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SAT score of a 1500, retake??

TheaterSportsKidTheaterSportsKid Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hey guys! Hope everyone’s having a good day. Quick question for everyone. I got a 1500 on the first SAT I took (790 in math, 720 in reading writing). I’m trying to get in to the elite schools (Stanford, Yale, Northwestern, etc). My college consoler said I shouldn’t take the test again because these school require you send all your scores and raising the score up 20-30 points isn’t worth the risk of getting a score in the 1400s which I’d have to submit as well. Is this true? Should I really just stay at a 1500 or should I try for a better score if I’m trying for these top schools??

Replies to: SAT score of a 1500, retake??

  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 1,306 Senior Member
    edited January 7
    Check your colleges' admission websites carefully. Many elite colleges no longer require all SAT scores. Stanford and Northwestern don't require all scores.

    Yale requires all scores but also says that it considers the highest score for each section.

    Compare your individual section scores to those published by your colleges to help you decide whether you might want to take it again. Keep in mind that recent scoring scales involve losing a large number of points at the top end of the scale for each question missed.

    When it is time to apply in the fall, check your colleges' admission websites again to see whether they changed their requirements over the summer.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 5,335 Senior Member
    The chance of raising a 790/720 is very low. Why? They are extremely high scores in the first place. A 790 means you missed a single question...all day. Most schools know the percentiles you achieved are very high and won't likely make that the reason they reject you. You should also know that even with 800/800 your chance will be slim. That's simply the math of far too many fully qualified students applying to far too few schools that have holistic admissions. The whys of who gets in are mysterious to everyone but those making the decisions. Even those admitted can rarely tell you why they were chosen. Expand your horizons. Dig deeper into what the experience at the "elite" schools you are looking at is really like. In many cases, the emperor has no clothes.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    edited January 7
    My kid did go thru the same exercise - 1500 on first try, then 1520 on 2nd try and 1540 on third try. Not sure if it was worth it, but at least he knows he was consistent. Given your schools, I think it’s worth another try either in May/June or right before school starts in August if you feel there is room for improvement. I’m assuming you’re in 11th grade and not in 12th.
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,315 Senior Member
    I wouldn't bother retaking. If you don't get in to an elite school, it won't be because you got 1500 on your SATs. That is pretty much a "one and done" level score.

    If you feel the need to take another test, take the subject tests or AP exams. Then at least you have a chance of getting college credit or exemption out of some basic classes.

    Georgetown also requires all test scores be sent.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,573 Senior Member
    Focus on the rest of your application. The 1500 is great. You'll have plenty else to worry about - SAT II tests, APs, essays, etc....
  • 2020Nurse2020Nurse Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    I'd take it again.
  • 2020Nurse2020Nurse Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    I would retake to try to get English at 750
  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    Retake the test! A 720 won't cut it at these top schools.

    Of course, you might do worse on a retest, but you should bet on yourself and your ability to do better. Be confident. You can certainly do better with more practice. But here's the catch: get your practice scores consistently higher before you schedule another tests. Make sure you are consistently scoring in the high 700s on EBRW before scheduling a retake. Scoring in the high 700s is not a matter of getting lucky--it is a matter of being really good at the test. In my experience, students who score in the high 700s on EBRW, consistently score in the high 700s on EBRW. Get really good at the EBRW sections and then retake. Aim for at least a 750.
  • RichInPittRichInPitt Registered User Posts: 133 Junior Member
    First - 720+790 != 1500.

    Second, I'm going to disagree with the statement that "The chance of raising a 790/720 is very low.".. Research published just a few months ago shows statistically valid, meaningful increases with repeated tests, even at the very high level. There's no reason to believe that high achievers have a bias to under-perform on a second test. Everyone has an ability level and a variability around that level - likely normally distributed. There's just as good a chance, IMHO, that a "natural" 1530 test taker would get a 1510 as a "natural" 1490 test taker would get a 1510.

    A vast majority of schools either super-score or take your best single date. Unless you get a 1200 on a 2nd test, they're going to use 1500/1510 or your follow-up score to evaluate you, whichever is higher, and ignore the other.

    While 1500/1510 certainly is "great", 78% of Stanford admits scored 700-800 EBRW. 720 is, at best, average for admitted students. 790 is below 75th percentile (800). So you're solidly around the average for those admitted - being higher is better.

    Of course, this all depends on how the rest of your application looks, how much you prepared the first time and how much time you have to prepare. You shouldn't give up a grade in a class for 20 SAT points, or participation in a meaningful EC. And if you regularly score 1450 on practice tests and your 15*0 was an outlier, or spent 200 hours getting fully ready for the test, then maybe you just stick with what you have.

    These are just a few of the factors to consider. It's more than "that's good enough" or "you'll probably do worse".
  • rocioargrocioarg Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    I think 1500 is good enough that it won't really make a difference. However if the colleges you are looking into superscore, and you are confident that you could improve your R&W score to 750+ without spending too much time that would be taken away from your ECs/other parts of your application, then maybe It'd be worth retaking.
  • skompella9892skompella9892 Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    edited March 11
    I would definitely retake it because for one, only Yale requires all test scores out of the three colleges you mentioned, and second, a 1500 probably won’t cut it for HYPSM (this of course depends on the rest of your application). Studying harder (and better, which means using the right study resources) for the SAT would likely bring your score up to a 1530+, and I believe that there would be only a tiny chance that you get lower than a 1500 (or a 1510 based on your 790/720 breakdown of your score) after studying consistently for 2+ months. I’m in the same position you are regarding my SAT EBRW practice SAT scores (I’m consistently scoring a 790-800 in math while only 710-750 in EBRW), and I’m planning on getting the “Critical Reader” textbook by Erica L. Meltzer to help my EBRW score, so I would recommend taking a look at that textbook, as it may be helpful for you. IMHO, definitely retake it or even consider taking the ACT as well (people who are better at math and science sometimes are better at the ACT due to its straightforwardness). Good luck!
  • IsoinfoIsoinfo Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    Here's another thought: take the ACT. See which test you do better on, then retake that one.
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