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Composite SAT score

Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
My senior daughter currently has 1530 composite SAT score. She got 730 ILA and 770 Math on recent test and 710 ILA and 800 Math last year. She wants to retake the SAT last time in October.

I have few questions:

1. Does any college not take composite score or treat non-composite score differently than composite score?

2. Do colleges see only composite score or all scores from all tests the applicant took?

3. Can taking SAT multiple times hurt in any way the application chances?

4. Can my daughter hurt her college chances if she does poor on her third SAT test in October?


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Replies to: Composite SAT score

  • thumper1thumper1 74373 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    She won’t hurt her chances by retaking...but what does she hope to gain?

    Will schools see all the scores? Well...that depends. Schools that have score choice, you can choose. But if she needs a superscore, you need to report all the tests needed for that.

    Some colleges do not use superscore. Others do. Some colleges won’t superscore for merit aid purposes...for some it doesn’t matter.

    You need to check each school for its policies.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    What T20 schools do not take composite score or treat it differently?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33603 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 7
    Top colleges look at each score, for what it tells them. Some non holistic (or not very competitive) colleges may be satisfied with the grand total.

    The bar for T20 is generally around 750/750. The more competitive of those will have the actual 75th percentile numbers higher. There can be some concession when everything else is outstanding-- but this is in terms of what the college wants in their class (and for the major,) not the high school definitions. Anyone even vaguely considering a T20 (or so) should be digging deep into what the colleges say and show. They'll tell you what their score reporting policy is. And if you do the due diligence, you'll get an idea what they look for, in selecting admits. It's not just stats or ECs that impress in the one hs.

    It's the ACT that offers a calculated Composite. Even so, tippy tops will look at the sub scores.
    edited September 7
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1321 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Taking the SAT 3 times is probably not excessive. While the 730 EBRW score is just at or slightly above the 25th percentile at HYP, the 800 Math puts her at or above the 75th percentile. I do think the top colleges look at the composite score, and with a score over 1500, the reason why your daughter won't get accepted to a top 20 is not because she only has a 730 EBRW score. The question is whether or not her time is better spent on polishing essays, preparing for SAT2's, maintaining/improving her GPA, achieving more in her EC's, or even relaxing and enjoying senior year vs cramming for another SAT, where IMO, she's ticked the box.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    We visited GT, JHU and MIT and I believe JHU and GT explicitly said they take composite score, not sure about MIT.

    If my daughter will be taking the SAT the third time in October, she will not be studying for it, since she spent good portion of summer studying for SAT. She will take it and if she raises her ILA score - good, if not then I think 1530 composite score is good enough. I just want to make sure she does not her her chances by taking SAT the third time ad if she really does poor on this October test.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33603 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 8
    Cant imagine JHU and MIT saying that. I've never heard "composite" used with the SAT. They want to see your math test strength and the EBRW. Not just some total that could be lopsided. No tip to tippy tops for, eg, an 800 in one and 700 in the other, just because it totals 1500.

    Also, they're reading you in context of the major(s) you note. Don't assume the total supersedes the need to have scores that align with interests. 700M wont cut it for stem, just cuz the other is 800.

    Learn how competitive all this is. These colleges can cherry pick, count on it for tippy top privates.
    edited September 8
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  • evergreen5evergreen5 1462 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Retaking can't hurt if the applicant is not required to report all scores. I do not believe that any of those particular colleges require all scores. This topic is discussed further here: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/22355120/#Comment_22355120
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  • NewTwinMomNewTwinMom 12 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    If your daughter won’t study for the third try, then are you just counting on familiarity with the test to raise her score? I agree with the others who said that her time and mental space are better spent working on essays or other aspects of her application/life. Retaking a third time when you’re at 1530 suggests an unhealthy fixation on metrics. Please save her (and you) the trouble of taking and anxiously waiting for another score, and direct your energies elsewhere.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7006 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "she will not be studying for it"

    Then don't bother retaking the test. Time to work on the rest of the application and finding a solid list of match and safety schools.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33603 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's counter-intuitive to retake it just to retake, without preparing to improve. There's some serious thinking needed, to make an effective decision.

    Rather than just call the spare time a chance to focus on essays, I'd say be sure to use it to understand more about her targets and what *they* want in the app/supps. That's how you get the background to know wat makes a great essay, great supps, even how to form the rest of the app. Don't spin wheels, just because a kid started with some pretty high scores. The work isn't done. The competition is nutso.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 808 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member

    From the example given, I believe the common term for what you’re calling a ‘composite’ score is a superscore.

    Google ‘which schools superscore the SAT’ to find lists, or check each school’s website. I’d provide a link, but CC seems to think the most common site with this data is a competitor or for some other reason blocks my post.

    This will answer your first, second, and last question. Going to each school’s site is the best place for accurate data.


    A fourth or, especially, a fifth and higher test would raise some eyebrows. Not a third.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Yes, maybe it is called super score: ILA from one test and Math from another.
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