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Report: Class of 2018 Logs Average SAT Score of 1068

The College Board recently released stats about how the Class of 2018 fared on the SAT - get the scoop. https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/report-class-of-2018-logs-average-sat-score-of-1068/

Replies to: Report: Class of 2018 Logs Average SAT Score of 1068

  • billycatbillycat Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Interesting that the mean score for the class of 2018 of 1068 is higher than last years 1060, ticking up while the ACT mean score of 2018 ticked down from 21 (2017) to 20.8. Changes are small but am wondering if this has any effect on the concordance table that came out in the summer, especially on the higher end scores where the ACT scores were paired lower to the SAT scores from the previous year. ACT scores really have not changed much over the years but SAT scores seems to be inconsistent since they’ve changed the test.
  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen Registered User Posts: 1,115 Senior Member
    I'm not sure the ACT score difference is statistically significant; I'd wager it essentially stayed the same. However, it looks like the SAT is getting easier and easier. This is probably on purpose as the College Board tries everything they can to get bigger slices of the pie.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,045 Senior Member
    ^ Well, it doesn't matter if it gets "easier" - what matters is the curve and how it concords to the ACT, as colleges and uni's most likely want some consistency between their ACT and SAT ranges. The 2018 concordance is actually the first that ACT and College Board jointly released so is going to be more accurate than CB's "guesstimates" of 2016 and 2017. At the upper end of the SAT curves, the ACT concordances did tick up a bit, as people suspected they would just based on what they were seeing from various school websites, but I doubt the concordance changed much at the median at all. Also, the average SAT score is just that - an average. It's not a concorded number.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,573 Senior Member
    The concordance tables definitely needed to be adjusted at the high end as they were this past year. Not sure the SAT is getting easier or if just more people are taking it now. It was my observation that a lot of the overachieving kids serious about college were taking the ACT instead of the new SAT because of the fear of the unknown. Maybe more people are getting comfortable with it now and there are more overachievers taking the SAT which is making the average come up. I still hear and see a lot more high ACT scores (34+) than I see 1500's+. But maybe that is just in my neck of the woods.
  • SlimJim005SlimJim005 Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    I'd like to know the percentiles at the top end. Is a 34 ACT still in the top 1%? Is a 1560 SAT still in the top 1% or has it dropped to 98th percentile? Just curious.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,045 Senior Member
    edited November 27
    An SAT score of 1500, which concords to about a 34 on the ACT, begins the 99th percentile.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    What's interesting to me is that in the last year, 3 kids I've known who couldn't crack the 1400 mark on the SAT scored 34 or 35 on the ACT. They really favor different kinds of kids.
  • SlimJim005SlimJim005 Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    I also get the feeling some schools prefer the SAT, while others prefer the ACT. Georgetown has always been an SAT school.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,045 Senior Member
    edited November 28
    According to NCES, the G-Town Class of 2021 (enrolled) submitted 866 ACTs and 1094 SATs. This totals to more than the number of matriculants because some submitted both scores. At G-Town you have to submit everything so this should represent an accurate portrait of how much G-Town might favor an SAT-taker over an ACT-taker. Playing with the numbers, it looks like about a third submitted just the ACT, 45% just the SAT, and a little under a quarter submitted both. So there seems to be a clear preference for the SAT among the students who matriculate.

    However, that might have more to do with geography than test per se. For instance, G-Town might really want more kids from Nebraska (which happens to be more of an ACT-state) but they just don't get many apps. from that area. Haven't looked, but if G-Town is drawing heavily from the coasts and less from the south, midwest, and intermountain areas, then it wouldn't be surprising to see the scales tip toward the SAT. That doesn't mean that G-Town would favor SAT takers from Nebraska over ACT-takers. In fact, if you concord the mid-50% SAT range from College Navigator, you pretty much get the same ACT range as what's actually reported. That suggests that ACT testers don't necessarily have to meet some higher threshold to be accepted.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,573 Senior Member
    I have also seen more high ACT scores than SAT scores....wondering if that will change as people adjust to the new SAT. But IMO this was one of the reasons they needed to do the concordance table over....seemed like kids cracked the code on ACT and not on SAT. Whenever the schools release their accepted student score ranges, I try to compare them to the new charts to see if they are about the same. Seems like they are...but if anything, the SAT scores are still slightly lower, but not significantly.

    One exception to this rule is the cutoff for Kelley School of Business at Indiana. Their cutoffs are 1390 and 30. That's a HARDER SAT score than ACT score. But they adjust every year (last year i think was a 1360 and a 31 so this new change surprised me). Let's see what if it changes next year.
  • SlimJim005SlimJim005 Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    I don't think it's just geography. Some schools (fewer now than in years past) have a preference for one test over another. I heard that years ago, it was tough to get into competitive schools w/just the ACT. The SAT was preferred. That's way down now, but I still think it matters to some colleges.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,045 Senior Member
    ^ The best way to answer that question would be to check with the colleges themselves. It makes more sense to rely on what they say rather than rumors or secondhand information. We have yet to find a school website, an AO, or a GC claiming one test is preferred over another.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,573 Senior Member
    They will never admit if they prefer one over the other (and honestly, probably most do NOT). However, the best way to see what's going on is to just look at their published score ranges. If scores ranges seem off for SAT vs. ACT, it doesn't necessarily mean they prefer one over the other...it might just mean there were less applicants with 99% SAT scores than ACT scores (for example), and once they reviewed the applications holistically (which I believe they truly do in most cases) it turned out that those lower SAT kids were just as desirable as the higher ACT kids.

    Our SAT tutor truly believes the SAT is a harder test and thinks the schools know that.

  • SlimJim005SlimJim005 Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    @JBStillFlying Georgetown's Dean of Admissions (I think his name is Deacon) said the SAT provides more points and is a better tool for them. I can't find the article now, but I think it was something he said last spring.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,045 Senior Member
    edited November 28
    Here is the article:


    What Dean Deacon is actually saying is simply that the new SAT scores are higher than the old (CR and Math) and he is attributing that to a higher likelihood of acceptance. Two things: 1) It's a totally different test with a different scale, so comparisons to the old test would really be irrelevant based on score. You need percentiles and a concordance table to make that happen accurately. 2) Dean Deacon knows this, although I agree he does seem to have a preference for the SAT, which seems a bit odd nowadays Such is G-Town which also hasn't updated it's application process or insistence on ALL SCORES LOL. (Full disclosure - my son is applying this year but took the SAT. Whew!). Finally, 3) Dean Deacon was not the only admissions dean last year to crow about "higher SAT scores" . . UChicago's Dean Nondorf pulled the same at my daughter's admissions event. Interesting to note that a majority of students admitted to UChicago that year took the ACT and, IIRC, that range didn't seem to change at all. Admissions deans are marketing geniuses so this doesn't surprise me - although unless they meant that the scores represented higher percentiles, it's simply not accurate to compare old scores to new ones.

    The class of 2021 were really the first to utilize the new SAT and many skipped the SAT altogether, opting for the ACT, simply because it was a new and unknown commodity. That alone might have disadvantaged the applicants because a side-by-side comparison might have showed, for instance, that who should have taken the SAT (because it would have been more "their test") opted for the ACT. He mentioned that the number of ACT tests submitted was quite high compared to other years, but not sure whether the range was somehow lower than in other years. As mentioned earlier, there is no noticable difference between scores based on the current concordance.

    It's important to remember, despite Dean Deacon's comments, that schools continue to increase in popularity and selectivity due to real phenomena, not due to scaled scoring or admissions trickery. Must admit, however, that @SlimJim005's observations seem to be correct: regardless of the purpose, G-Town did let it slip that they preferred the SAT. This article below indicates that as well.


    @collegemomjam I've read the same thing as your SAT tutor has said. However, in my son's case the SAT was WAY PREFERABLE over the ACT which he found to be uncomfortably time-pressured. My oldest strongly preferred the straightforward ACT over the old SAT, but her sister preferred latter and also hated the time pressure. My middle kid liked both ACT and new SAT and scored equivalently on both. So perhaps there is something for everyone on these tests. It's great to have a choice.
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