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Should my daughter bother with more tests? Does she need to do SAT again with the essay?

asiancaucasianasiancaucasian Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
Good Morning CC World!

December SAT scores were posted about an hour ago and she scored 1480! 750 EBR / 730 Math
Earlier this week her score of 1430 PSAT most likely earned her NM Commended recognition too, so she is having a great week!

My girl is a junior and turned 16 in late summer. She is interested in small liberal arts colleges and we do not anticipate qualifying for any financial aid, etc.

Any advice on 1) whether she should take the ACT and 2) why should she take the ACT would be so appreciated!
Is there some advantage regarding earning merit scholarships?
Would it make her application stronger with high scores on both exams?
Or would it just be annoying and too much information for the AO to keep track of?

Side note: (She took a practice ACT without ANY prep in early June last year and scored 35 / 35 / 30 math / 22 on science. AHHHH!!! :( Help! Any tips on that last score would be great too. The English teacher at her HS took her aside and told her that her score was scholarship worthy, but we have NO IDEA what that even means. What scholarship?

Any thoughts on the SAT essay would be valued too!

Thanks for any insights you are willing to share...we are in the Midwest and she is shooting for top tier, but not Ivies.

Happy Day! Happy Weekend!
Bring on Winter Break!



Replies to: Should my daughter bother with more tests? Does she need to do SAT again with the essay?

  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia Registered User Posts: 3,115 Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    @asiancaucasian Congratulations to your daughter! To answer your question, scoring equally well on two different formats of standardized test is not going to impress admissions officers. However, if your daughter could bring up that science score, she might be able to get a 33+ composite for the ACT, which would be a higher score percentile wise than that 1480.

    My kid ended up doing better on the ACT, except for the science score, which many students do less well on. She did targeted prep on that section through the on line ACT preparation (available for a modest annual fee) and she made a big improvement in that area.

    Assuming the rest of her profile measures up to that SAT score, a 1480 would most likely put her into merit scholarship contention at places like Dickinson, College of Wooster, Beloit, Lawrence, Beloit, Earlham, Denison, and Knox. It might qualify her for some merit at some more competitive schools like Oberlin, Macalester, Grinnell, and Kenyon.

    At all of these schools, the applicant is automatically considered for merit scholarships when they apply. At some schools, more funding is available through an additional application (Buntrock at St Olaf or College Scholar at Wooster). These scholarships are not based on financial need and range in value from 20K to low 30s.

    Check out the colleges that change lives: ctcl.org There are many options in the midwest and upper south. A few even offer full tuition scholarships (Hendrix, Centre, Denison and maybe some others) but those are very competitive.

    Finally, if your child is interested in women's colleges, Mt. Holyoke, Smith and Bryn Mawr also offer merit scholarships, generally in the 20-25K maximum range but Mt. H has some full tuition awards.

  • Caryn21!Caryn21! Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    That is an outstanding score! We are still waiting in Michigan for my daughter’s score to be released. It says “pending”. Any idea what this means, or when her score will be posted?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,064 Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/pdf/guide-2018-act-sat-concordance.pdf indicates that 1450-1480 SAT is like 33 ACT, so she may want to try the ACT if she is likely to get 34 or higher based on practice testing.

    As far as the essays go, check if any possible colleges of interest want it.

    Of course, if her score is at the top end of all of her colleges of interest and none of them want the essay, it is possible that she could be done. (Though if she is merit-scholarship-seeking, it may be less certain how high is "high enough".)
  • amsunshineamsunshine Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    My two cents are that your daughter appears to do well on the SAT already. Why waste time with the ACT? If merit scholarships are what you are after, have your daughter study hard over the summer and take the SAT again in August. She should be able to raise her score with some focused practice.
  • SoccerMomGenieSoccerMomGenie Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    I am an SAT tutor. I have done some ACT tutoring but decided to focus just on the SAT.

    Your daughter's SAT scores are excellent, and she has shown an excellent aptitude toward that test. The scores are great, as-is, or she could decide to put some effort into the math (which is very learnable), and potentially get a significant boost in her score (especially with super scoring). The SAT essay is not worth worrying about. She should do the essay once, in case there's a college that wants it, but it's not worth putting time and attention into it. Period.

    In general, I'm not a fan of having students study for two different tests. I think it's a waste of time and energy and I think it's best to just focus on the test that's the initial best fit. However, IF you decide to do that, I'll note that the science section is the most teachable section of the ACT in my opinion. The main factor about the science section is that it is not physically possible (IMO) to read the entire section and then answer the questions. Not even close. The only way to handle the section is to do a very, very brief skim, possibly of just the introduction, and then read the parts that are necessary to answer the questions as you do the questions. If she practices the section, she may get a very quick very significant improvement. One other factor that will favor the SAT over the ACT is super scoring. I don't know where the ACT currently is on "super scoring." Things may have changed, but as of a short while ago, you were not able to mix and match scores from different tests. Even if they do have super-scoring now, your D will have to take the test twice to get the benefits, whereas she already has the 750 V score in SAT and she can try again, focusing on math. If both scores go up, great, but if just the math increases, she can use that score along with the 750V.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,064 Senior Member
    One other factor that will favor the SAT over the ACT is super scoring. I don't know where the ACT currently is on "super scoring." Things may have changed, but as of a short while ago, you were not able to mix and match scores from different tests.

    Some colleges (e.g. the CSUs in California) do superscore the ACT with their own recalculation if an applicant shows more than one ACT score.
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