Do you agree with this guidance counselor about skipping the SAT?

our college senior has been interviewing for jobs in the financial sector (which he did not anticipate when in high school) and his SAT scores come up during these interviews


not seriously, I hope....</p>

<p>Justamom- maybe not so far fetched. See this link. It's from 2004, but seems like I've heard about this recently too. Want</a> a job? Hand over your SAT results |</p>

<p>speckledegg- here's an option. Have your son take any necessary SAT subject tests between now and November of senior year. Send those scores to any schools that require subject tests in addition to the ACT. Send his 34 ACT to all his schools when he applies next fall (unless he retakes and scores higher, send the 35 or 36 then). Take the SAT in December of senior year, but only after all of his subject test scores have been sent. If the SAT is higher than ACT, you can still send it to schools. If not, you still have the scores for whatever purpose you may need them. It doesn't sound like he needs to prep. This is what my S did. If he's applying early anywhere, he may need to adjust the schedule slightly.</p>

<p>I would suggest you check first hand on two comments:</p>

<p>1) That the SAT is required to become a NM Finalist. </p>

<p>Unless something changed from last year to this, that is not an absolute requirement. My daughter only took the ACT with Writing. She chose the ACT over the SAT as a statement against repetitive "Prep courses" and test taking fees and simply dug her heels in on a "principle" she felt strongly about. Exasperated, but secretly in full agreement with her, I first checked with the PSAT/NM folks specifically as to whether the SAT was required for Finalist consideration before I gave in. We were told "No". In fact, the SAT score is primarily considered a 'validation' component, i.e., is the PSAT score a 'fluke' or not. So a comparably high-scoring ACT (which I daresay 34 is) serves the same purpose.</p>

<p>2) That Stanford requires SAT IIs even if student takes ACT with Writing. </p>

<p>When same daughter applied to Stanford, the application information stated SAT IIs OR ACT with Writing. We specifically confirmed with the Admissions folks that SAT IIs were not necessary if the ACT with Writing was submitted.</p>

<p>treemaven -- Are you saying that your daughter advanced from NMSF to NMF without taking the SAT I to confirm PSAT? I have never heard of any exception to the rule that SAT I scores must be submitted.</p>

<p>Here is the requirement for this year, which is the same as last year's requirement:</p>

As a Semifinalist named in the fall of 2008, you must advance to Finalist standing before you can be considered for a National Merit Scholarship to be offered in 2009. You must meet all specified requirements and deadlines, or you will be withdrawn from the competition. To qualify as a Finalist, you must:

<li>Take the current SAT® and earn scores that confirm your 2007 PSAT/NMSQT performance. You must take (or have taken) a national administration of the SAT between October 2006 and December 2008. Also, it is your responsibility to file a request with the College Board SAT Program to have an official report of your SAT scores sent to NMSC (code 0085). See page 2 of this leaflet for detailed information about authorized SAT administrations and score reporting.


<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>


<p>I disagree that a 34 may not be good enough for the "tippy top" schools. A 34 translates to a 1510, well qualified for even the "tippy top" schools. Further, depending upon the sub score breakdown and the intended major they could well be done. A 36 on the math section is harder to get than an 800 on the math section of the SAT.</p>

<p>To me stress among students is created when it is thought that a high score like a 34 is not good enough. If a students does not get into a school with high scores it could be something else.</p>

<p>Eagle -- A 34 is a great score. A 35 or a 36 is a better score. Applicants to top schools need every possible advantage. For a student aiming high, doing a few hours of additional prep and spending another morning taking the ACT is a relatively modest and worthwhile investment.</p>

<p>In reference to a job interview down the line and them asking about SAT's, there's always an SAT/ACT conversion chart (ACT-SAT</a> Concordance). According to this chart, a 34 would be equivalent to a single sitting of 1510/1600. </p>


<p>If it were my kid, I think I would get those pesky SAT II's out of the way this Spring/early Fall. Those are the tests he will absolutely need for admission based on where you say he wishes to apply. Then, if necessary, he could take the SAT I in the Fall if he desires.</p>

<p>As far as re-taking the ACT, I wouldn't. My D sat for the SAT I one time only and got a 2310. I believe this is the same as a 34 on ACT? Once you score that high, there is actually more of a chance that the score will go down than up on a re-take. This was information that the college board actually gave her (either online or on her paper score-can't remember which.) And I truly believe that 2310 or 34 is more than enough to qualify for admissiosn to any school. It's the rest of the application that will become important once the testing threshold is met.</p>

<p>And don't forget there are AP tests this Spring, as well. Junior Spring is a testing nightmare, so adding a re-take of the ACT is another burden.</p>

<p>Good Luck!</p>

<p>I suggest he only take the SAT if he needs to take it as an NMS SF. All colleges will accept the ACT with writing instead of the SAT. Georgetown and the UCs require SAT II's. He should spend his time on those. (The GC is right. I wish someone had given us this advice for my daughter.)</p>

<p>Wow! I'm just logging on this morning and I am very appreciative for all of the insights you have provided. Is CC great or what?!? This is not the kind of conversation I could have over coffee with a group of local friends. I have some comments/responses and will post again in a few minutes.</p>

<p>JustAMomOf4 and prefect: I'm not kidding about potential employers looking at the SAT scores of college seniors. We were all surprised by this. Some of the investment banking internship applications requested the scores. The scores were mentioned during some of the interviews for post-graduate job positions. The article provided by prefect describes my (elder) son's experience. He interviewed with east coast and NYC financial firms including Goldman. His SAT scores from five years ago are just one more piece of data on the application. Given the competitive nature of the application process, my son sensed that interviewers respected his scores and this was verbally confirmed by some of the interviewers. Also - though this was unspoken - he sensed that some of the interviewers compared his scores to their own. Thanks for the article, prefect.</p>

<p>34 on ACT is good enough for any school (including HYPMS), and a higher score will not make a difference in admissions. It might make a difference for scholarships - I am not sure about that. And, as has been noted, SAT I is required for NMS, but he will have enough time to take it after he knows his semifinalist status.</p>

<p>He will still need to take SAT IIs for many top schools.</p>

<p>prefect: That is solid advice, to take the SAT I in December of senior year after SAT II scores have been sent. </p>

<p>Clarification: my son does need to prep, and in fact took both a short PSAT prep course plus multi-week ACT prep course this fall. We had him do additional practice tests at home, though he did not take as many as my husband and I wanted due to time constraints and disinterest. </p>

<p>CollegeMom08: I think a 2310 SAT correlates more with a 35+ ACT, but there is interpretation involved in the way the scores are broken out. I completely agree that the junior spring is a testing nightmare and each additional test added to the basic AP/SAT II menu represents added burden and stress.</p>

<p>Calmom: We will do as you suggest with the common data sets, and also comb through the various testing requirements and recommendations for each school on the list. I was hoping to delay this until the list got narrowed down, but seems like it's time to do it in order to better plan my son's testing schedule over the next year. I agree with you about the other factors on the applications carrying more weight than simply decent scores once the scores hit a threshhold of 34. Plus, I'd rather have my son pursue his EC interests than spend 3-8 hours per week prepping in the weeks leading up to the ACT retake or the SAT I. I wish there was some way to tell if a 35 really made a difference over a 34.</p>

<p>Does anyone know the extent to which schools evaluate the subscores rather than just percieve the 34 and move on to other parts of the app?</p>

<p>nngmm- sorry, cross-posted</p>

As far as I know, there are only two or three schools that require SAT IIs if you take the ACT with writing: Princeton, Stanford, and one other that I can't remember.


<p>No, there are many. I just looked it up in order to answer the plea of a kid who had not taken SATIIs and wanted to add a last-minute reach.</p>

<p>I'm inclined, since he is unlikely to need the SATI for NMSF, to say concentrate on doing really well on two or three SATIIs. Take the ACT again only if time allows and he is motivated.</p>

<p>When he is a senior in college, he can take the GREs. Those scores can be presented to employers if necessary. (I took the GREs with no prep and got a 1500 despite not having taken a math course since junior year of HS.) Or he can take MathIIC as one of his SATIIs.</p>

<p>Consolation: good points. Thanks. </p>

<p>On one hand, I want my son to be able to keep his options open, while on the other, I am all for "stopping the insanity" when it comes to over testing or multiple test sittings and getting caught up in the stress of the application process. Guidance has to come from somewhere, but the student is green and wrapped up in his day-to-day schoolwork and activities more so than the application process at this point. The mom (me) wants to help him make informed decisions. My son's GC is young though she seems well informed. My son's guidance department is trying to rachet the app process down which is no small feat in our suburban NYC community. More than ever, it seems there are so many nuances in the process that there is no single correct path or answer to the question: what is "enough?" </p>

<p>At first I was going to print out the responses for my son to go through. But it is going to sound like too much detail to him, so now I think I'm going to summarize and interpret everything and just tell him what I think. Probably less testing is going to be better from my son, personality-wise, as he could be inclined on a given week to decide that the test is unimportant relative to something else he is involved with. Getting him to take his SAT II prep (2) and AP prep (just 1 this year) seriously is going to take some effort. I agree that his ACT plus excellent scores on the SAT II's could be enough. He has solid accomplishments in his main EC and overall that will probably make more of an impact on his apps than anything else, or so we are told.</p>

34 on ACT is good enough for any school (including HYPMS), and a higher score will not make a difference in admissions.


<p>I certainly agree with you that a 34 is an excellent score. But the Admissions Committee is on one side of the door and we're on the other. We have no way of knowing absolutely whether in any given case a higher score might make a difference in admissions at HYPS. I'm for erring on the side of caution. My kids went to two different high schools. With the exception of one student who was a recruited athlete, over a 4-year period not a single student was admitted to HYP without a 35 or 36 ACT. Those Naviance scattergrams don't lie. Of course different high schools have different results. But that's the story around here.</p>

<p>The above story does not hold true for kids from our school. Tons of gotten in with less than perfection. And the truth is, there is no statistical difference between a 36 and a 34 on MOST subtests and only a very limited difference on SOME of them. In any event, I think you absolutely should take the English Lit and Math II SAT II tests and since some schools might require 3 SAT II's (even if they don't require, they may strongly recommend), pick a third that he might do well on.</p>

<p>It does rub me a little that there seems to be a hint of east coast elitism regarding the SAT I and the ACT. Maybe I am getting my dander up over nothing, but that quite a few of the most selective schools accept EITHER the ACT with writing OR the SAT I along with a minimum of two SAT II tests makes me think that on its own the ACT is a better predictor of College success which is what these things are supposed to measure regardless.</p>

<p>If the school your child attends sends a fair number of students to elite colleges, I would try my best to trust them and this sounds like sound advice to me. Of course, there is nothing to suggest you shouldn't take the SAT I, but I would make sure I understood the new score choice options when it comes to these same schools (it doesn't apply).</p>

<p>ALL of this said, my son took both and did much much better on the ACT. The format just worked better for him I suppose. He also took SAT II's, that seemed more in line with his ACTs.</p>

<p>My son's Naviance scattergrams have many fewer ACT datapoints than SAT, which makes us need to look at all of the graphs (1600, 2400, and ACT) and try to interpret. The school recently added converted PSAT scores to the junior GPA's, which helps somewhat. Obviously, hitting that upper right corner takes the highest stats a student can muster up, but at what cost? And that's the question.</p>

<p>I was surprised when comparing Naviance stats with a relative who lives in a different state (MA), how different the average accepted SAT's were between the two schools. Her daughter's high school graphed out average accepted SAT's about 100 points below my son's high school. The schools are about the same size, though I don't know anything about the other district/community/etc..</p>

<p>wjb: "erring on the side of caution," exactly.</p>

<p>I work in HR for a company that considers SAT scores for both undergrad hiring and grad degree recruiting. We use a conversion chart for the ACT but I have to confess as a practical matter, most of our people (remember- it's not just HR who interviews and hires, but department heads and senior people as well) have much more familiarity with the SAT's. Whether it is fair or not an 800 in Math on the SAT 1 is still considered the gold standard for quantitative ability. That's not to say we don't hire people every day with much lower scores.... we do, of course. But an 800 math SAT score gives a candidate a lot more wiggle room in other areas of the hiring process. </p>

<p>Is this just? Is this right? Does this mean that the OP's kid should take the SAT's? I have no idea. But my company is not alone in asking and using SAT scores... as absurd as it sounds since we're interviewing people 5-10+ years after they've taken the test. There are companies (not mine) who have been sued and succesfully defended their hiring practices- simply put, a high SAT score is a better predictor of job performance than many other factors.... and it allows us to create a level playing field when evaluating a sociology major from U Iowa and an Electrical Engineer from CMU (one of whom is likely to have a 3.8 GPA and one of whom is lucky to have a 3.3- and probably thrilled to graduate with a 3.0).</p>

<p>Can this be done with the ACT? Absolutely, but be warned that among the recruiting community, there is less familiarity and history with the test. The wide bands on the conversion charts don't help; the footnotes on the chart we use (not prepared by the CollegeBoard or ACT organization) make it unweildly also.</p>

<p>Modadunn, I don't think this reflects east coast elitism- it's just a function of the high cost of recruiting. Any short cuts you can use (which are predictive and legal, of course) to whittle down the huge pile of resumes get favored. We consider many factors when deciding who to interview- and of course we have thousands of applicants who were educated abroad but attended grad school here, so they don't have SAT or ACT scores at all.</p>