GPA vs. Standardized Tests

<p>In your opinion, what do colleges think of a student if they have:
a) An above average GPA but below average test scores?
b) The converse...a below average GPA but high test scores?</p>

<p>There's no way we can know what colleges think of people...</p>

<p>But IMO, </p>

<p>a) A student with a high GPA but low test scores probably goes to a school that has grade inflation or a weak curriculum.
b) A student with a low GPA but high test scores probably goes to a school that has grade deflation or a strong curriculum. Or he/she could just be a lazy bum who never hands in homework.</p>

<p>Hopefully they think that students with high GPAs and low test scores are more hard working. That makes sense to me and I think that's usually the case, at least with people I know.</p>

<p>Very selective schools will find it easy to overlook both of these types of students since they get a massive amounts of applicants with both high GPA and top scores. The next tier of schools will be mostly metrics driven. Therefore they will upload the students' GPA and test scores into their formula black box and it'll spit out "accept" or "reject". For these schools, it's not likely anyone even looks at the details of the application.</p>

<p>Back in the last century when I used to interview applicants for my highly selective Alma Mater, we were told flat-out by the admissions office that the high school transcript was more important than standardized test scores.</p>

<p>Your mileage, of course, may vary.</p>

<p>T26E4, can you give me some schools that might be in that "next tier"?</p>

<p>It depends on the college.</p>

<p>However, low test scores may be easier to remedy, by taking the alternate (SAT vs. ACT) test and/or taking the test(s) again after test-specific coaching.</p>

<p>Which do you think the college would prefer to admit? A or B?</p>

<p>If I had my own college, I would choose the higher test scores every time.
Instilling motivation isn't impossible.
Instilling innate intelligence seems to be.</p>

<p>Yes, I only have a 93 GPA but expect to have 2150+ SAT scores. I'm in all honors or AP classes. I hope this GPA/SAT scores discrepancy doesn't show I'm lazy, cuz I'm not...I even expect 700+ on my subject tests.</p>

<p>You definitely want to have both. And if it comes down to one or the either, I'd rather have a high GPA than a high SAT. I have a 3.7 unweighted with a 2350 SAT and I'd rather have a 4.0 unweighted with a ~2100.</p>

<p>I agree with Nihility. And low GPA + high test scores do not mean you're lazy. I believe test scores should be looked at first. GPA can depend on a large range of variables. For example, a teacher at one school can be lazy and not give much work, meaning everyone gets an A; however, a teacher of the same class at another school can give huge amounts of work and insane tests and can only have one or two As in his or her class. Standardized tests put a set standard to all of this and, in my opinion, should be given a higher priority. This does not mean GPA should be completely ignored though. At least, that's my opinion</p>

<p>While on a school level, standardized tests can expose grade inflation and poor instruction at high schools, on an individual level, the SAT-R has been found to be a worse predictors of college grades than high school GPA is.</p>

<p>Lots of fun reading about this subject at The</a> National Center for Fair & Open Testing | FairTest</p>

<p>The student does well in school but not on standardized tests, and vice versa.
In other words, not much, because both are different measures of a person.</p>

<p>grumpy --</p>

<p>The answer to your question is ..... YES!!</p>

<p>The very top schools generally require both a high gpa and high standardized scores.</p>

<p>Otherwise .... well, what do you mean by 'high' and what do you mean by 'below average' -- how far below average.</p>

<p>Once you determine this -- it really depends from school to school. Some schools, including very excellent ones have made SAT optional -- kinda says what they think. Other schools have long had the reputation for putting more weight on the standardized scores.</p>

<p>Do some research, in most cases, it's not hard to find out what a particular school values.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>At a very selective public college we were told high GPA in challenging classes was the key. Lower SAT (or I suppose ACT) scores reflect a morning's work, or perhaps a couple of mornings' work, whereas the GPA and classes selected reflect the student's abilities and willingness to challenge themselves. Ideally, they said the kids would have strong scores in both but if not, they clearly prefer the high GPA/ hard class but low tests to the reverse. Of course that is one school, but the argument makes sense. However top schools will certainly have applicants with both thus causing problems for both "A" and "B" candidates.</p>

<p>"The last important observation is that despite what Ivy League admissions officers will admit if you ask them, most value high scores and decent grades much more than decent scores and high grades. There is something undeniably impressive about a student who scores over 750 on the CR, math, and writing portion of the SAT and who scores in the high 700s on 3 SAT IIs. </p>

<p>It used to surprise me that even the director of admissions at Dartmouth would make excuses for students with extremely high scores. I'm not talking about C students, but students who did modestly well in high school (top 15% or B-category grades) and had astoundingly high test scores. Often during committee deliberations, I would hear him say, "With those scores, I bet Caroline was just bored with her classes and her teachers. I bet she would take off if challenged by other brilliant people in an Ivy League classroom." You would never hear the same argument for someone with a number-one rank and all low 600 scores. The comments would run more like this: "Despite the impressive rank and GPA, we can only assume that his high school is very weak or that Tom is a real grind who would study all day and continue to do here what he did in high school."</p>

<p>-Michelle Hernandez, former Assistant Director of Admissions at Dartmouth</p>