Is a 1460 more impressive this year than it was last year?

Just wondering if a score like this will get you further than it would have in the past? Will it be more valuable in light of so many people not testing enough and not having scores?

No one knows the answer to that, not even the admissions teams. Just make your list and go with it. There is a pandemic. No one knows what will happen next.

I don’t think so. A score that’s below a school’s median is still below the median even if others have no scores. I’d include some reaches on the list, but I wouldn’t assume the chances of getting in are better than last year. A student whose score is close to the mid-50% and who’s full pay may have an advantage, but I don’t think others do.

@austinmshauri I was mainly wondering if mid 50% would change or drop this year. Seems like there is a decent chance of that happening.

Don’t know the answer, but I can make the case that median scores (of those submitting scores) will go up this year because it’s typically the relatively stronger students who test earlier, so they were less impacted by all the test cancellations this spring/summer.

It depends on who is applying. If no stat to go by then the rest of the application needs to be improved. I know someone that is 4.0 unweighted, has all the ecs etc with a 1540. She’s worried since kids will have higher scores. Will this totally weight against someone with a lower score. Not sure but a 1540 with a strong application is still a 1540 with a strong application… Hope that makes sense.

@Mwfan1921 very good point!

@flprepaidmom A 1460 is, what, a 97-98% score. If it’s within the middle 50% of scores submitted historically, that should be sufficient. While students who have scores may skew higher, remember that many, many students have no scores at all and that 1460 seems like a pretty good data point to me.

@Knowsstuff A strong student with a 1540 has no cause to worry!

“up this year because it’s typically the relatively stronger students who test earlier, so they were less impacted by all the test cancellations this spring/summer.”

That is generally true but sill the test is curved, so you’re not going to have huge variations even if the strongest took the test. You’ll also have students taking the test for the first time who expect to take it again and so may not have prepped. I agree it’s a tough question to answer because this being a unique situation.

The flip side OP is that you have to figure only the kids at or above the median of a college 25-75 window will submit.

At which college? For example, Caltech is test blind next admission cycle, so the 1460 score will not be considered, if submitted. Caltech’s CDS indicates 25th percentile scores of 740 and 790, with 99.5% of the class at >= 1400 SAT composite. A 1460 would be low among entering Caltech students earlier admission cycles.

The 1460 would be less of a penalty this coming year at Caltech, although I expect I expect a 1460 will still be towards the bottom of the class, in the coming admission cycles with Caltech being test blind. I expect the primary reason why Caltech’s SAT scores were so high in previous admission cycles involves indirect correlations, rather than direct consideration of scores in admission decisions. Caltech looks for things that tend to occur more often in kids that score ~800 math, and the Caltech admission pool is self selecting with a high concentration of ~800 math kids. These indirect correlations will still be present when test blind.

While Caltech was an extreme example, there are similar differences among test optional colleges. Some test optional colleges will apply less weight on scores in general, partially in an effort to be more fair to kids who have COVID-19 related test taking challenges, and partially for other reasons. Other test optional colleges will apply similar or more weight on scores than previous cycles, and instead treat a test optional applicant as a kid who probably had lower scores than their median. Some colleges will focus more on holistic non-stat criteria, some will primarily admit by stats in spite of not requiring SAT. Some colleges will have notable differences in the applicant pool, probably more so due to COVID-19 than standardized testing policies. Others will have relatively little change. State of residence is likely to be well correlated with many of the COVID influences above, and different colleges have widely varying portions of students form different states, particular among publics and not super selective privates.

If you are " wondering if mid 50% would change or drop this year", then it also matters how the school reports the mid 50%, particularly if they only report for test submitting kids. Some test optional colleges attempt to collect scores for all attending students, including those who were admitted test optional, so they can report scores for ~all students in their 50% ranges. An example is Bowdoin. Bowdoin did see a decrease in their reported 25% scores when they started reporting for all students, rather than just test submitters. Brandeis saw little change in their 25% score when they reported for all students. Part of the reasons for the difference between Bowdoin and Brandeis is differences in the portion of the class admitted test optional and related test optional histories, which also will have a notable impact in the coming admission cycle.

@Data10 for UF, FSU and UCF only which haven’t gone text optional yet. Mainly only concerned with UF.

A score still reflects the same performance relative to the entirety of HS students, so it shouldn’t make a difference.

If schools are truly effective at a consistent selection process regardless of scores, then the exact same students will be admitted. The 25-75% range would probably go up, but that’s a reflection of receiving scores from higher scoring applicants and not from lower scoring applicants.

That leads to the odd situation of a given test score being lower vs. the school’s published test range, but having an unchanged admission likelihood.

Think about it retroactively. Take all the students that were admitted last year and ignore scores from the bottom 30%. What happens to the median/range?

[quote=“Data10, post:10, topic:2099688”]

@Data10 To your knowledge, or in your opinion, what is it that Caltech primarily considers? Recs, research, rigor in science and math courses? Obviously, IMO, etc, but talking about the kids that do not have IMO… (Not sure why my question is within the quoted box??)

I’m not especially familiar with UF admission, but if they aren’t test optional, then that changes things. UF’s CDS claims that they do not put much weight on test scores, saying they are less important than things like essays and volunteer work. If it is correct that UF requires test scores, but doesn’t put a heavy weight on them; then the influence of a 1460 probably is not going to change a great deal from previous years. 1460 was a 75th percentile score in the class of 2023, and it’s probably going to be a good score for the next class as well.

Caltech emphasizes academic preparedness, including being academic successful in the most rigorous courses available to the applicant. For example, Caltech is one of the few colleges in the United States that expects nearly all admitted applicants to have “a mastery of calculus and a proficient readiness to study math topics beyond calculus.” They expect students to succeed in the highest level of math offered at their HS, encourage a glowing math teacher LOR, and encourage showing high levels of mathematics success out of the classroom. The latter includes things like ECs, awards, hobbies, and essays. In class profiles, they’ve highlighted kids who do math problems while planking or a kid who recreated the periodic table with cupcakes. I’m sure they are also interested in kids with more traditional national awards in math and science as well. In previous classes, just getting a ~800 math score in isolation was nowhere near sufficient to show the desired preparedness. A similar statement could be made about sciences.

In short, I expect that they are looking for kids who will be academic successful in Caltech’s extremely academically rigorous environment, will take advantage of the many resources at Caltech, and will make Caltech a better place while attending which includes interaction/collaboration with other students. They look for evidence of this in both the transcript section of the website and the more holistic non-transcript section of the website. A quote from the Class profile page of their website is below:

The double quote box appears because there where 2 open quotes (one from flprepaidmom;d and one from me) and one closed quote box.