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Should I take the SAT or ACT as a freshman?

bwhs2021bwhs2021 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
I got a letter from Mary Baldwin University about applying to The Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. Acceptance into the program would mean starting college next year as a 15 year old. However, SAT or ACT scores are required. Should I take either test, and if so, which?

Thanks for your responses!

Replies to: Should I take the SAT or ACT as a freshman?

  • AlluvialAlluvial Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    The score thresholds for a university of that caliber are relatively low. Take the one that you perform better, on a practice test of course. ACT is generally more comprehensive with a Science section. If you're strong in writing and language,SAT is for you. I don't think there is any scholarships for achievement in a particular test,so whatever you're better at.
  • thebetterhawkeyethebetterhawkeye Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    To answer your question, take both and see which you do better on. After reading the differences between them I was convinced I would do significantly better on the SAT, but when I had to take the ACT as a graduation requirement, I was much more successful.

    To provide some unsolicited advice, I would take some time to think about whether or not you should do the program. In your other threads you mentioned your Ivy League ambitions and interest in other elite colleges. After digging around the website (which was vague enough to set off some alarm signals), it looks like you would be getting your bachelor's degree from Mary Baldwin, and if you choose to go to graduate or professional school you would be free to do that anywhere.

    There are several factors to weigh in here. One that you may be concerned with is prestige: is it more impressive to be a college graduate at 18/19 or to have an Ivy League degree? Prestige is about what the general public will think, but if you want to be an emergency room physician, you have to think about what medical schools will think as well. There's a chance that the more elite ones won't consider an applicant under 20 or 21 -- academically gifted =/= solid work ethic, emotional maturity, etc. Finally, think of what you want to get out of college: going at 15, even with other 15 year olds, will be a different beast than going at 18.

    I'm not trying to talk down to you or diminish your accomplishments. I'm academically gifted as well, and if I had pushed hard enough I could have gone to college very young. However, I genuinely enjoy going to school (which is part of why I'm going into academia, so I never really have to "leave" school) and didn't want to push through. I ended up advancing one grade level and doing outside work on things that interested me. Going to public high school helped me with my social skills, and I'm very happy starting college at 17. I think if I had pushed through several grade levels, I would have been isolated in college, and I wouldn't have the emotional maturity to be a good fit in a graduate program.

    If you're using school as a means to an end (being a doctor at a young age), the program might be a good fit. If you enjoy learning both in the classroom and by interacting with people who aren't like you, maybe the traditional route is better.
  • bwhs2021bwhs2021 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    I just looked and unfortunately it is too late to register for the ACT administered on February 10th, the only administration left before the application deadline for the program on March 31st. Looks like I'll be taking the SAT.

    @thebetterhawkeye I don't really care about the prestige. I've realized it's not about the name that comes on the diploma, but what you learned to achieve the diploma. School has never been socially easy for me because of being gifted. I've generally been excluded from conversations and friend groups because I'm more interested in human anatomy and chemistry than celebrity drama and social media. I've never enjoyed going to school every day. It seems more like a chore than fun, except for the hour before classes start that I spend with my friends. I have social skills developed in group therapy and summer camp for the gifted. These programs and having a much older sister helped me to emotionally mature faster. School is just a means to an end, to use your language. I have to progress through life as quickly as possible because I have a fatal nerve disease, so the faster I can get a good job and adopt kids the better. Classrooms have always been very isolating (I actually spent 4th grade in an autism classroom because I knew all the course material but my school refused to let me skip the grade), so I think this would be a good option for me. Thanks for doing research and replying!
  • bwhs2021bwhs2021 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    To update everyone, I took the ACT on July 14th. I got my scores back on July 24th.

    English: 35
    Math: 32
    Reading: 36
    Science: 31
    Composite: 34

    Later that day, I was offered admission (and the top merit scholarship of $21,000) to the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. I dropped out of high school that Friday. I am elated to finally have the opportunity to reach my potential.

    In April, I realized that science was no longer my passion. When I was five, my parents were convinced I would end up working as an attorney for the state department. It turns out they knew my true interests the whole time. I'll be double majoring in Political Science and International Affairs, with four minors in Philosophy, Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution, Sociology, and Francophone Studies. I hope to attend American University for my JD and work in the Bureau of African Affairs when I graduate at 22.

    Thank you for reading!
  • excovererexcoverer Registered User Posts: 577 Member
    @bwhs2021 Wow! Congratulations! I hope you have a good time. Good luck with everything.

    Have a good day!
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