Should I retake a 1470?

Hello y’all,

I plan on applying to Howard U’s 6 year bs/md program later this year (graduating in 2022; almost there!). I’ve been able to speak to current students in the program and I’m sure that I want to take that path to medicine. I was pretty satisfied with my SAT score until I looked at some of the threads here and really started to question if it was sufficient for such a program. My score breakdown: 780 math, 690 english. 99th percentile overall and in math, 96th percentile reading.

As for my application, I will only have one summer of research, and one summer at some sort of medical camp. The former at Harvard and the latter at Stanford. I also attend an well-known boarding school where I have many leadership positions, none of which are related to medicine.

Honest thoughts on the SAT score?

Thank you!

1 Like

Your SAT is good, but if you think you can score better you should 100% take it again. BS/MD programs are super competitive, so it’s better to try for an even better score.

Have you looked at the Common Data Set for the school to see the range of scores where accepted students fall? I recommend you start there.

The score is well above Howard’s 1150-1260 interquartile range but, as noted, BS/MD programs can be much stricter than overall admittance criteria.

Has your research turned up any information on the specific program? Perhaps a question to the admissions office or a post here/Reddit to collect additional info.

Do you believe you could score higher with another test? I suspect your score is sufficient, but a higher score never hurts.

I think it’s more difficult to pull up one’s English score than one’s math score. The ability to do well on the English section is usually the result of many years of being an avid reader, and true mastery of English grammar and writing.

That being said, if you think that you can put the time into effective prep focused upon the English section, I think that you should re-take the SAT. A score of 690 doesn’t seem to me to be what a BS-MD program would be looking for.

Yeah, as I was studying for my SAT exam last summer, I would consistently score a 690 on reading and rarely ever scored anything above a 710. I will seriously consider taking some time to study for a retake this summer, with a greater focus on the reading section, as you suggest. However, I wouldn’t be too committed to preparing for the exam as I do plan on doing a lot this summer.

If I couldn’t retake the exam, do you have any advice as to what I could do to make up what I’m lacking?

My kids were always much stronger in math than English, a tutor really helped to get those English scores up, although their ACT’s were better than SAT’s.

Maybe try taking the ACT? Sometimes people are better suited for one than the other.

1 Like

The ACT is reputed to be easier on the English section. That is why people who are international students, and aren’t native speakers of English, often choose the ACT. My kid said that all he needed for the English section of the ACT was to have grown up in our home, since my husband and I speak excruciatingly correct English with a full vocabulary. He said just knew all the right answers because they were what sounded right to him. Even though he did well on the English section of the PSAT, he didn’t come close to a perfect score on that.

I do think that an admit committee would look favorably on a very high ACT score (you do need to prep for it, especially for the “science”, which is really data interpretation), in combination with that lovely SAT math score. Might be a better route, since it appears that you SAT prep didn’t bump up your English score last time around.

1 Like

Thank you so much! I think this will be doable for me.