but the most plain and obvious ones available. (Don't forget, also, that many very intelligent people prefer reading slowly.) To get the writing questions right, individuals have to learn how to deal with the ridiculous, disgusting prose in the collegeboard's correct answers, and they must learn to ignore style completely, as the test-writers don't care about it. To get a good score on the essay, one must learn to write quickly enough to finish it, how formulaic the essays are expected to be, etc.

    The SAT is not a test of intuition and intelligence per se, but a test of how well you can learn to jump through hoops, and how much time you're willing to devote to doing so.
  • JimboSteveJimboSteve Registered User Posts: 834 Member
    n general I think a disproportionate number of the super-high SAT scores on today's exam (and to a lesser but significant extent on the older tests) are coming from perfectionist categories such as high school valedictorian, college admission obsessives, masters of test prep, immigrant cram school attendees, and doctor/lawyer wanna-bes. The grade and test equivalent of compulsive hoarding is rational to the extent that some scholarships and admissions are directly based on it, and there is less of the low hanging fruit to grabbed at university level and beyond.

    Exactly correct.
  • required3required3 Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    My D was rejected from all HPYMS with:
    1) SAT 2400 first sit. SAT II, MATH 800, Literature 800, Chinese 800, Physics 770. GPA weighted 4.51 (all As with one A-, always took hardest classes).
    2) President award for community service with continously working in a clinic more than 2 hours a week as a group leader.
    3) 4 years high school volleyball team player (refreshman, JV, Varsity, Varsity)
    4) 3 years student council
    5) Piano and Viola players, played twice in Carnegie hall for difference awards.
    6) State silver medol of NJ sicience olympic,
    7) NJ Governo school attendee.
    8) national merit semifinalist, finalist (PSAT 233)

    Rejection by any of HPYMS would be expected, but rejection from all of them was real big surprise to anyone knew her, from the school principal, teachers, students, friends and family members of cause.

    There were couple of her friends accepted by one of multiple HPYMS, none of them can be compared with from any perpectives. I believe, the "Chinese American" played most important role here, maybe also she shouldn't get 2400s as one of her friends suggested. But my daughter said how could I control to get 2390 or 2380?
    Lukily or unlukily she was happily accepted by Williams college. Anyway we are proud of her.
  • goldenboy8784goldenboy8784 Registered User Posts: 1,698 Senior Member
    Was Williams the only school she got accepted to?
  • required3required3 Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    that's all she applied
  • ewhoewho Registered User Posts: 1,429 Senior Member
    where did she apply early?
  • required3required3 Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    H - deferred. I guess she should apply P for early.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,711 Senior Member
    required3: I believe, the "Chinese American" played most important role here.

    There may be some truth in that. See: Harvard Targeted in U.S. Asian-American Discrimination Probe - Bloomberg
  • HarvardParentHarvardParent Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    I honestly do not think that being asian is a deciding factor in this case. Harvard accepts many female asian applicants with less academic and EC credentials. This case is puzzling. My gut feeling is that there may be a problem with either the personal assay or the recommendation letters.
  • required3required3 Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    "personal assay or the recommendation letters", well that's only things I can't post here. I believe Williams or Haverford also looked them. So they are just good enough to be accepted by Williams or Haverford but not for any of HPYMS?
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