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SAT Essay Again?

CallipyganCallipygan Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
So here's some background info: I took the SAT once already and did not get a composite score that I was satisfied with, so I have already registered to take it again in August. However, I did really well on the essay with 8/8/8 (24) on the essay.

I had signed up for the essay again for the August SAT, but now that I think about it, do I still need to take the essay and risk not getting full score again? I know some schools super score and stuff, so I wanted some advice on whether or not i should spend the money and the time to prepare for another essay and risk not getting a full score. With the superscore, would colleges see and take into consideration that I didn't take the essay a second time?

A few of the schools I'm planning on applying to are UPenn, MIT, Princeton, Rice, UT - Austin. Haven't really looked to make sure if any of these schools super score, any ideas? Currently looking at majoring in Chemical Engineering. Graduating in the class of 2018.

Thank you in advance for the help!

Replies to: SAT Essay Again?

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,923 Senior Member
    You need to look and see if those schools superscore. There's your answer.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    I have a question similar to this. Even if the schools superscore, will they consider an essay score on a test when they don't take either the reading or the math score from that test? If the OP does better on both of those sections the second time around, will the schools take that first essay? I heard somewhere that schools won't consider the essay from a test where they aren't taking either of the scores...
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,923 Senior Member
    edited July 15
    My understanding is that if the school requires the essay, they will not consider test scores from tests submitted without the essay (see below). If they don't superscore, they will note all scores in all sections of the test, including the essay. If they superscore, then they will use the highest score from any section, including the essay. If they don't require the essay, they won't consider the essay score. BUT, there are a lot of colleges out there, and they all do things their own way. Some may recommend but not require the essay.

    I just looked at five sites: Yale, Duke, Harvard, Williams and Cornell. They all have their own requirements. It's possible that a college will not consider the essay from a test with lower scores, but I haven't seen any statement which says that. And in fact, I read nothing that states that tests submitted without the essay portion will not be considered, but I was sure I read that somewhere in the past. @homerdog , bottom line, it's best to check each college's website.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    @Lindagaf hm. I guess that's kind of what I was getting at but I wasn't clear. If OP applies to a school that requires the essay then looks like, for some schools, she will have to take the test with the essay again or the school won't consider her new math and reading scores.

    I honestly think I'm going to call out schools in question. In our case, I have S19 taking SAT in Aug with no essay. If he does well on it, though, and wants to use those scores then he cannot do so for schools that require the essay. For him, that's only two schools and they are at the bottom of his list so maybe we can just nix them. Lol.

    I also wonder if there's a chance that any of these schools will change their policies for the 2018-2019 apps.
  • CallipyganCallipygan Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @Lindagaf @homerdog Thank you so much for the help. So I did look at the superscoring policies for a lot of schools and so far it seems that the majority of private schools do superscore and say that the essay is optional. Of the schools that I'm looking at UT-Austin doesn't superscore, but I'm not too worried because I am automatic-admit based on class rank. And they don't require an essay on top of that.

    I mainly just wanted some more information on the actual method of superscoring. Since you have to send in all of your scores, they can see that, for example, I have two test scores. Would they essentially just see an "N/A" for essay on my second test and only consider the score that I do have? Or if I send in both scores, are they only able to see the highest scores? I'm just not too sure on how the actual superscoring system works and I can't seem to find what I'm looking for on their websites. I'm worried that not taking the essay this time might hurt me in the long run, but I also feel that if I don't have to take the essay again, it's a weight off my shoulders, so that I can focus on the reading/writing section.

    Should I just remove the essay from my August registration because most of the schools I'm looking to apply to superscore?

    Thanks again!
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,923 Senior Member
    If they don't recommend or require the essay, they are going to look at both tests. If you send all scores, they will see all scores. If they say they superscore, they will do the superscoring. If they don't give exact, detailed info about how they superscore, which is their right, there is nothing you can do about it. You are overthinking. You will only have a problem if they REQUIRE the essay. They might then only consider the test with the essay. For your schools you are fine. if you are going to worry about non-issues, your hair will be grey in no time. Stop fretting.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    @Callipygan it is weird how the pattern seems to be that it's the public schools on our list who want the SAT essay. Perhaps that's because they don't have a ton of resources to look at common app essays closely and they use that SAT essay as a way to grade the applicants writing. Looking at a score is easier than reading carefully through the common app essays. If you have any other schools that require the essay, I would call the admissions office and ask directly if they will take the first essay score even if you score higher on the other two sections of the test next time.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    If, though, you do better on both math and English on the Aug test than you can just send that one to your schools that don't require the essay!
  • CallipyganCallipygan Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @Lindagaf @homerdog Thank you so much!
  • stechinstechin Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I have read over the comments here because I have the same problem, but I'm still a bit confused. I got a 21/24 on the essay and I didn't sign up for the essay because I'm content with my essay score.The school I want to attend superscores and highly recommends the essay, but does not require it. Would it be okay to submit three scores in - one with the highest math, one with the highest english, and one with the highest writing - or will they only count the essay ones? From what I've deduced from the comments, colleges that absolutely require the essay will be the ones to only want to see SATs with essays, exclusively. Am I fine because my top school highly recommends it rather than requires it? I tried looking up their test policies on their website, but it wasn't really helpful, saying that they only superscored.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    @stechin that's pretty much our dilemma as well. I think you should just call the admissions office of the school in question...and then let us know the name of the school and what they said! ;)
  • rwmannesqrwmannesq Registered User Posts: 138 Junior Member
    My son did alright on the essay portion of the ACT but his SAT scores are higher. He did not complete the essay for the SAT. I talked to Univ. of San Diego about allowing the ACT written portion and the SAT scores. They'll superscore the SAT but the written portion must also be from "any" SAT sitting. So now we're scheduled for the August SAT with Essay. USD will use his highest math and English scores while using this essay.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,923 Senior Member
    I really think you need to contact the school in question for definitive answers. I suspect that this is becoming a very common question and they will soon clarify this on their websites. Remember the new SAT only came out last March, so it's possible they are still refining their own policies. I think if in doubt, for schools that REQUIRE the essay, the safest policy is to submit only test scores with the essay.

    I am a test prep tutor, and one of my students did well on the SAT, but got a very low score on the essay. The essay doesn't hold as much weight as the rest of the test, but for a school like Yale, the top choice of this student, a low essay score isn't good. He retook, and got a much better score on the essay, but a lower score on the rest of the test. He will still have to submit all of his scores. Yale doesn't superscore, but at least he knows all of his scores will be considered because he is submitting both tests with the essay. Anyone who is concerned about it needs to get clarification from the college, bottom line.
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