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Retake both or focus in on the higher (ACT/SAT)

turtletimeturtletime Registered User Posts: 1,244 Senior Member
edited July 2013 in Parents Forum
So parents, talk to me. My daughter took both the SAT and ACT this past Spring. She's not taken the subject tests yet. Her SAT scores are on the lower side for the highly selective schools (and there are a couple on her list.) Her ACT score puts her on the higher side for the same selective schools.

Math noticeably dragged down her scores on both tests (not bad math scores but a big gap between math and verbal.) She's working on a refresher course this summer and wants to retake the ACT in September. That part of the plan sounds good to me.

My question, is it worth her retaking the SAT and taking the subject tests? The high end schools on her list want either the SAT with 2 subjects or the ACT. While I suspect her subjects will be strong, it seems doubtful that she'll improve enough on her second SAT to surpass her ACT score.

What choices did your children make and what sorts of encouragement and support did you offer.)
Post edited by turtletime on

Replies to: Retake both or focus in on the higher (ACT/SAT)

  • MichiganGeorgiaMichiganGeorgia Registered User Posts: 4,472 Senior Member
    Except for one school DS applied to public schools so our choices maybe different than yours. We were going for merit aid so we tried to cover our bases. Also I don't know what scores your DD had on the SAT/ACT. DS took both at the start of junior year. 2100 SAT 31 ACT. He also took 2 subjects tests 800 & 730 in June after junior year. Then he took both the ACT and SAT again fall of senior year. While his SAT only went up to 2150 the second time his ACT went up to a 34.

    My feeling was it didn't hurt him to take the tests. If your DD studies for the math part of the ACT then I would think her SAT math part would go up also. You only have to send either the SAT test scores or the ACT scores. Doing both would give you more options.
  • ilcollegemomilcollegemom Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    For my oldest daughter, we stuck with the ACT only because all the schools she was interested in accepted ACT. For DD #2 and #3, we will look at which test is a better fit for them. If I was in your position, I think I'd stick with the ACT. Also, keep in mind that the test is really meant for second semester of Jr. year, so the longer she waits, the better her scores may be. My daughter's best scores were the fall of her senior year. She did review on all subjects and extra on Math and Science, because those were her lowest.

    If you can get by with just ACT and not mess with SAT subject tests, I'd do it that way. They have enough to worry about without maximizing scores on all those test options!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,633 Senior Member
    Since she has a higher baseline on the ACT, it makes more sense to just retry the ACT if she wants to try to raise it.

    For SAT subject tests, check to see if any of her schools need them.
  • NC MomNC Mom Registered User Posts: 813 Member
    My DD decided to focus on the ACT because she preferred the format of that test. I would let your DD decide for herself.
  • rodneyrodney Registered User Posts: 9,406 Senior Member
    "For SAT subject tests, check to see if any of her schools need them." Agree; if she is focusing on ACT MANY schools do not require additional SAT subject tests
  • sacchisacchi Registered User Posts: 2,133 Senior Member
    I suggest to forget the SAT, and retake the ACT, and also consider taking subject tests, given that you expect good scores. You can look at the Score Choice policies for the particular schools, and if the schools allow it, submit the ACT and the subject test scores. While many of the schools don't require subject tests with the ACT, they will consider the scores that they receive.

    When my S applied to colleges, he submitted the ACT plus subject tests, and just didn't send the SAT score, which was lower than the ACT score.
  • sosomenzasosomenza - Posts: 2,122 Senior Member
    If your looking for the stats Re: retaking. I have a thread (The Sat to take or not retake) with the probability for change. GL
  • turtletimeturtletime Registered User Posts: 1,244 Senior Member
    Thanks all! Will take a second look at the requirements for individual schools. It does seem to make more sense to let her focus on the ACT and maybe not stress about the SAT and subject tests... especially since anxiety tends to tank her on these sorts of things. Retaking the ACT knowing she already has a strong fall-back score and with the math refresher, should be good. It's likely that she'll retake the SAT just because the math score annoyed her but maybe we won't assume the subject tests.

    Geesh, this college stuff isn't much fun lol. Thanks again for the thoughts.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,670 Senior Member
    you only have to send either the SAT test scores or the ACT scores.

    Not universally true. Some colleges/programs want to see Subject Test scores.
    If your DD studies for the math part of the ACT then I would think her SAT math part would go up also.

    Not necessarily. SAT-M and ACT-M are two different test types. SAT-M includes reasoning ability, while ACT-M focuses on speed and higher level difficulty. (SAT-M only goes up thru Alg II, while ACT-M includes 4 trig problems.)
This discussion has been closed.