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Poor SATs vs. good ACT

TheFreeMason11 6 / 54  
Jan 14, 2011   #1
So I have a question for EF. I took the ACT and SAT in the same month and got two very different calibers of scores. I made a composite of 30 (32 English, 29 Math, 31 Reading, 28 Science, 8 Writing) on the ACT but only a 1720 (620 CR, 600 Math, 500 Writing) on the SAT. Are colleges willing to overlook poor SAT scores in light of a good (or at least much better) ACT score?
xlocicero12x 1 / 12  
Jan 14, 2011   #2
yes they will. they will take which ever score is the highest out of all the tests you send them. and it will look good that you took the time to take both tests as well, but they will only look at your acts
UserMyName - / 1  
Jan 16, 2011   #3
That actually depends on where you live and where you plan on going to college. For example, where I live, if I plan on staying in-state, the colleges will look at my ACT scores over my SAT scores. However, out-of-state colleges will more than likely look at both. It really depends on the situation.
OP TheFreeMason11 6 / 54  
Jan 16, 2011   #4
Yeah, I live in ACT-land as well, but the majority of my schools seem SAT dominate. The bad scores may actually be to blame from the general lack of SAT test prep available to me, and anyways, the writing score seems to be what's mostly bringing me down, so I'm not terribly worried about it, but we'll see come March and April...
Juliano 11 / 29  
Jan 16, 2011   #5
Like the others said it really depends on where you live and what colleges you are applying to. Most have the policy that they will either look at the ACT or SAT which ever you send them. If you send the schools both you should explain your lack of SAT prep maybe as opposed to your ACT prep. Same thing happened to me and so on the common application on the additional information section I explained why my scores differed (I had a 33 on the ACT and only 1940 on the SAT-660 Reading,690 Math, and 590 Writing.) I told them about my schools main focus on the ACt and not on the SAT and so maybe you could do the same. If you dont tell them they will never know the reason and may not be sympathetic to you situation. If you have time retake the SAT it can only help because they do look at you highest scores in each section.

I hope this helped you and good luck with everything.
OP TheFreeMason11 6 / 54  
Jan 17, 2011   #6
Well, I think it's a tad too late for most of them. I did explain the situation to U.C Berkeley when they asked why I wouldn't be sending any SAT Subject tests.
EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Jan 20, 2011   #7
Some great insights are available here in this thread. It is true that they often claim to look only at the highest scores, etc., and the purpose of that is to reduce the possibility of scores that do not reflect your real aptitude. That high score will help you. But also remember that it is a human that makes each decision. Humans are unpredictable creatures. Sometimes, you have to just say "yes" to whatever unfolds for you... there is no certainty in anything except your ability to express your real self in response to whatever happens, so settle in. And if you have the time and money, you can retake that SAT -- but do it for yourself, not for the sake of meeting anyone else's standard.
OP TheFreeMason11 6 / 54  
Jan 22, 2011   #8
Well, we shall see. I might take it again, if I find the time, if only to prove to myself that I can do way better, but I might not need to. That 30 on the ACT is the highest score anyone in my class has gotten (some have tied, but they're all friends, and I'm cool with sharing it with them.) I just hope it takes me where I need to go, and I think it will. I've already made it in to a good backup school, I just need to hear from my other top picks before I'm satisfied.
krauser 2 / 2  
Mar 28, 2011   #9
ACT is gaining territory all around the country. Submit the ACT scores instead of the SAT.
OP TheFreeMason11 6 / 54  
Apr 4, 2011   #10
Well, I submitted both, and didn't make it at Stanford or U.C Berkeley. So there you go kids, lesson learned there.
aluck 1 / 2  
Apr 5, 2011   #11
I do prefer SAT to ACT
EDD 3 / 6  
Nov 23, 2011   #12
They probably prefer the better score, it doesn't matter if it's SAT or ACT

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