right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We’ve got a new look! Walk through the key updates here.

Keep 1490 SAT Score or retake OOS

cram545cram545 64 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
Hi everyone. I am currently ending my junior year of high school and plan on applying to elite/ivy league school this fall. I took the SAT and scored a 1490 (780 English, 710 math). I had retaken in May, but went down. I wanted to retake the SAT in August, but the nearest test centers are 45+ miles away out of state (1 hour+ drive), and not in the safest communities. My alternative is to take the September ACT (I got a 32, 33 super score) or October SAT (but I will be in the middle of college app season, so I don't know how well I will do) at my own high school. In addition, I'm considering applying to UNC Chapel Hill (which is mid October early action) and other schools early action Nov. 1st, so I'm not sure if the scores will be sent on time. Considering all of these inconveniences, is it even worth retaking the SAT? What do you all think is the best option? Thanks in advance.
edited June 3
13 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Keep 1490 SAT Score or retake OOS

  • RichInPittRichInPitt 486 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 493 Member
    The simpler question: check each school's web site for testing dates. UNC, for example, says only your application and fee need to be in by 10/15. Other items are due 11/1, and College Board says October scores are sent to colleges by October 28. I suspect other Nov.1 schools are OK with October testing, but be sure to check.

    From your current scores, it sounds like you perform better on the SAT. Even pulling your ACT up to a 34, on what must be a 3rd try if you already have a superscore, will only match your 1490, per the official concordance tables.

    August vs. October seem to have pros and cons. Adjusting 1 hour of sleep for a couple of days in August seems feasible - are there really no locations that are safe at 8a on a Saturday? Or if you do any prep over the summer, an hour or two over a couple of days in October as a tune-up shouldn't be that impactful to applications.

    · Reply · Share
  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher 205 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    Try to aim for a 750 on math. Current scores are probably too low for the schools you seem interested in attending.
    · Reply · Share
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom 1925 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,934 Senior Member
    How far did your scores go down in May? Make an honest judgement and ask yourself which score it a better reflections of your ability. If you were well prepared for the May test, will prep bring your next set of scores close to that original set, or do you truly believe you will be able to do better than 1490 (or at least better than 710 on the math)? Have you taken Math 1 or 2 subject tests - how did you do? If you're not really likely to improve over the 1490, the prep time might be better spent polishing other parts of your application.
    · Reply · Share
  • joecollege44joecollege44 6 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7 New Member
    if you don't get into the schools you want, it won't be because of that 1490. it's high enough to show that you are more than capable of handling the rigor of an elite school. no college worth attending will care about 20 or 30 more points on one exam.
    · Reply · Share
  • cram545cram545 64 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    @CTScoutmom Math was 700, English 760. The problem is not content, I make careless errors. I usually score 760+ in official practice tests under testing conditions, so I guess it’s test day jitters? I had studied a lot more for my first test then my second, and I will have the time to study for the third over the summer. I just took Math level 2 in June, and I am fairly confident I got at least a 750+. Thanks for the help everyone.
    · Reply · Share
  • BEmamaBEmama 6 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8 New Member
    in re the tes center venue, the issue may be less the safety of the area and more the quality of the test administration, which can vary widely from center to center.
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 10580 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,656 Senior Member
    Don't retake. Your admission or not, will depend on other things. Even with two 800's that would be true.

    Just make sure you have several schools you really want to go to, now matter what your stats are.

    What are your other interests? Better to spend time on those than on testing.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher 205 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    @cram545

    If you consistently score higher in practice than on actual SATs, there are several things to consider, which--in my experience--tend to affect students.

    1) Are you timing your practice tests? If so, do you have an answer sheet where you are bubbling in your answers? This can affect timing by a few minutes, which may not sound like a big deal, but it really can be.

    2) Are you taking your practice tests at the same time of day you would be taking the actual SAT? Many students are much less cognitively "there" early in the morning--whether they realize it or not.

    3) When you take math practice tests, are you sitting down to take a whole practice SAT? As you know, the math sections are the last two sections on the SAT. Many students are mentally fatigued by the time they reach the math sections. If you practice by doing whole practice tests in order, you will become better accustomed to sitting this long.

    4) I would also try to figure out why you are scoring mid-700s on math practice and not high-700s or 800s. Generally, if students are capable of hitting the mid-700s they are capable of hitting 800. If you attend to whatever problems are causing this 50 point gap, that should help you on the actual SAT.

    5) You say you think you make a lot of careless mistakes. Are you writing out enough of your work? Are you paying close attention to the units on graphs? Are you paying close attention to what value the problem is asking you to solve for? There can be many other reasons for careless mistakes. The important thing to keep in mind is that there are always reasons why students make careless mistakes. If you can figure out what your reasons are, then you can address them.

    Hope this helps.
    · Reply · Share
  • pickledgingerpickledginger 465 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 482 Member
    @cram545, please be sure you have enough academic safeties/financial safeties on your application list.
    My S18 had a perfect SAT score, a 4.5 weighted GPA, 9 APs, and decent extracurriculars. He was not accepted to the one Ivy he applied to (early decision). In retrospect, it is for the best, and we were not shocked because I spent a lot of time on college confidential, but I have to admit I was a little surprised.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32224 replies336 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,560 Senior Member
    What possible major?

    If it's econ (and some public policy programs,) yes, you'd need a higher math score. If poli sci or PP, do you have ECs in that arena, outside high school?

    For the ACT, the sub scores can matter more than the composite.
    · Reply · Share
  • cram545cram545 64 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    @lookingforward I plan on applying as a Political science major (although I may change to Econ/PP once I take a few college classes). I am a heavily spiked applicant in terms of political extracurriculars (President of Model Congress and Model UN, elected VP at an Ivy League Model Congress conference, Political Editorial editor for school paper, political economy research, Field Organizer for Local state senators campaign, received proclamation and other awards from the State Senate, on council with County DA, etc.)


    @TheSATTeacher I guess my main mistakes are #2 and #3 sometimes. And to be clear, I usually score in the high 700s, with several 800s at this point in my practice.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher 205 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    Then, yeah, just make sure to simulate test conditions well in your future prep and you should be pretty good to go.
    · Reply · Share
  • cram545cram545 64 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    Good news everyone, a seat opened up at a test center in my school district, so I registered for the August SAT.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity