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Do SAT scores really count?


Hi, So i just received my SAT scores and they're PRETTY bad ..
and i was wondering if SAT scores will SERIOUSLY hinder my chances at going to UC schools :/

My GPA is above 3.8 and i take AP courses, but my SAT score is below 1800 and i'm not sure
if this means i shouldnt apply ...

please help!

Oct 29, 2009   #2
Yes, they count. Every school has its own formula for weighting GPA, SAT scores, essays, and other factors, but unless you are applying to community college or a specialty school like the Berklee College of Music, SAT scores matter. There is good news though! You can retake the SAT for a higher score. If your GPA were low, there would be less options.
Oct 29, 2009   #4
Yes most universites look at both the SAT and your GPA to consider you for admission.. dont worry try retaking the SAT for a higher score maybe try the ACT as well.
Yep, schools generally weigh quite heavily on the SAT, but if your usual results are good and consistently good, I think they will be more inclined to take your usual results as a more accurate assessment of your ability.

I think you can still register for last minute retakes. Why not do that, the RD ends 1Jan anyway! Goodluck!
Nov 4, 2009   #7
Most schools only look at your math, and reading scores. In a lot of cases they don't even care about the new essay portion.
Nov 8, 2009   #8
I have the same issue right now, my gpa is 3.6 and my SAT scores are really bad but I've taking ap classes but im still concerned.
Nov 11, 2009   #11
I talked to a person who does admissions, and they look at your SAT scores, but they can not really take away from the GPA, AP courses/exams, extra curriculars, etc.

I personally think that the people who score the highest on the SAT are the people who spend the most money for the prep courses and stuff. :/

And, I would also recomend taking the ACT, there is a good ammount of colleges that take that in place of SAT's.
Nov 12, 2009   #12
SAT scores count, especially when trying to enter special programs like Honors college or combined degree programs. Although it is not the only deciding factor by admissions officers, your SAT score is important.
Yelsikneb  
Nov 18, 2009   #14
I would check the school's admissions page or collegeboard.com. These sites say how important SAT scores are in comparison to class rank, etc.
Yes, sat scores do play an important role in admissions. But, GPA is much more important than your SAT scores. Admissions officers are looking for a balanced SAT score and GPA.
Yes they count for a lot, but not all of the acceptance. You can always retake the SATs or even try the ACTs. I did much better on my ACTs so I am going to send those in
Nov 22, 2009   #17
yes, they count a lot. However, it is depends on what college are you going to apply.
Because, some of colleges do not look at the Writing scores. So, I have similar score with you but it is okay for some college, because I dominated only writing section.
yeah, they do especially if you are trying to get into California universities because they are overcrowded and competitive to get into. You should probably take the SATs again. It is the only way that colleges can compare students that come from different schools and countries in order to make decision. There are always easier and harder schools and SATs try to compare people over topics that people should know before going to college.
Nov 22, 2009   #19
Yes, they do count. Depending on which UC you want to go into, the SAT score expectations vary. You must take at least 2 Subject Tests in addition to the Reasoning Test.
Dec 1, 2009   #20
Yes, it does. It is one of important factor to admit college admission.

The college look carefully about your GPA first and then second thing is the SAT score.

You should watch your SAT score if you want to admit good college. : )
Dec 3, 2009   #22
Eh, I'm taking SAT subject tests this Saturday... I got a 1710 and I kinda don't have another chance to retake SAT reasoning.. last time I took SAT subject tests scores ranged between 610 and 640, I got a high TOEFL score though, and our grading system is based on percentages.. I never took below 99% but I still think I'm gonna get into a lousy college because of SATs!!!
Depending on the particular university you are trying to get into, it really varies.

for example let's say instead of going to a university fresh out of high school you attend a community college instead. Chances are when you do transfer to a university, they will only ask for your GPA and essays (depending on the university).

If you're applying for scholarships or going to university straight out of high school, that's a different story.
colleges wil lalso look at your extracurricular activities, Ap scores as well. I personally also received a score lower than 1800 but I believe if you standout in the admissions process that you can get into a rather selctive university
There is a generally positive correlation between SAT scores and high achieving students, however there are MANY outliers. Good scores can't really hurt you, but bad scores don't keep you out either. Schools claim to judge students holistically, and all you can do at this point is hoping that they would keep their words and actually thoroughly read through your application. If you have some time, I would improve your scores. If not, then just make the other parts of your application REALLY good. Hope this helps! :)
Dec 21, 2009   #26
take the ACT!! Lots of colleges accept the SAT and two subject tests (I believe the UC schools do) or the ACT with writing. Taking the ACT saves time and money because you wouldn't have to take subject tests. I did poorly on my SAT, but considerably better on ACT.

Also, if it really does become a problem there is always Connecticut college, they will accept two graded papers instead of SAT scores
I agree with Hillary, some times if someone does poorly on the SAT, they will do much better on the ACT and vise versa. It's interesting.
UC's care a lot more about your GPA than your SAT scores. It's the opposite for a lot of private colleges.
Jan 18, 2010   #29
No, a lot of private colleges care about your GPA and the rigor of the classes you have taken.

SAT is (for almost all the colleges) secondary compared to GPA and your transcript of how "difficult" your classes are as well as your high school, since your performance is off the variable of your high school's difficulty as well as offers/opportunities.

And about the whole ACT vs SAT, that differs. Some do not score well on the SAT because SAT tests logic (and in a way, the way you think) while ACT is solely what you have learned. Those who did well on SAT and are good student will do equally well on ACT unless they made some time management errors (in ACT, time is everything). Personally, I think SAT is a better indication of college "preparedness" than ACT.
Jan 18, 2010   #30
Yes, if you're planning to attend a university most likely they will count the scores. You're always welcomed to take the test again. I would put this situation in my application essay if I were you. Not all people are test takers. Therefore, give a better reason for the college to accept you.
Jan 18, 2010   #31
It all depends on the type of school you're applying to...

Like Envie had said, most colleges weigh your gpa more than your sat/act score, but it's still vital. There are a lot of things that add up for acceptances for college like extra curricular activities, and what not. If you are unsure of your score, I'd definitely think about retaking the SAT.
SAT counts, trust me. Take it again if you did poorly, and different schools looks at different portions of your SAT, if you are taking some course that requires good mastery of langague, they will require your reading and essay to be high. But do well in all areas as well too.
Jan 21, 2010   #34
GPA > SAT

If it were the other way around, the colleges would be rewarding the lazies over hardworkers who aren't great test-takers. I personally know someone who got into Yale with a lousy SAT score. Her GPA was really good so was her essays and I hear her interview went really well so I don't know how those factor in for you but...well, application time is done anyways :-P
yeah I feel you should give SAT again.. but do prepare well before giving it, you will definately increase your score..
EF_KevinThreads: 8
Posts: 13,846
[Contributor] 129  
Jan 24, 2010   #36
would be rewarding the lazies over hardworkers who aren't great test-takers.

well, to be fair, those 2 groups may be considered equal. High school is one big test, and not a perfect one. The SATs and high school both represent big, nerve-wracking tests.

And some people whose GPA are unimpressive may have had bad teachers who did not inspire, and some people whose GPA are very impressive may have had bad teachers who did not provide much of a challenge.

But anyway, I am just being philosophical and playing the devil's advocate; I know what you mean!
Jan 25, 2010   #37
But, hey I think awarding the lazies actually helps me :-P 2350 SAT but only 4.3 GPA :( Wasn't feeling high school Freshmen year...
Jan 25, 2010   #38
SAt scores count, but if you did bad, you should consider taking the ACT or retaking the SAT.
With score choice, you send the score of your choice. so if you do better the second time just send those scores.

Everything counts in the admissions office.
but if you do great in school (GPA), volunteer work, extracircular activities (sports, clubs), have awards, good recommendations, and such.
Your SAT shouldn't be a major worry.

But if your average in all the above, and have low SAT scores, I'd say take them again.
Or if your below average, and have low SAT scores, retake and try to get a high score. to help balance out... i guess.

My GPA is 85/100. and my SAt scores were 1790. I think thats okey for were I am applying, so I didn't take it again.

It also depends were your applying. Schools like University of Rochester... Havard... you need high SAT scores.

With other schools like state public schools, it's different.
So figure out the average SAt scores for the schools your applying to.
And aim to get thats score of higher!

good luck!
well SAT scores do count.
However, your GPA and your SATs are only 2 factors among many that collleges consider when they are thinking about accepting students.
Yes true, your GPA and your SATs are very very important (yes they are!) however colleges also take into consideration the recommendations you send them, the essays you write, and the extracurricular activities you have done throughout your highschool career. Assuming that you're a competent writer and that you have really good recommendors, just retake the SATs again, it shouldn't hurt.

good luck in your future endeavors!
EF_KevinThreads: 8
Posts: 13,846
[Contributor] 129  
Jan 26, 2010   #40
Wasn't feeling high school Freshmen year...

Yeah, that is the wisdom right there. It is good for people, including admissions office people, to remember that we all go through ups and downs.

Some people understand that as they read the essays, and some people are more judgmental.

There's a lot of thoughtful advice here! Everyone contributes really well...


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