A perfect SAT I score... or not?

<p>Hi. I just have a quick question about SAT I scores, and how they affect admissions to colleges like MIT and Harvard. I've heard that MIT and Harvard like to reject a few of the people who apply with perfect SAT I score because then they can boast that they reject a certain number of perfect scores. The reasoning behind this, I've heard, is that it will make them seem more selective.</p>

<p>Is this true?</p>

<p>For example, if two people apply with the similar EC's, recommendations, GPA, and other stats, will a person with a SAT I score of 2390 have an advantage over a person with a SAT I score of 2400?</p>

<p>I am curious, because I've always thought a perfect SAT I score would be like a tie-breaker in case the other stats were similar.</p>

<p>there are tons of threads on this issue..but first of all, it's not just a "few people" who get rejected with perfect SAT scores, LOTS of students get rejected with perfect SAT scores. Usually there is more reasoning behind their rejection rather than the college's selectivity, but of course there are theories but nothing is set in stone.</p>

<p>SAT scores help, but they're not everything. Harvard, MIT, all of them look far beyond SAT scores to get a good picture of the applicant. It is not the SAT scores getting accepted or rejected, but the whole person. </p>

<p>SAT scores also should match up with grades, ECs, recs, etc. If someone has a perfect (or close to) SAT but only average (for Harvard!) grades and recs, they will assume you under-achieved. </p>

<p>There are tons of issues at work, here, and you can't really make any generalizations. Also remember, a 2400 is quite a bit harder to get than a 1600. </p>

<p>I don't know if I answered your question, but I hope I helped.</p>

<p>heck, even the top UC's reject many 1600's every year. But, it has nothing to do with "like to reject" to make them look good, and had everything to do with the total app. How many of the those 1600s had a 3.2 gpa (read; HS slacker)? Or, how many had nearly zero EC's, except marching band? How many were book worms, and provided zero discussion in a classroom? </p>

<p>SAT scores only get you in the competitive pool, as do grades. After a quick review of those two stats, adcoms then look at essays and recs, and try to mold a class of kids who will contribute to their campus.</p>

<p>In a situation like that (super similar), they might go with personality, enhusiasm,work ethic, etc.</p>

<p>i really think it would come down to whether person A or person B is a "right fit" for the school.....</p>

<p>Yea, I really doubt it's a major factor.</p>

<p>Although, if it is.....yay for 2390-scorers! We're smart, but not TOO smart :D</p>

<p>If MIT wanted to, they could fill an entire freshman class TWICE OVER with nothing but 4.0/1600 students. They don't "look" to reject these people, but statistically they'll reject 3/4 of them anyway.</p>

<p>Do you have a source for those statistics, HV?</p>

<p>HV - that would be wrong...</p>

<p>I know a student who had a 1600 SAT (one sitting), a 4.0 at high school taking all the toughest classes and also had take 16 credits of math and computer science at UW-Madison during his senior year in high school where he also earned a 4.0. Had a very nice list of ECs. Was rejected from MIT. No one really knows why, but to be honest, it was not the right place for him and maybe admissions sensed that. In any case, he is very happy attending another school and will be graduating this spring. I don't believe that he is applying to MIT for grad school.</p>

<p>Also remember some people apply to schools like Harvard and MIT thinking their 2400/1600 alone will get them in... I've known a couple myself...perfect SAT in one sitting, but they slacked off in school.. they were just like, "heck, I'm so smart, I'll apply to Harvard just to see if I'll get in even though my GPA sucks."
I'm not saying that this is usually the case in 2400/1600 rejects, but I'm sure it certainly affects the statistics.</p>

<p>oh, and HVSahin, where did you hear that MIT could fill their freshman class TWICE over with 1600/4.0s? That sounds completely unreasonable.
An admissions officer at Stanford (at the Stanford info night I went to last fall) said that they rejected 30% of the 1600s they received last year...meaning they accepted 70%. That is a HUGE percentage. I do not think that having a 1600 is any disadvantage.</p>

<p>Also, I think you guys may want to focus less on the impact of 1600/2400 students. It could be wrong, but one of those "How to get a perfect 1600" books (2003, so somewhat innaccurate for us, but still good to consider), they say that there are only 20-30 students each YEAR that get perfect SAT scores - and that was when it was only out of 1600. Just something to keep in mind - and I REALLY doubt that MIT could fill their class TWICE OVER with 2400 students, even if this book is wrong.</p>

I do not think that having a 1600 is any disadvantage.


<p>Nobody's saying it's a disadvantage. If anything, it's an advantage. What we're saying is, it's not as big of an advantage as some people think.
I'm not sure if HV meant that literally, but the point was that if MIT wanted, they could accept tons and tons of perfect scorers. They do not do so because they want to create an interesting freshman class who will not only be diverse, but contribute to the school.</p>

<p>I think it's more of... these 1600/2400 kids don't really bring anything else to the table except for their scores. They have good SAT scores, and perhaps GPA. But so what? If they don't have any good e.c., then it means they only know how to punch the numbers and churn out the grades. These highly selective schools receive so many qualified applicants that I'm sure 1600s are pretty common to them. So 1600 isn't any means to distinguish a student. They have other agendas in mind, I'm sure, other than calculate how many 1600s to accept and reject just on their SAT scores.</p>

<p>GoldShadow, I was referring to the original thread.
Asking if they'd be more inclined to accept a 2390 than a 2400 just so they can say "we reject ___% of the 2400s..." seems to suggest that a 2400 is a disadvantage.</p>

<p>Ah, I see. In that case, agreed.</p>

<p>I don't think 2400 is a disadvantage anywhere. Anyone who has a perfect SAT score will likely get into almost every college he or she applies to.</p>

<p>Except for the most selective ones, where the adcom will look at the entire package and not just one or two scores.</p>

<p>In a recent year, 2003, there were about 680 people nationwide with perfect 1600's. Of these, about two thirds applied to Harvard and less than 200 were accepted. There are two ways of looking at this. First, a perfect 1600 means that you still only have a 50% chance at Harvard. Second, a perfect 1600 means that you have 5 or 6 times the chance of an average applicant.</p>

<p>More seriously, they won't split hairs between people with high scores. A 1550 is 100% as good as a 1600. After you get to a certain point, they look more at EC's and other factors.</p>