SSAT scores - retake?

<p>I'm the mom with no experience at BS process. My child just took SSAT 1st time in Nov. scored in 96% overall, but individual scores were lower (between 91-94%).
First question: did they mess up on the scoring? Why would the overall score be higher than the individual scores? I cked on the SSAT website but they didn't explain.
Second question: she's applying to Exeter, Andover, Milton, HK, Taft for 10th grade. Should she re-take SSAT in Dec or Jan? (she thinks she can do better as it was her first time with some prep) I heard somewhere that BS don't look kindly on kids who take the SSAT multiple times.
I've learned a lot from this forum and thanks to all the contributors who share their experiences.</p>

<p>It's really up to you on the retake issue, but I'd say don't worry about it. Use the rest of the time you have to work on essays, etc.</p>

<p>Here's what one "HADES" Admissions Officer told us last year "Anything in the high 80s and up makes it a non-issue."</p>

<p>Thanks SevenDad! I'm just reading through some of your earlier posts and you're a veritable treasure trove of good advice.</p>

<p>The overall score can be higher than individual scores. If your daughter scored above the 90th percentile on each subtest, then her overall score would be higher, as many students are weaker in one area. So, for example, a student who scored higher than 92% of the test-takers in each subtest could score in the 96th percentile for the overall scores, because her strength in three categories adds up to a score which is higher than the overall scores of 96% of the test-takers.</p>

<p>I don't think she needs to take the test again. As far as I know, for the top schools anything above the 80th percentile on each subtest is fine. All three subtests over 90% is a great performance. I think it would be more productive for your daughter to use the time otherwise devoted to test prep to 1) working on the applications, 2) keeping her grades up, 3) doing well in her extracurricular commitments, and 4) working on her essays. </p>

<p>You might want to visit other schools as well, as you've chosen a group of very selective boarding schools.</p>

<p>Agree, retake would only be at your option, not at all necessary. However, also agree you should probably add at least one school with a higher acceptance rate than your current list. Governor's? NMH? Kent? Don't know your daughter's aptitudes and inclinations, but there are plenty of other good schools out there that you might want to add as strong likely matches. When every school you're applying to is >20% admit rate, it's a crapshoot, even for the most talented students.</p>

<p>Thanks Periwinkle and PelicanD. Appreciate the answers and advice. Will take a look at those schools. I'll let D decide on retake. If she does worse, will it count against her? I suppose different schools do it differently, maybe some take higher scores, maybe some not.</p>

<p>Many schools "superscore," which means that they take the strongest subtest scores from all the tests submitted. I don't think it would count against her to take it again, but her scores are likely to remain in the same high range. You could elect to receive the SSAT scores first, then send them on if they're an improvement.</p>

<p>I would think that a very strong showing (96%!) in the November test would be more impressive than multiple tests. If she had had a subtest in the 60s, a retest might be warranted. </p>

<p>If you want to spend hours of your life reading about the SSAT, CC's search function will lead you to many threads of speculation. At 96%, though, her SSATs will be more than strong enough for any school. I'd say the other talents she can bring to the school will make a greater difference in her chances.</p>

<p>For example, if she's a competitive swimmer, schools with swim teams would be more interested in her as an athlete than schools which don't have swim teams. If she's in love with a school without a swim team, you'd have to emphasize that she wants to explore other sports, and she's already in top physical condition.</p>

<p>Other schools to investigate, depending upon your hometown: Choate, Deerfield, Groton, St. Mark's, St. Paul's, St. George's, Middlesex, Lawrenceville, Brooks, Emma Willard, Miss Porter's. Some of these schools have very low rates of admission.</p>

<p>And while we're throwing out schools to consider, slightly off the beaten path you have Berkshire, Episcopal, and Peddie.</p>

<p>Congratulations to your child on those excellent scores! Good luck with the rest of the application process. That's where the rubber meets the pavement so I'd make that the priority.</p>

<p>I'm confused. How can it be that 90% of the kids on this forum who took the SSAT are ranked 90% or better? Shouldn't that number be closer to 10%? The math just doesn't add up.</p>

<p>Because not everyone is telling the truth, and not every single applicant posts their scores on College Confidential.</p>

<p>Runalot - I'm an interviewer. Her scores are fine. Enjoy your holidays without the added stress of a retest. The schools aren't looking for perfect scores or a perfect kid . The ones with a few quirks are often the most fun to admit.</p>

<p>She's fine. Rest easy.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the helpful advice!</p>

<p>Personally, I wouldn't take it again. I've done some research on it and the average for Andover, Exeter, Lawrenceville (maybe?) is 93%. A 96% vs 98%, 99% wouldn't make a big difference because it already proved that you child has reached that level. </p>

<p>Do you mind telling me her individual section scores and the # she omitted/wrong? I just took the test today and would like to get a rough estimate of how I did. Thanks.</p>

<p>These are the average SSAT scores as reported to by the respective institutions.</p>

<p>Lawrenceville 84%</p>

<p>Phillips Andover 94%</p>

<p>Phillips Exeter 90%</p>

<p>HK 87%</p>

<p>Taft 84%</p>

<p>Milton 90%</p>

<p>If your child does not gain admittance, his SSAT scores will not be the reason. As others have stated, there is no reason to retake.</p>

<p>For what it is worth from a first poster who has researched this topic exhaustively since my 7th grade son recently announced that he wants to attend a boarding school, the SSAT is merely an exclusionary criteria. High scores won't get the fat envelop but low ones (for the school) will surely garner the thin one.</p>

<p>If the OP can pay and her child has good grades, ECs, recommendations, and great essays, she stands a great chance on March 10 provided she casts a reasonably wide net. Eliminate any one and matriculation becomes a real crapshoot as schools try to create a mix of kids with a variety of talents. Just the opinion of a parent trying to make sense of his child's desire to attend BS.</p>

<p>Keep in mind that the average SSAT scores at the schools is an AVERAGE-- some scores above, and some scores below. As long as your score is in the ballpark of the school's average, I wouldn't sweat it, unless there are deficiencies in the rest of the student's profile.</p>

<p>To echo other posters on this thread, I would widen the net and add a couple of higher admit-rate schools. It is a crapshoot. Not only do highly qualified kids get rejected because of more qualified kids, they also get rejected because of less qualified kids (Tufts effect).</p>

<p>I would suppose that the SSAT score distributions to have a positive skew, meaning scores too far below the average might just be too low. I doubt the overall scores are normally distributed.</p>

<p>For example, suppose an institution has an average SSAT admit score of 85%, the low end of the range for admittance might be in the high 70%. If my son is within 10 points of the average for a given school, I won't discourage his attempt.</p>

<p>What is this Jumbo effect?</p>

<p>Weatherby, the OP said her kid's individual scores are in the 90's-- well inside of the the baseball infield, let alone the ballpark. I think it would be a waste of time to re-take. Not to mention a huge amount of stress.</p>

<p>Do you mean "Jumbo" effector Tuft's effect? Tuft's effect is phenomenon where kids whose walk-on-water profile get rejected by school because the school thinks the kid is unlikely to accept their offer of admission (i.e. the kid is likely to accept the Harvard offer instead of theirs). Both elite schools and "safety" schools jealously guard their yield-rate and want to maintain a low-as-possible admit rate. It is possible for a kid to look too good.</p>

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<p>Thanks to all who weighed in. Very helpful. D didn't re-take and spent the time studying for finals, which was great advice. I explained to her the concept of SSATs being "exclusionary", rather than determinative. The second-guessing on the decision not to re-take has now come to an end!</p>

<p>What if the ssat does not fall in a school's range? What if you are an excellent student but don't do well on standardized tests? Does it make sense to apply anyway? Are there any posters out there who were accepted without scores in the top percentiles and are willing to share their story?</p>