SAT scores/SAT subject tests/ACT

My son wants to go to UVA but I am afraid that with his SAT/ACT/SAT subject test scores he will not get in. He has a 4.5 GPA, has taken all kinds of AP tests, is ranked 5th in his class, is president of his class for 3 years,attended Boys State, is in the Latin NHS where he is sergeant at arms, regular NHS, debate team captain and has tons of volunteer hours and other EC’s. Here is the kicker : SAT 1760, ACT 27, SAT sub tests US History 710, Math 2 530. He plans on taking the ACT again but the problem comes in with the SAT. Does he take the SAT test again or the subject test (MAth 1 this time) again ? They don’t offer different dates for the SAT and the subject tests (both in October on the same day) and with the early decision deadline for UVA being 11/1, just don’t know what to tell him. By the way, he wants to be pre-med and is also looking at VCU. So, 1st, does he have a shot as it stands ? And take the SAT or subject tests knowing that he is also taking the ACT. Please help. Thanks

If his heart is set on UVA, tell him to apply regular decision. There is no need to burn his chance with the early application deadline. Enroll him in a SAT prep course and use what i left of the summer and the fall to improve his SAT/ACT scores and one SAT subject test score. All else (including the history subject SAT) appear to give him a pretty good chance of admission (assuming instate). However, he will have to still write some kick arse application essays. Good luck and no need to panic at this point. There is time if you use it wisely.

Thank you so much for your input. I truly appreciate it.

UVa strongly recommends two SAT II subject tests but they are not required. At most universities that require SAT II subject tests, they do so if you submit the SAT. If you’re submitting the ACT, then SAT II subject tests are usually not required. Senior year is a busy and stressful year. If your son was mine, I’d advise him to concentrate on one standardized test and drop the SAT II subject test in Math 2. Apply to UVa with your best combination of either ACT or SAT scores (focus on only one of those exams) and send along the SAT II in US History. Plenty of students get into UVA with just ACT scores (no subject tests) or just SAT scores (no subject tests). Focus on a great SAT or ACT score and the essays.

Thank you so much !

UVA requires applicants to submit ACT and/or SAT scores. In addition, they strongly recommend two SAT subject tests. ( I don’t believe it is correct that the ACT precludes the need to take SAT subject tests. That doesn’t make sense to me. ) I would retake the ACT and one more SAT subject test (not Math 1-I hear that one doesn’t carry much weight) and apply regular decision. My S says his friends w similar stats to his that didn’t submit subject tests were not admitted. Just anecdotal, but he strongly believes it made a difference in his case. Good luck! Your S has amazing stats!

Aw thanks !!! Thanks for your input. I truly appreciate it.

It looks like he’s stronger in the ACT, so he should concentrate on bringing that score up - even a single point to a 28 would help, 2 points should be enough to make it a complete non-issue - and stop stressing about the SAT. Just concentrate on his stronger test, he doesn’t need both.

Being 5th in his class (I assume it’s more than 50 students, so he’s at least top 10%, and a Virginia resident) means he does have a legitimate shot despite below-average test scores.

Submit the requested SAT-II subject test scores; they expect you to have a good reason if you don’t, and “I didn’t think my scores were good enough” is NOT a good reason. If he can do better in a different subject, fine, but don’t fail to submit any, and don’t stress about them. Lower subject test scores will not break his application, but failing to submit subject test scores can break his application.

Do NOT try to submit the application by the EA deadline if he’s not fully confident that it’s completely polished and ready. UVA’s EA is non-binding, so their yield is unaffected; any EA application that isn’t a clear up/down decision for them will just get deferred to the RD round.

If your S has had long term difficulty showing his abilities on standardized tests, he might was to consider going to VCU and entering their guaranteed admission program for medical school, rather than competing for entry to an MD program on the basis (largely) of his MCAT score.

Thank you so much. I really like the VCU program but it’s convincing my S of that. Thanks again !

Oh, and yes, he is in in state and 5th in over 300 students.

According to Dean J, SAT II subject tests “aren’t required, you won’t be penalized if they aren’t part of your application.” Read her blog post from 2014 about SAT subject tests If you can fit them into your schedule and take them great, if not then don’t. If you want to reassure yourself further, go back through the EA and Regular admission stats and you’ll see that applicants were admitted who did not submit subject tests.

Thank you so much. He has a great score on the one (710 US History)

He should send that. My S is starting his second year at UVa SEAS. When he applied two years ago, he submitted the ACT, SAT subject tests Bio-M 770 and Math 2 700. He stressed over the Math 2 score because he worried it wasn’t good enough. In hindsight, I think he would’ve been fine had he submitted only the Bio score or neither of them.

WOW. His Math 2 score is amazing ! Someone told me that anything over 600 for a subject test is good.

It depends on the exam. A 700 on Math 2 is 66th percentile see the SAT percentile ranks My S is out of state so that score is low compared to other OOS applicants. He decided to include it anyway because he came from a small rural high school that didn’t have calculus. He thought that in light of that fact that the score would be viewed more positively. If you have the time to look through the early action or regular admission stats you’ll see that the score is low but he had other factors in his favor. Like your son he had a high class rank (top 1%) and interesting activities he’d been involved in for many years. He concentrated quite hard on the essays.