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How important is the SAT/ACT to a Theatre/MT student?

jmarcas13jmarcas13 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited September 2013 in Theater/Drama Majors
I'm not sure where this question falls under, because I don't think it fits under SAT/ACT forum and it's specific to Theatre/MT majors. I got a 23 on my ACT and that's not stellar and I got a 1560 on my SAT which also isn't great. I was wondering do schools really weigh your acceptance on your talent or on your test scores? I'm retaking the SAT but I'm not sure about the ACT yet because I don't know how pertinent it is to my getting accepted into a college.
Post edited by jmarcas13 on

Replies to: How important is the SAT/ACT to a Theatre/MT student?

  • bisouubisouu Registered User Posts: 2,553 Senior Member
    I know that Chapman has changed its policy and you must have the test scores to be accepted to the University. Even if your audition is stellar you can't get in without the GPA and scores.
  • connectionsconnections Registered User Posts: 1,327 Senior Member
    jmarcas13: Yes, in general, schools do factor in SAT scores. But how much they do so depends on the school. Some schools, such as NYU Tisch, factor in SAT scores quite a bit; other schools not as much.

    Since the process is so competitive, it is smart to get the highest SAT/ACT scores you can achieve.

    I tutor for the SAT & ACT, and I don't understand the recent trend of students randomly taking both tests. This isn't a good idea. Pre-test to find out which test is better for you. Then focus on that one. As a tutor, I can pretty easily access the student in a single session to find out which is 'their' test, but many programs do this for you as well, or you can just take a sample test of each one and see which one feels better for you and/or you do better in. They are very different. It's not just that one is more science; it's the type of thinking they test, the layout, many factors.

    So specifically for you, what I'd recommend is for you to access which one is better for you, then study that test. If you can't afford a tutor or an SAT/ACT program, purchase the College Board book or ACT book, and read their intro for all their tips, then practice the test. After one practice, see where you are weak, and try to figure out why. Retake another test, going section by section. You'll want to take at least three full tests under time conditions before you sit down to take the test, just as you'd want to run a few dress rehearsals before putting on the show.
  • broadway95broadway95 Registered User Posts: 742 Member
    Of the 12+ schools my D auditioned for her ACT/SAT did not affect her acceptance to the university at all. Her class rank and GPA were very decent compared to her test scores so that may have made the difference. On several schools we found you needed to met two of three things in order to get accepted and/or money. As long as your class rank and GPA meet it, you should be fine. There are plenty of good schools that take a more holistic approach instead of eliminating you because this score doesn't fit but everything else does.
  • josh703josh703 Registered User Posts: 187 Junior Member

    I have similar scores. A 1600 SAT and 22 ACT. All that really ment for me were that I had to go through each individual school and check how much weight they put on scores and how much they put on the audition. Pretty much for me it ruled out NYU, Boston University, and Michigan, as well as steered me away from Ithaca.

    It differs for each school, I have read that CMU is 70% audition and 30% scores, which is why I'm still applying. It may also be helpful to see how many liberal arts classes are required and how many you actually want to take.
  • amtcamtc Registered User Posts: 2,864 Senior Member
    josh - don't let those scores keep you from applying to NYU. You'd be amazed at the scores of some kids in Tisch, and I'd be surprised if those scores weren't good enough for MT at Ithaca.
  • josh703josh703 Registered User Posts: 187 Junior Member
    < Theres that, and I also don't think I could handle the rigor of NYU and Ithaca academics, as I don't and haven't taken any honors or AP classes. I also don't want the extra stress of a good deal of extra non-acting related classes, and want a program where I will spend the vast majority of my time in the studio.
  • halflokumhalflokum Registered User Posts: 1,870 Senior Member
    Well actually amtc, you would have no way of knowing what the SAT and ACT scores look like at Tisch because you are not privy to that information. None of us are. We would all have to go on what the NYU says it looks for in candidates and go from there which certainly implies that things other than the audition are factored into admission decisions. Are there admissions exceptions sometimes for students who fall below the average range of scores? I would not be at all surprised. But that's not a phenomenon unique to Tisch and the same could be said about BU and U Mich which he also mentioned and also Northwestern which he didn't mention. And you could be right about Ithaca as you would know more about that school than I do for sure.

    If any of these schools appeal to you and you feel up to the academic rigor which I can tell you at NYU can be intense, absolutely apply. Why not? Worst thing that can happen is you don't get in. Good luck!
  • MOMMY5MOMMY5 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Amtc, I by no means want to discourage josh703, but I agree with Halfokum. There will always be scores that are under the median, at every school, but these are usually special cases. Athletes, kids with connections, and those that are exceptionally gifted in some way can accomplish acceptance without the "average" scores but it is not common.
    Tisch is a large school. If they let a large percentage of their students in with scores 300-400 below the NYU median, that would change the schools stats significantly.
  • GSOMTMomGSOMTMom Registered User Posts: 1,705 Senior Member
    josh703, at Ithaca the SAT/ACT is optional. I don't know if that's new for this year, but it helps to take a little pressure off if your gpa tells a better story than a test taken in a few hours one day.
  • amtcamtc Registered User Posts: 2,864 Senior Member
    WOW, halflokum and mommy5 - I didn't know you knew who I was or what my connection to NYU was. But I stand by my statement, in the Tisch School you would be surprised by what the test scores are of some of the kids who were admitted.
  • Times3Times3 Registered User Posts: 1,373 Senior Member
    ^I've definitely known a few kids with well-below-average SATs who were admitted to Tisch. Also knew a couple with strong but "lopsided" talent (e.g., phenomenal musician but not a great actor) and sky-high academics who were denied. No way to predict it.

    Not sure whether the responses above made this clear, so will emphasize that even if a school does not require high SATs (or grades) for admission, they will use them as a basis for scholarships, which can make or break you in terms of being able to attend. The usual advice applies: research every school carefully.
  • actingmtactingmt Registered User Posts: 1,900 Senior Member
    Tisch likes to say they are 50-50. But it's obviously not that simple. They also take a lot so odds are much better.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Registered User Posts: 12,212 Senior Member
    I'm not aware of any big change in how Tisch handles admissions but back when my D was there, those with test scores or GPAs far below the median were a rarity. As was said, Tisch enrolls approximately 300 students a year who are divided among their several studios. There may, indeed, be some who are admitted and not fit the typical profile of a high academic and highly talented applicant but they are the exception not the rule. At least, they were. That isn't to say that any particular student can't get in without those high academic stats, but it's going to be more difficult. There will always be anomalies in this process but although it may be worth the shot to try, it shouldn't be counted on that you will be one of those anomalies.

    So, the best answer to the OP's question is, it will vary from school to school. The better your academics, the better it will be for you, in almost every circumstance, whether it's for admissions, scholarship $$, or even just having established good work and study habits that have resulted in good academic achievement.
  • halflokumhalflokum Registered User Posts: 1,870 Senior Member
    amtc I would not be surprised at all at the SAT/ACT stats of some of the students at NYU right now because unlike you, who didn’t attend NYU, who doesn’t work there, whose husband and children didn’t attend either, I do have a family member there right now. Obviously she doesn’t go around asking what her friends’ scores were and I don’t spend a nanosecond thinking about it with now being an exception because you’ve chosen to throw something out there that I know is misleading. My daughter does take classes with Tisch students and collaborates with them. She knows by her own experience that even if there is some variability in the academic capability of the students at Tisch to survive there you have to be both willing and able to do the work. She reports that the capability of her peers is in general, very high as is hers complete with the test scores and grades to back it up.

    Now if I were a prospective student or parent of one reading CC to get information about any school, I’d take that data point any day over hearsay bombs throw out at regular intervals all over CC and not just in this forum by someone that has nothing to do with the school whatsoever. You can’t be an expert on what it’s really like on a ground at a school that you aren’t living personally and just living in the state that bears the university’s name doesn’t cut it either. It would be like me throwing bombs about my own state’s flagship university that is maybe 3 miles as the crow flies from my house and pretending to be an expert just because I know a lot of people that go there or work there or donate there. But I never went there and neither did anyone in my immediate family. My son is applying there right now. Ask me in a couple of years should he end up there and I might have something helpful that isn’t hearsay to share.

    I would have been happy to address my concerns with your posts about NYU privately but as you are standing by your comments publically then I’ll keep this public too. A person in your enviable situation has a certain obligation to how they act publically. It just comes with the turf. That obligation doesn’t go away behind a veil of anonymity that we can enjoy in forums like this. Also that veil gets pretty transparent when we provoke with statements like “automatically gotten in because of who we are” which has been said A LOT I can only guess to buy some credibility to some of the statements that you have made about NYU. Well that theory was never tested was it? And I sure would want to give my kids’ hard work and talents more credit than that. But taking your own family out of it, do you have any idea how that comes off to the rest of us whose kids worked hard to be at NYU and whose families are working hard to pay for it? Not only are you not giving your own kids enough credit, you’re not giving ours any either.

    We are all far more helpful when we stay in our lane. You’ve been truly helpful on a number of subjects and even to me privately. But that veering out of your lane when it comes to NYU is unnecessary and not helpful to anyone.
  • amtcamtc Registered User Posts: 2,864 Senior Member
    I am not speaking from hearsay but that is all I will say on this topic. Absolutely apply if you want NYU even if your standardized test scores are lower than standard. No guarantees (wouldn't be any even if you had perfect scores) but definitely not immediately eliminated because of low scores. As you yourself admits halflokum, it does happen. My point is that it happens more often than you might think.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled forum.
This discussion has been closed.