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Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Son accidentally submitted low ACT scores

legalmomlegalmom 8 replies7 threads Junior Member
In reviewing the application statuses of the colleges my son applied to, we saw that several of them were already in receipt of his score from the first and only ACT he took back in February. He apparently selected to have the 4 free scores sent to some of his target colleges. His ACT composite score was really bad - a 23. We hadn't planned to send that score to any schools. His SAT score was much better - 1350. Will the schools go with the SAT, or will the low ACT score count against him? We're wondering if he should go ahead and sit for the ACT again in December to try to increase that score, in the event that he gets deferred from some schools and has an opportunity to submit additional information.
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Replies to: Son accidentally submitted low ACT scores

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2462 replies36 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2
    I would not have him sit for the ACT again.....a 1350 SAT concords with an ACT 29, so he would have to raise his score from 23 to 29/30 which is probably unlikely. His time can be better spent getting good grades in his classes, participating in ECs, and working on the rest of his apps.

    The AOs should consider his highest score. For the 4 schools/Adcoms that can't 'unsee' the ACT of 23 it's out of your control how the humans process that information so don't worry about it.

    Going forward, with the number of schools that allow self-reported test scores (which is increasing every month) there is little reason to send the 4 free scores at registration time.
    edited November 2
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  • racereerracereer 223 replies1 threads Junior Member
    If they accept both, they will use the higher score of either the SAT or ACT.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1149 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Yes, pretty much every school takes your highest score, either single sitting or superscore, and ignores the others.

    Yes, there’s a risk that in the back of their head someone has “that’s the one that had the low other score”. I haven’t sat in the AO decision making meetings, but my impression is that when they say they want to help every student put their best foot forward and consider the best scores, they actually do.

    Besides, taking the ACT again wouldn’t change that risk - the low score’s still there.

    He seems to be better suited to the SAT, so if he’s going to take anything, it should be the SAT again.
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  • ja;sldkjfja;sldkjf 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    The schools will assume your son was ill or in a noisy room for the very low score. Don't worry.
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  • legalmomlegalmom 8 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Thank you all for your replies and information. I feel like we've made some missteps in this process but am remaining optimistic.
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  • MWDadOf3MWDadOf3 117 replies9 threads Junior Member
    edited November 6
    I'm less confident than the other respondents that a 23 ACT will be disregarded in the face of a significantly higher (by concordance) SAT.

    You might want to look at the details of common data set reporting. I don't know one way or the other, but I suspect that a school in possession of both a relatively high SAT and low ACT must report both in various ways on the CDS. Thus, your kid might drag down CDS reported stats in a way that a kid who had the same SAT, but hadn't taken or didn't report the ACT, might not for that school.

    Moreover, I vaguely recall an anecdote almost exactly along these lines by someone with admissions at a highly selective university, given at a college admissions/planning night at our HS years back. If I recall it correctly, a kid had taken the SAT in 9th grade, gotten a score much lower (concordance-wise) than the main score they ultimately got on the ACT years later, but reported both, to their own detriment. While the college may have recognized the reason why the SAT was relatively low, it would presumably have hurt the uni to admit the kid and have to report both scores.
    edited November 6
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34548 replies384 threads Senior Member
    No, we don't know this son's targets, but they generally can be satisfied with the higher scores.
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