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B student son with high ACT, Should he take SAT?

mnm111mnm111 638 replies7 threads Member
My bright son with average grades due to poor academic efforts just scored 35 on his ACT with no preparation. Given that his ACT is far superior to his GPA, I simply cannot fathom any SAT score which would bolster his applications to realistic schools in the fall. Any thoughts? My older daughter scored significantly higher on her ACT than SAT two years ago, and I suspect my son would be the same.
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Replies to: B student son with high ACT, Should he take SAT?

  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16638 replies66 threads Senior Member
    With the rare exception most colleges and unis take ACT or SAT. As a B student the colleges your son will be targeting will probably be happy with the 35 ACT in my opinion.
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  • billcshobillcsho 18315 replies91 threads Senior Member
    There may be a reason to take ACT after getting a great SAT score, but there is rarely a reason to go the opposite way. Just make sure the ACT he took has writing then he is all set. There are a few schools still wants SAT2 even with ACT score though. You probably want to look into that instead of SAT1. Look up the document linked in the site below for details:
    http://www.rtsd.org/Page/1574
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84197 replies1035 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    What is his GPA?
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  • mathmommathmom 32552 replies159 threads Senior Member
    The only reason I can think of, is that with that ACT score he might be in line for a National Merit Scholarship if he had a high enough PSAT score. Did he take the PSAT fall junior year?
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  • mnm111mnm111 638 replies7 threads Member
    GPA is approximately 3.2 as of december. He took the PSAT in the fall and scored just at the line for NMS for our state. A good but not great score for him.
    He enjoys taking exams and has always scored well on standardized tests. Sadly, he has little interest in applying himself for his school work and often doesn't even hand in assignments.
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 33202 replies3929 threads Super Moderator
    ALL schools accept both the ACT and SAT. The last holdout to the ACT fell in line a number of years ago. I agree with @mathmom; only take the SAT to confirm any NMSF status (I can't tell if that's what you meant by just at the line for NMS). It will be interesting if he gets it with a 3.2 GPA.
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  • NCalRentNCalRent 6193 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I think I'd let the 35 ACT do the talking... why burn another Saturday?
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  • mnm111mnm111 638 replies7 threads Member
    I'll leave it up to him. No real harm in taking the SAT. If he gets a mediocre score, he can just not submit. He will take the SAT subject tests.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79159 replies704 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    He should note the concordance here: http://www.act.org/aap/concordance/pdf/reference.pdf

    Unless he thinks that he can score more than about 2330 on the SAT CR+M+W or 1560 on the SAT CR+M (the equivalents of 35 on the ACT), it may not be worth the time to take the SAT, unless the SAT is needed for something like National Merit that does not take the ACT, or the ACT was without writing and colleges/scholarships want one with writing.
    edited February 2014
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  • SomeOldGuySomeOldGuy 1971 replies15 threads Senior Member
    If I had a kid with a 3.2 who bagged a 35, I'd tell him to run away from further standardized testing like he just stole something. And I'd be working hard to see what he can do to start developing the study habits that will allow him to STAY in college once he gets there.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75565 replies3312 threads Senior Member
    Is he currently a junior? The most important thing he can do NOW is improve his GPA. His ACT score is great. Time for him to get that GPA up!
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16638 replies66 threads Senior Member
    The GPA is going to determine what colleges this student can target so yes, if he can improve that GPA it will open up some possibilities when he goes to apply. The ACT score will be attractive but he will still have to find his match schools considering the GPA since most colleges take a closer look at GPA than they do test scores. And if Erin's dad is correct then he's not going to encounter any colleges or unis that will 'want' the SAT. If, in fact, he actually made the cut on the PSAT that's a different story as he could garner merit money by taking the SAT.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79159 replies704 threads Senior Member
    3.2 unweighted HS GPA with 35 ACT does qualify for a full ride at Louisiana Tech (and perhaps other good scholarships -- se the sticky threads at the top of the financial aid and scholarships forum). But getting the GPA up and improving the study habits should be beneficial in terms of both admissions and success in college.
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16638 replies66 threads Senior Member
    OP not that many colleges require SATIIs if the student has taken ACT. He might be better served focused on the junior year and senior year fall grades. If you've got some colleges in mind you can check their website for SATII requirements.
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  • wis75wis75 14172 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Tell your son his most important semester is this one. It is not too late for him if he puts forth the effort beginning NOW. He needs to get good- mainly A grades- to show colleges he knows how to study. An improving gpa will offset earlier lesser grades. He could have trouble getting into some flagship U's based on his grades- he hasn't shown he can succeed in college despite his ACT scores. Having good SAT scores will not make up for grades.

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  • YoHoYoHoYoHoYoHo 1970 replies31 threads Senior Member
    If his PSAT score is in line to meet the NMSF in your state, then an SAT is required to go from NMSemiFinalist to NMFinalist. The SAT cutoff requirement might be 2000 or 2100?
    NMFs get awards. Do NMSF get awards too?

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  • GossamerWingsGossamerWings 1246 replies313 threads Senior Member
    I'll bet a smart kid like your son, despite his GPA, is doing some interesting extracurricular things. Is that the case? If so, that and the ACT score will get him into some wonderful colleges - no need to take the SAT unless he wants to stay in the competition for NMF.
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  • Archer1415Archer1415 138 replies3 threads Junior Member
    35 is awesome, especially with no preparation.

    Seems like time is better spent honing the organizational and scheduling skills, as SomeOldSmartGuy suggested.
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  • mom2andmom2and 2938 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Do you all really think the OP has not told her son that the GPA matters? Do you not imagine there have been many conversations over the years (both from the parents, his teachers, his guidance counselor) about how he needs to work up to his potential? Do you really think that telling him to improve is going to make any different? I would imagine this has been a concern for a long time and that the kid knows he should do better, but either can't or chooses not to.

    OP: As others have said, if he is above the NMF cutoff for your state, he should definitely take the SAT. Some schools offer merit money for NMF status. Even with a 3.2, he may well become a finalist. If not, what does he have to lose?

    There are schools that will accept a lopsided kid and weight scores heavily. He probably would not do well at a super competitive college in any event.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79159 replies704 threads Senior Member
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