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Ivy League and the ACT

maymay5678maymay5678 162 replies53 postsRegistered User Junior Member
I was just wondering what Ivy League schools views are on the act. I've heard that the look done upon it and your chances of getting in are decreased. Can anyone give me feedback about this? Thanks :)
edited February 2014
92 replies
Post edited by texaspg on
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Replies to: Ivy League and the ACT

  • MITer94MITer94 4728 replies19 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Where did you hear that?
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  • maymay5678maymay5678 162 replies53 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I don't remember whom I heard it from, it just remembered about it today after seeing my scores... I'm guessing it's not true?!?
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 33012 replies3712 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    No it is not true. ALL school accept the SAT or ACT equally. Only one school professes a preference, and that is a school in CA for the ACT.
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  • billcshobillcsho 18315 replies91 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Decades ago, there was a preference between ACT or SAT. Now there is none. Just make sure you also fulfill the SAT2 requirement though. Some schools requires SAT2+SAT1 or ACT, while there are also a few schools that want SAT2 scores disregarding ACT or SAT1. Last but not least, make sure you check the writing test requirement. Many schools wants ACT with writing. For SAT1, writing is included.
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  • maymay5678maymay5678 162 replies53 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for all your help. I took the ACT with writing, should I still take 2 SAT subject tests?
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  • Van2010Van2010 165 replies15 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    If you know where you're applying, then check each university for their policy. If you don't, take 2 Subj Tests to keep your options open as many universities do require them - a few engineering programs even specify that they want a math and a science Subj Test.
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  • mobius911mobius911 193 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    The common data set shows how many of the incoming freshmen take each test. I just googled Harvard, and 90% of incoming students for the latest year took the SAT, 32% took the ACT. So just 10% of incoming students took only the ACT. I'm not sure if that means anything, but could it create a minor (unconscious, but real) bias toward the SAT? Maybe.

    What it also indicates is that more applicants (22% in this case) are taking both tests. That's a trend that is likely to continue at the highly selective schools. "Look at me, I kick ass on both tests!"
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  • billcshobillcsho 18315 replies91 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    The test preference is more regional. The coasts areas have a historical reason for taking SAT. So many public schools require SAT or at least promote SAT. In the mid-west, many states require ACT for high school graduation. So the bias could be due to geographical reason these days rather than college preference.
    As for SAT2, it is encouraged to take it even if it is not required by the college you are planning to apply. Remember, it may not be required for admission, but they may still use the scores for placement or merit scholarship evaluation. Also, when a competitive school recommends SAT2, you should treat it as required to increase your chance. 95% of students admitted to Stanford submitted SAT2 scores while it is only recommended. Last but not least, very often the SAT2 requirement is program specific. You should go through the program requirement instead of the school admission requirement. If someone said so and so school does not require SAT2, it may not be the case for your specific program. For instance, check out Northwestern.
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  • MandalorianMandalorian 1740 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    99% of schools accept both equally. I don't really think there is much of a preference. More kids probably take the SAT because it is more popular on the densely populated coasts. Sometimes it even can be used instead of SAT+Subject tests.

    I have taken both, and I did better/liked the ACT more. It is more of a test of reading comprehension and speed than anything else, and it played more to my strengths.
    edited February 2014
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  • Duck007Duck007 118 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited February 2014
    ^ I'm sorry to say that you're all wrong. SAT vs ACT is a constant debate, the general rule of thumb is that coasties (east and west) prefer SAT and the rest of the others prefer ACT. For e.g. To apply at Duke, you only need to take the ACT and that too without writing (if you want), SAT and SAT subjects are waived for those who take the ACT. But at an ivy (say Yale), if you take the ACT, you have to take it with the writing component and you're not waived from SAT subject tests.
    Also, a research shows that ACT is constantly being taken by more high schoolers than SAT but the increase in only in the central and southern regions, not in the coasties!
    Conclusion, ACT is more popular and has more candidates (overall in US), but SAT seems to be sticky enough to not be defeated by ACT in the coastal regions.
    edited February 2014
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  • Duck007Duck007 118 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    My observation about the popularity of ACT is the following
    - It is cheaper than SAT
    - It mimics the American Highschool curriculum very closely and candidates are more comfortable with it as compared to the SAT.

    Most of the Americans I've talked to say that ACT was better and they felt more comfortable. The reason is: It mimics the American Highschool curriculum very closely and candidates are more comfortable with it as compared to the SAT.
    On the other hand, Intls are not as comfortable with ACT as they are with SAT. Reason : It mimics the American Highschool curriculum very closely and candidates are more comfortable with it as compared to the SAT.
    I took both and really hated the ACT, but on the SAT I kicked A**.

    There, I've solved the mystery!

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  • epicdude17epicdude17 241 replies24 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Duck007, there is no mystery to be solved. They are VIEWED and JUDGED equally, even if more people from the coasts take one test more than another.

    Also, you are completely wrong about Yale. If you submit the ACT you do not have to send your SAT 2s. So yeah.
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  • dadinatordadinator 1326 replies113 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    What epicdude said.
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  • billcshobillcsho 18315 replies91 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    It seems Duck007 is giving poor information here and there. He is international and is rather new to the education system here.
    The number of students taking ACT just exceeded that for SAT within the last couple years. Definitely not "constantly". Also, there is historical and geographical reason why SAT is more popular in the coastal areas and ACT in the mid-west. From his statements, you can clearly tell that he does not know that. One can pretty much ignore his comment.
    edited February 2014
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  • texaspgtexaspg 16488 replies340 postsForum Champion Pre-Med & Medical Forum Champion
    For whatever reason, the top schools show more admitted students providing SAT scores. They do claim the tests are treated equally.

    There are several schools at the top which do not require SAT2 if taking ACT - Yale, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia and Duke stand out.
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  • entomomentomom 22547 replies1111 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Duck007 wrote:
    To apply at Duke, you only need to take the ACT and that too without writing
    Duck007 wrote:
    But at an ivy (say Yale), if you take the ACT, you have to take it with the writing component and you're not waived from SAT subject tests.

    Duck, Please get into the habit of providing a link to the source and quoting the pertinent information, this helps in preventing spreading misinformation as you did in the above. For example:

    http://admissions.duke.edu/application/instructions
    All candidates for admission must complete one of the following standardized testing options and arrange to have official test score reports sent to Duke:

    The test of the ACT, including the writing exam

    http://admissions.yale.edu/standardized-testing
    You must submit scores from either:

    The SAT and any two SAT Subject Tests - or -
    The ACT Plus Writing Test

    While even the most reliable members occasionally make a mistake, repeated posting of misleading information will not be tolerated.

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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33093 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Anyway, a good ACT is fine. A good SAT is fine. See what the colleges on your list say. Don't assume you can glean the colleges' preferences based on how kids in each region may prefer one over the other. Some kids take both.
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  • HawkaceHawkace 2396 replies85 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have a question: if you have a 2100-2200 in the SAT, but a 35-36 on the ACT, will colleges look upon your decent yet low scores with scorn or will they not care?

    A college that comes to mind is Stanford who requires all scores.
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  • AZGroveAZGrove 92 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    A 2100-2200 on the SAT is not low. And anything above a 33 is in the 99th percentile on the ACT. Once you get to a certain point on both tests, colleges stop looking at them (i.e. a college won't look down upon a 2100).
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