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SATs and ACTs- How do colleges see them as?

I know colleges require students to write in the bar code for the specific college to send them to.
So if you took SATs 3 times, do they look at each one, the first, or 2nd, or 3rd?
What if you did poorly on the first but 2300 on the 3rd? Would they not take you in because of the first SAT?

I'm confused. I'm only a freshman, but I would like to know how this works.
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Replies to: SATs and ACTs- How do colleges see them as?

  • penngirlpendingpenngirlpending 529 replies75 threads Member
    Bump...
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  • drusbadrusba 9653 replies21 threads Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    As to SATs, colleges are divided into two camps when you submit multiple tests: (a) majority of private colleges and minority of publics superscore the tests by taking the highest section scores from the multiple tests to determine admission, e.g., score 700 math, 700 critical reading and 700 writing in one test and 600 math, 750 reading and 800 writing in another and your scores for detemining admission are 700 math, 750 reading and 800 writing; (b) minority of private colleges and majority of publics use that test with the highest composite to determine admission. There are some minor variations on that (for example some that use that test with the highest composite may also look at the math section score from another test if it is higher when determining admission to engineering). Also, in either of the camps you have colleges that consider the writing section and colleges that do not, and thus the latter, if they use the test with the highest composite, mean the composite score determined by the combination of the critical reading and math scores.

    The College Board, for the SAT, takes a neutral stance on whether colleges should superscore SAT tests. The ACT, however, recommends against superscoring multiple ACT tests and the result for that test has been that a majority of colleges, both private and public, use that ACT with the highest composite to determine admission if you submit multiple ACT tests, and only a minority superscore.

    In all cases the colleges assert that they do not use your lower scores against you in determining admission when you submit multiple tests. Despite that, many applicants continue to have a hard time believing what the colleges say, and, if you follow these boards, you will see that a large number of those who post here just cannot bring themselves to believe colleges are telling the truth when they say they do not use lower scores against you.
    edited March 2014
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  • penngirlpendingpenngirlpending 529 replies75 threads Member
    Thanks so much-really helpful.
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