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SAT Score Boost or Quality Essays?

mwright1mwright1 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hi, everyone. I'm a current senior applying RD to my reach schools (below). My current SAT Score is 1370, which is below average for my schools. I have a month until the last testing date in December.

I'm worried that if I spend the time to increase my score another ~130 points, the time for my essays will diminish. This decesion to do SAT prep at the expense of my essays is driving me insane. However, I feel like I NEED a better score.

Should I work to get my SAT higher or focus 100% on essays and interviews?

Colleges (Reach):
- Harvard
- Brown
- Columbia
- Princeton
- Cornell
- Rice Univeristy

Thanks for your help.
3 replies
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Replies to: SAT Score Boost or Quality Essays?

  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1775 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Is it realistic to expect an 100+ point increase in a month’s time?
    Please remember, even if your SAT did increase 130 points, your chance of getting into any of the reach schools on your list is very small, I would say less than 5%. So do apply to match/target schools.
    For these reach schools, impressive SAT scores AND good essays are both needed, one is not a replacement of the other.
    Good luck.
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 266 replies6 threads Junior Member
    What were the roadblocks for you in the last SAT? Did you run out of time? Did you not know the material? If you are to re-test in December, and that you have been relying on online prep help, then I suggest that you practice a few times with physical copies of the test in a quiet room (for example, in a library or school, but not at home or a cafe), time yourself to train for performing under a simulated test condition.

    One does need both high test scores and good essays for a chance at the schools on your reach list, and these two targets are not mutually exclusive. Have you started your essays? Often, starting or completing, the first draft of the essays is the task with the highest energy barrier, in college application process. Perhaps set a goal of working earnestly on the essays for an hour or two everyday; be assured that you will notice progress, which however, might not be evident at first.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2993 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I agree with the other posters. For the schools you listed, it is not an either/or choice.
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