ACT vs. SAT

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by USMA_1985, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. USMA_1985

    USMA_1985 Parent

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    Hello Forum,
    Over the last six months, I have read some wonderful discussions concerning the many aspects of admission to and life at the Academies.

    Now, I have my daughter in the 'throes' of admission. She has done everything right in all aspects of being a 'qualified candidate' except one: her SAT scores are not yet up to the averages presumably necessary.

    Talking with various non-Academy sources, we have been told that the ACT is not as 'compelling' for admission as the SAT. With my daughter's 'sanity' at stake, can the Forum help us determine the validity of this thought? During her HS junior year when she took a college exam 'compatibility' test, she was informed the ACT would be a better test for her to take to measure her true aptitude.

    In advance, thank you!
     
  2. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    Hello there,

    I can't answer your question explicitly, but taking the ACT certainly can't hurt; I can only see positives. I'm sure some other people will chime in and help. Don't delay too long on having you daughter take it, as the timeline for getting scores sent in is starting to dwindle.

    Regards,
    FlyingFuzz
     
  3. billyb

    billyb Member

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    I don't think it is true at the academies, but there must be some truth to what you have heard. An admission counselor at a state university told us directly that if you submit both ACT and SAT, they will immediately discount the ACT (not use it at all) and just consider the SAT score.
     
  4. Dad

    Dad Member

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    I have never heard that one of the placement tests is preferred over the other. USAFA converts ACT and SAT scores into their matrix which equalizes the ACT/SAT scores. They then determine which score is better for you. Then they use that number in their secret formula for the Academic Composite Score. This score is the most important component of the selection composite, weighted at 60%.

    To attempt to clarify what I said, they superscore your ACT scores and they superscore your SAT scores (no mix and match) and they determine which score is best.

    It would be in your daughter’s best interest to take the ACT as well as the SAT as often as you can afford to.


    Best wishes! :thumb:
     
  5. 2012GradsMom

    2012GradsMom New Member

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    Dad - Please do schedule her for the ACT. My DS was on the border of his SAT numbers and took the ACT, he did much better on them and as soon as he submitted those results he received an early appointment. (early Nov) I guess it was the only thing holding him back. (He did have a presidential nomination)

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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    My daughter received a Falcon Foundation scholarship and is currently at NW Prep where she is taking the SAT and ACT. I think that it would be in your daughter's interest to take both. Good luck:)
     
  7. USMA_1985

    USMA_1985 Parent

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    Thank you all for your very kind and sincere replies. As usual, everyone on this site is looking out for each other and extremely informational and supportive.

    2012GradsMom - From what you conveyed, we are exactly in the same situation. Everything else looks extremely competitive; character, leadership, academic, and physical attributes are very solid. Furthermore, she does have a presidential nomination, also.

    As it appears, I will schedule her for presumably the last available ACT test for consideration by AFA, today (test date: 8 December).

    THANK YOU ALL!!:thumb:
     
  8. USMA_1985

    USMA_1985 Parent

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    Tigger: I just read their website information (Falcon Scholorship) and am encouraged that this might be an avenue for consideration. She desires SO much to be an USAFA-trained Air Force officer. After attending the SS, I've never seen a high schooler so focused on this goal. Thank you! A USMA grad :)
     
  9. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    Can you clarify how the superscore is done for the Academies? Oct 6 th SAT scores are out and my son hit 700 in math but lowest in verbal and writing.
    Thanks
     
  10. rupewvu

    rupewvu Member

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    It is my understanding from reading the posts that the AFA super-score is done by taking the highest score in each category and build a composite score that is used.

    For example, if you took the test twice and got 700 cr and 600 math on the first test and 600 cr and 700 math on the second test, the AFA would put in your record a score of 700 cr and 700 math.
     
  11. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    Ok that's what we thought too.
     
  12. 2012GradsMom

    2012GradsMom New Member

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    USMA_1985

    Yes do ... DS actually did his ACT in a neighboring state, (30min drive) in order to take it earlier then what our area was offering. Hence his results made him real happy,

    Good Luck to your DD. I know its gotten much tougher to get into the academy since we went through the process. It is worth the process though.
     
  13. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Prepare for the worst...

    My DS was in the exact same place. He was QNS for USMA last year. His SAT and ACT scores were too low. He tried high school prep classes for the tests and after taking them both 4 times, he became burnt out and plateaued his scores. It is in your best interest to take both tests several times.

    As mentioned on this tread about a prep school. You can attend as a "free agent" (you pay whole tuition) or awarded a sponsorship, as mentioned "Falcon Scholarship". I understand this forum does not like to advertise for prep schools but, let give you a little insight. This prep school is small, only 95 students attend, they are all in the same boat, just on the edge of being selected, but needed to be "polished up". The AFA gives aprox. 60 to 65 Falcon Scholarships out every year. This prep school attracts about 50 each year and aprox. 10 free agents. The directors are very very good and get about 98% of the Flacons and agents an appointment. The program is just three months and on their contract with the student the second semester is continued at a local JC or for year college taking classes that mirror the first year at a SA.

    I encourage you to research this info out. A very small percent of kids get into and SA right out of high school many are reapplying, from the military, recruited students.

    Push Forward, Press Hard
     
  14. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Our son got into USAFA with only the ACT score. He got an LOA and had his appointment by December. I don't think that the Academy cares whether it is the SAT or ACT as long as you do well. Your daughter should take the ACT. It could not hurt.

    Stealth_81
     
  15. USMA_1985

    USMA_1985 Parent

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    To all the kind replies, thank you very much!

    I'm doing my best to 'damage control' the shock and am very encouraged by all the responses. As we pass the 'grieving stage,' I will have a very heart-to-heart discussion with her to take the 8 Dec ACT (and SAT).

    Also, we do realize that the Prep School may have to be an option (whether at the AFA or Falcon Scholarship). As I mentioned before, once she attended the Summer Seminar, it is very difficult to think about "Plan A (2)"

    I've read ALL your post at least twice and will continue to monitor! You are all great!!:thumb:
     
  16. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    From the ACT website:
    "The ACT and SAT are different tests that measure similar but distinct constructs. The ACT measures achievement related to high school curricula, while the SAT measures general verbal and quantitative reasoning."

    Putting it another way, some students brains will do better with the ACT methodology while others will do better with the SAT testing approach.

    As your kids "coach" and mentor, you are doing her a service explaining (and prodding) why she needs to dig deeper. Those tests are stressful and draining.

    If she tests at a higher percentile with the ACT versus SAT, nothing says you need to submit a less than ideal score from the SAT. At the same token, if she doesn't do well on the ACT, I'm not so sure I'd want to submit that score. When you take the test, they allow you to send off those scores for "free" (later you have to pay to have them sent out). Take the 2nd approach (pay to send it out later).:wink: Why send a confusing message if you don't have to? If it was me, I'd send only one style of test that shows my best score. If they were a tie (in the same percentile) I'd negate submitting on of the two approaches (ACT or SAT).
     
  17. 2012GradsMom

    2012GradsMom New Member

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    Be careful of deadlines to submit new test scores. Know how long it takes for results to come out and how long it takes to go back and ask for them to be submitted to AFA, (if you dont have them automatically sent). I honestly do not remember, its been awhile since we did that.
     
  18. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I tutor high school students in math for both the ACT and SAT. It is true that they test different material if different ways. Taking both exams as many times as possible is the best strategy. I find that both exams are most effective at evaluating how well a student can take that particular exam. Practice. Practice. Practice.

    With regard to submitting ACT and SAT exams, DS just submitted everything. We were advised that the SA's do not hold low scores against a candidate. It certainly work for my son as he had an ACT superscore of 32 but nowhere close to that on the SAT even after mutiple attempts. And as has been already stated, the SA will take the highest superscored exam of either the ACT or SAT.
     
  19. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    I saw on the the USMA and the USNA section of the forum post that say the math portions of the SAT and ACT are weighted more than the other sections. Is this also true for the USAFA?

    Since they all give out BS I wouldn't be surprised but I couldn't find any old post on something like this so I was a bit curious.

    Thanks,
    Will
     
  20. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Your daughter may very well do better on the ACT. My son did not do particularly well on the SAT but his ACT scores were very competitive. He did not get in last year but was in the final group to get the not selected letter. He is currently in the USCGA Scholar (prep) program but the reason for prep was not test scores.
     

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