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How much do the tests REALLY matter?

JustASomeoneJustASomeone Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
Is there a soft gap, (ie a certain score is "good enough" and anything above that will do nothing extra) or is 100+ hours spent studying for close to a 2400 really worth it?

I'm curious because a few months ago I attended a Harvard admissions meeting and they said that they only look at your test scores to determine if you're an academic fit; once they decide the scores are good enough they don't care anymore. However, people on this board seem...how to put it...slightly obsessed with ridiculously high scores. I get the feeling that applying to top schools with an SAT score below 2300 or an ACT score below 34 is basically just a waste of the application fee.

Who's right?

Replies to: How much do the tests REALLY matter?

  • bomerrbomerr Registered User Posts: 1,956 Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    It's both. There is a soft limit like a 2100-2200 BUT at the same time so many people are applying with 2350s or 34s that you really should shoot for that e.g. if you get a 28 ACT, you would retake the test but if you got a 32, stay put.
  • gnastygnorcgnastygnorc Registered User Posts: 240 Junior Member
    I'd still study as best as you can, 100+ hours if needed. Aim for a 2300+, but if you take it some 2-3 times and still only get a 2100-2200...don't sweat it anymore and still apply. Girl in my grade got into Penn with a 2200 something.
  • Bartleby007Bartleby007 Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    For an "unhooked" applicant, getting a high score on the SAT/ACT and having a perfect/near-perfect GPA in the most rigorous set of classes offered by a high school is sort of like checking the "qualified applicant" box on the application to a highly selective college. The other aspects of your application (artistic/athletic talent, extracurriculars, community service, awards, leadership, etc.) will determine the admissions decision.

    Applicants with "hooks" (URM, recruitable athletic talent, outstanding musical talent, economically/socially disadvantaged, legacy, etc.) can make it to committee with lower numbers...and, at that point, other aspects of the application will determine the admissions decision.

    High standardized test scores can be important for securing merit aid offers from certain schools.
This discussion has been closed.