Questioning not retaking SAT?

<p>Do any of you parents begin to question your kids' stats when you see others around you doing more? Ugh. When my son scored a 2320 last fall as his only SAT take in high school, we were both very happy and he was done....but then I start seeing people saying they are retaking it with scores in that range. The 730 in writing with a 9 essay is in the gray zone but I thought it was ok at the time. Now, I dunno... He has some very selective schools on his list.</p>

<p>A 2320 will get your son in the "maybe" pile as easiliy as a 2400 would. What will matter is the rest of his application package once the SAT hurdle is cleared. (And your son accomplished that beautifully!)</p>

<p>However, if he is applying to numbers-driven schools like CalTech, UChicago or MIT, then perfect scores might make a difference. But for the Ivies, and other top 20s, not so much.</p>

<p>I don't think it will matter one bit for your son. Wherever he gets in, I don't think it is going to have much to do with his writing score on the SAT, which I understand some schools don't even care that much about. More likely they will look at the fact that he's taking real analysis as a junior in high school, and has basically Aced senior level physics at SDSU. Plus, I think I read somewhere he's also got URM status.</p>

<p>If he feels like wasting a Saturday morning I guess he could take it again, but I wouldn't.</p>

<p>I always think retaking a 2300+ is obnnoxious. I was fine with mine and wouldn't have even considered retaking it.</p>

<p>If he is a URM, that score is golden.</p>

<p>In this link, at 2:29 timestamp, MIT shows its ability to understand higher math with "700 = 800". MIT</a> Admissions | Blog Entry: "MIT Info Session"</p>

<p>My daughter didn't even consider taking the SAT again after getting a 2320. Sometimes, enough is enough.</p>

<p>No Caltech, no MIT, and no U of C on his list. He is an excellent writer and loves to write but a 25 minute snapshot on the SAT doesn't tell that story.</p>

<p>Bovertine, I hope it's so that his academic record will tell a better story. He doesn't mind taking tests but we'd rather use our limited funds for something else.</p>

<p>I kinda hate the idea of thinking that the fact that he's 1/2 Puerto Rican somehow means he can work less hard than others. We're a typical working class, middle class family and he should have to excel just as everyone else does.</p>

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I kinda hate the idea of thinking that the fact that he's 1/2 Puerto Rican somehow means he can work less hard than others.

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It doesn't mean this, and obviously he hasn't worked less than anybody else. </p>

<p>I know there are people who for some incredibly bizarre reason do not check this box on their aps. If the goal is to have the broadest selection of excellent universities with good financial aid to choose from, IMO a person would be nuts not to mention this on their ap. </p>

<p>If the goal is merely to prove something, let me save you the trouble. Wherever your kid goes he likely worked as hard or harder than 75% or more of the students and has the accomplishments to show it. He would almost certainly get into several great places regardless, but he will likely get into more if he mentions every relevant fact that will help him.</p>

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I kinda hate the idea of thinking that the fact that he's 1/2 Puerto Rican somehow means he can work less hard than others.

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</p>

<p>That's not what it means. Once at college, he's going to have to work just as hard as everyone else to earn his grades.</p>

<p>What matters now is that if he answers the question about his ethnic background honestly, he is likely to be admitted to a larger proportion of the colleges he applies to than if he doesn't acknowledge his Hispanic heritage. Being admitted to more colleges means having more financial aid packages to choose from, and being a URM with top credentials means a greater likelihood that he can negotiate for a better financial aid package if his favorite school doesn't offer as much as some of the others do. </p>

<p>What's not to like?</p>

<p>No worries. That score is great. He will be in the "great SAT" pile. Going up a few points will not get him in a different pile. Now is the time for the ECs and the essays. Most schools don't look much at writing anyway.</p>

<p>I keep having to repeat this - U of Chicago is NOT numbers driven!!!</p>

<p>Thank-you for the reassurance. We will move onto other things and trust that a 2320 is basically "good enough".</p>

<p>I just have to say that when it comes to questions like this, I fear that a lot of the advice is what people would like to believe is the truth, or what should be the truth, but which may or may not be the truth. In this case, it's the idea that a 2320 is just as good as a 2400 at competitive schools. I'm not convinced that it is. But the question of whether to retake is more complicated, because there are also opportunity costs for prepping again, and the score may not be that much higher, etc.</p>

<p>But since we're talking about strategy here, I think we can't ignore the fact that the OP's son is a URM. If he intends to identify himself as a URM, that score will be viewed as extremely high, and there's probably no reason for him to retake.</p>

<p>All the college admissions counselors I know - who are very skilled, have excellent track records and have often worked 'both sides of the desk' (high school and college) say that there is no reason to retake a score this high. I know that none of the kids at our school with very high scores retook and nearly all are very happy with their choice(s).
The SAT essay is not a very compelling bit of information about writing skill - many schools pay little attention to it.</p>

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In this case, it's the idea that a 2320 is just as good as a 2400 at competitive schools. I'm not convinced that it is.

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<p>The question is not whether, in general, a school will look at a 2400 as "better" than a 2320. MAybe they will, maybe they won't. I don't think anybody can be 100% certain either way, what with all the caprice and serendipity involved in the process. The question is, for a given student, how much does it add?</p>

<p>Set aside the URM status. This is a kid who is acing senior level university work in math and physics, as well as being an accomplished professional musician. Plus some other stuff I can't remember. I don't think those 80 points on the writing portion add much marginal value. Write good essays.</p>

<p>If I'm calculting correctly, OP's kid got a 730 in Writing and a 2320 overall, therefore Reading and Math came in at 800 and 790! Bravo to him! I want to point out the obvious, though: that means he got at most 1 or 2 wrong on each section. The odds of improving that are slim. As for the Writing section, a 730 with a 9 essay probably also represents only 2 or so wrong on the multiple choice. Retaking when relying on the subjective review of the essays for a higher score doesn't seem like a smart move. In all likelihood, the score would be pretty much the same.</p>

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I don't think those 80 points on the writing portion add much marginal value.

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I certainly agree that they shouldn't add much marginal value. But do they? Only analysis of stats would really answer this.</p>

<p>^^^ I don't believe we have those stats available on a case-by-case basis, unless we could see every applicant's records with their test score and the full extent of their application. It is only in rare instances (for example at Brown, or in some dated studies) where we can see statistics for the group as a whole. If we look at this very limited or out of date data for acceptance rates verses test scores for the group, I believe it does show some benefit to the higher score - in particular for a perfect score. If I was counting on my score to pull me over the hump, I might retake, but likely not because getting a perfect score on a retake is certainly not a given.</p>

<p>And IMO none of this necessarily means anything for an individual applicant. </p>

<p>If a student was on the traveling IMO team, and won Siemens, do you really think it would matter whether he/she got a 730 or 800 on the Writing portion of the SAT? I don't. You would have to go a long way to convince me it did for this particular student. </p>

<p>If standardized test scores are so almighty, I often wonder why more high school students don't go beyond the SAT and take the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT? If the SAT is going to be of such high weight, wouldn't a top percentile MCAT score from a kid applying to a pre-med type program be seen as very impressive? But I never see any kids trying this. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen it recommended by anyone.</p>

<p>You couldn't really figure it out unless a school let you send in otherwise identical apps with different scores. But if the overall stats show that higher scores, even at the margins, make a difference, that should inform the strategy of a particular student. Surely nobody would argue that a kid who got 2000, and thought he could do better, shouldn't retake if he wants to go to Harvard? The question is where the point of diminishing returns is, and that's awfully hard to say.</p>