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Question about SAT in the admissions process

TWNealTWNeal Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
edited October 2011 in Parents Forum
I heard that colleges will look at every SAT score set sent to them and take only the highest score from each subject when molding a students final SAT score for admissions. Assuming this is true, what would happen were I to score a 640 on math and 510 on reading the first time, then get a 510 on math and a 640 on reading the second time? Would prestigious colleges be more likely to accept me for getting a 1280 overall or would they likely decline me due to the inconsistency in my score reports?
Post edited by TWNeal on

Replies to: Question about SAT in the admissions process

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,760 Senior Member
    It depends on the college. Many colleges "superscore" the SAT. They will take your best score in each section (regardless of the date the test was taken). They will tell you on their admissions site or if you call them whether they do that.

    Note that many colleges that superscore the SAT do NOT superscore the ACT. You didn't ask, but just in case. :) Again, if you have a question, it depends on the college.

    Generally colleges do not look down on you for taking the SAT a couple of times, and understand that you might do well or poorly on a given section on different days. That is one reason many offer the superscore option.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    I know you aren't applying to the UCs but they're an example of a Uni system that doesn't superscore - they only take the highest score from a single sitting.
  • glidoglido Registered User Posts: 5,958 Senior Member
    They would look at you as a 1280. They will care more about your transcript. Don't forget to write a great essay.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,018 Senior Member
    There are two, and only two, reasons why colleges superscore the standardized tests:

    First, if they do that, they can use the superscored numbers in reporting their applicant pool and admitted class statistics. For a while, that made colleges that superscored look better in USNWR rankings than colleges that didn't; now everyone superscores but a college that stopped would probably drop a few ranking slots as a consequence.

    In reality, that's probably the only reason, but the second reason is that students like it and feel more comfortable that way. It's seen as student-friendly, and it does take some of the pressure off any particular test session. So everybody wins.

    Most of the evidence is that elite colleges put much less emphasis on standardized test scores than students on CC imagine. They are suspicious of the tests, and use them mainly as part of a rough first-cut qualification, which then largely drops out as a factor to be considered. Little or no importance is accorded to small (20-30 point) score differences. So they don't really care about superscoring. If students like it, and USNWR likes it, fine.
  • IgloooIglooo Registered User Posts: 7,930 Senior Member
    So far, that is. Kids caught on and now some of them are taking tests concentrating on CR or Math in a sitting. With a good score in one they can switch to the other in the following sitting taking advantage of super scoring. Sooner or later colleges will catch on and will look at the discrepancy. Or not.
This discussion has been closed.