How many times are too many times to take SATs?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by FutureNavyPilot, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. FutureNavyPilot

    FutureNavyPilot Fearless

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    I apologize if there is a similar thread out there like this, firstly. I just took my SAT for the third time three weeks ago, and received my scores today. My final scores were 630 on Reading and 640 on Mathematics.

    I realize these scores really aren't competitive, but I have really strong high school classes (all IB courses, 4 High Level) and a good GPA.

    I've taken them three times, and I only went up 20 points from my last time taking them. I really wanted to break 1300; is it worth taking them again? How badly will they affect the weight of my application if I only have a 1270 or a 1920 composite?
     
  2. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Take them again and again and again--as many times as your budget will allow. Try the ACT too. Our WP coordinator told my daughter that she needed at least a 30 on her ACT to get a LOA. First time she took it she got a 32 (1390: highest SAT after taking 6 times!) and a week later received the LOA. Wish we had done the ACT months ago.

    Buy a practice test book and take a lot of practice tests--use the stategies!! Have you considered a princeton review course?

    Good luck to you!
     
  3. jumprope_11

    jumprope_11 USNA 2015

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    Standardized test scores are a factor of acceptance but don't forget there are tons of other factors the admissions board will consider. LEADERSHIP positions, community involvement, GPA, etc.

    EVERYTHING COUNTS!!! tests scores are not the be all end all
     
  4. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    I strongly recommend to my candidates that they take both the SAT and ACT exams at least once to determine which exam is more favorable to them. You can stop taking the exams anytime you feel comfortable that you have maxed your performance on them - BUT you need to be prepared to live with the consequences of that decision - it is yours to make. Think long and hard before acting.
     
  5. FutureNavyPilot

    FutureNavyPilot Fearless

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    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I probably will re-take them... just because I'm not satisfied and I KNOW I can do better.

    I did take my ACT once, and I found it easer, but I only got a 27 composite which is also not very competitive. I will also re-take my ACT.

    Thanks!:)
     
  6. jumprope_11

    jumprope_11 USNA 2015

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    Don't forget that any future tests you sign up for probably won't be taken into consideration for the nomination process.
     
  7. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    ditto on Lee's counsel. but as noted, timing is tight now.

    Our 2 both improved 200 pts on the ACT after multiple SAT attempts. Monumentally in math. Naturally my anecdotal evidence biases me, but it is essentially an achievement test, rewarding those who are good students. Conversely the SAT is an aptitude test, presumably testing very different aspects of a student's personna.
     
  8. areed

    areed Member

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    The advice I have given my son, applying the to service academies this year, is that he ought to take it as many times as necessary to get his test score to his target (you decide what is reasonable and what you need to aim for).

    That said, I also think that before you take the test the next time take a bit to figure out what you need to do to raise the score.

    For instance, you can get a cracking the SAT or ACT book from the library, do the SAT question of the day, do one or two sections of a sample test every weekend focusing on shoring up your weaknesses ...

    You'll do best if you do something to actively raise the score in addition to simply retaking the test.

    And don't forget that they will combine your best subtest scores to give you an overall score.
     
  9. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    good, fair counsel ...with one major caveat.

    If it was that simple, why not do that the first time?

    The implications include that the more one takes it, the more the scores will go up. And all it takes is ongoing preparation.

    For some, many, whether sound counsel or mere luck, scores will increase.
    However, SAT stats show for an equal "some, many" ...those scores go down.

    So, take them early and often. Study as hard time #1 as time #6 or #7. But do not assume multiple exams will or won't make a difference. It's a toss up according to SAT reports.

    And most definitely take both exams, if at least a 2nd attempt has merit.
     
  10. cylee1208

    cylee1208 Member

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    Congratulations to your daughter!! :thumb: About how long was the wait before she actually got the LOA and when the ACT scores were updated to the CIS? And is the score of 32 the composite or the avg. for just the Math and English? I was told that for the ACT the two scores that really mattered were Math and English. Is this correct?
     
  11. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    1. Take both tests
    2. Test smarter by preparing A LOT ahead of time

    Even though I have not yet begun to apply, I have direct experience in performing a lot better on the ACT (Twice) vs SAT/PSAT (taken SAT once and PSAT Twice).

    I mean by testing smarter is in being better prepared before taking the test each time. I have a friend who received her 2400 scores online yesterday (we live in SC- somewhere between 40-50 in education in the country and attend a school with 44 percent grad. rate- and we do not have tutors/ test prep class). That was her first time.

    Personally, I use some of the test prep books:
    Princeton review
    Kaplan
    and the one by the ACT Company
    Barrons 36 book is a very good recourse for people in the 27-29 range trying to get into the 30s

    Within 8 months I took the ACT twice:
    first time: 28 comp- 31 math, 28 eng, 26 sci, 27 reading
    second time: 30 comp- 33 math, 30 eng, 33 sci, 22 reading (yes, a huge drop!)

    I did at least 12 practice tests and worked all the drills within each book.
     
  12. FutureNavyPilot

    FutureNavyPilot Fearless

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    Thanks all for the sound advice! I have taken an online course for the SAT, which I obviously need to do more often and I will probably buy some books as well.

    Oh, also, congrats to you navy2016 for being so early and prepared as a junior! That's really something to be proud of.
     
  13. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    Personally, and based on my experience taking the CPA exam, I strongly recommend prospects to start preparing to take the SAT and ACT exams in TENTH grade, to use study guides in preparation, and to be prepared to take the exam that works best for the individual more than once! You will need these scores when you apply for NASS in Feb of your junior year anyway so why not get started? I know many guidance counselors don't agree, but the SAT/ACT scores are heavy hitters as initial screening tools in most reputable schools - they are important! My basic tenet is that FAMILIARITY BREEDS BETTER SCORES.
     
  14. N.Leondaridis.Mena

    N.Leondaridis.Mena Member

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    Agree with everything everyone has said.

    I've taken the SATs 6 times and the ACT once, and by no means am I a hot-shot when it comes to standardized testing. Keep in mind they do a whole-person evaluation and SAT scores are only a portion of it. Took it June my freshman year, October, January, and June sophomore year, and then October and December my Junior year. But the main thing is study. If you're not great with standardized testing, the main thing is to make an effort to show you've tried and get your best scores.
     
  15. onee

    onee Member

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    Confused about LOA

    I guess I don't understand how they choose who gets an LOA. My son has a 34 ACT score, varsity letters in two sports, won the Wendy's Heisman for his school, has been chosen first in the country at leadership academy, commanding officer of his nationally decorated NJROTC honor unit which placed first in the country and has more awards for community service and leadership than I can count, literally. He has a 4.0, is ranked in the top 2% of his class of 600 students in a school rated with academic excellenc and is taking 4 AP classes. His application process was finished early and he had glowing recommendations. What DO you have to do for an LOA?
    Sorry, I guess I am just venting. However, I am curious.
     
  16. CandidateElias15

    CandidateElias15 USNA '15 Appointee

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    After hearing that, I dont know why I received an LOA. However, I'm sure your son will receive an appointment given work and time, and thats what we're all striving for.
    I could PM you my resume, with scores, but I hardly doubt that would really matter, as a LOA is just a piece of paper while an appointment, a folder =).
     
  17. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Indeed, none on here can inform LOA decisions, only the symptoms of those receiving them. Conversely, there are often many superior candidates who do not receive them.

    This is classic wasted worry.
     
  18. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Thank you cylee1208. She took the ACT 9/11 and CIS and WP updated a week after scores came out. However, she emailed all points of contact with her scores before the academies received them from the reporting agency. It took AFA the longest to have the stats change. 32 was her composite score: 32 math & 32 english. I don't know if the math and english sores are what really matters.

    Well, I wish my daughter had those stats, so like CandidateElias15, I have no clue as to why one is given an LOA vs. another. It is a mystery to me too. All I can say is hang in there :smile:. Your son appears to have it all and it won't go unnoticed. As said many times on this forum, many qualified applicants will not get an LOA, but do indeed get the appointment. Breath. Wait. It will happen.


    God bless.
     
  19. onee

    onee Member

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    Thanks for encouragement

    Thanks for your kind words. I just need to relax. If it will be, than it will be.
    Patience has never been my virtue. Guess I will have to learn some and quick. LOL
     
  20. onee

    onee Member

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    CandidateElias15, I mean no disrespect. I am sure your resume is very impressive as well. Thank you for the offer of your resume. I was just being a frustrated mom. Good luck to you in securing your nomination. What state are you in ?
     

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