SAT Question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by cougar64, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. cougar64

    cougar64 Member

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    I am currently a junior and will be taking my first SAT in two weeks. I understand that the Academy looks at the best score, if I take multiple. I was wondering if I should NOT enter the AFA's code on the SAT and then send a photocopy of the score report if I like the scores.

    Should I wait till after I get the results to send the scores to the Academy? If so how would I send my scores?

    If I take SAT Subject Tests and do well on them should I send those scores in? or do they not effect my chances.
     
  2. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    Since they do accept your best scores, I'd go ahead and send them. I took the SAT a total of 3 times and sent my scores to them each time.

    As far as subject tests, they don't use them for admissions so may as well not.
     
  3. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

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    Send them as you'll be allowed to update them as many times as needed. It also saves you a fee that you'd incur sending them later on!
     
  4. cgchris99

    cgchris99 Member

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    By the way, you can't send photocopies of your scores. They have to come from the reporting agency or your school. Save yourself some money and have them sent directly when you take the test.
     
  5. katamonk

    katamonk USAFA 2015 Appointee

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    Trust me, you do not want to have to send SAT scores after taking the test. Do yourself a favor and send your scores to the schools you are interested in while it's free.
     
  6. cougar64

    cougar64 Member

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    But this is only going to be my first time taking the test and I assume it will be the worst one. Will constantly updating my scores be looked at the same as if I send the best score after I've taken them all?

    Will they completely disregard terrible scores and only use the best test score during the admission process? Or if I send multiple through score reports, and having one horrible score effect my chances?
     
  7. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

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    No, I took my ACT multiple times. Focusing on different parts. And scores fluctuated. My portal shows the best of each. Take it as many times as needed, the worst thing that can happen is they see how determined you are. You'll be fine!
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If you are concerned about what you will score the rule of thumb is to place a 0 behind your PSAT score. If you got a 219 on your PSAT it wouldn't be uncommon to get in the 2100-2200 marker.

    As other have stated, they superscore. The best approach is to take it multiple times and each time study for one aspect of the test this way you keep raising the score dramatically.

    Also take the ACT. Our DS took both, the SAT 2x and the ACT 1x, in the end it was his ACT score that converted to be higher than his SAT. He had 2190 on the SAT. He is stronger in math and science. 34 on the ACT.

    Our DD was the opposite, it was her SAT score that was better....mainly because the ACT IMPO is more math and science than the SAT; she is strong in the verbal, weak in science.
     
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I tutor students on the Math section of both the SAT and ACT. Pima is absolutely correct that you need to take both tests. They are very different tests and many students score higher on one than the other. Practicing taking the tests can improve your score on either test. I recommend taking both tests and then focusing on the test that the student is most comfortable with.

    SAT Basics
    1. A reasoning test
    2. Test of general thinking and problem solving skills - Questions tend to be more abstract
    3. 225 minutes plus 25 minute experimental section that doesn't count
    4. 3 components - Critical Reading/Math/Writing
    5. Points deducted for incorrect answers
    6. Scores of 200-800 for each section, overall score is summation of the sections
    7. Less questions than the ACT and time is less of a factor
    8. Math content: Arithmetic, Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry - basic equations provided at start of each math section, diagrams to scale unless noted otherwise, some questions are open response (fill in the blank)
    9. Reading Content: Reading comprehension, sentence completion
    10. Stronger emphasis on vocabulary
    11. More actual sections to the test which can challenge students to allocate their time efficiently among the questions.

    ACT Basics
    1. An achievement test
    2. Tests skills and knowledge that align more with traditional high school curriculum - Questions tend to be more concrete
    3. 175 minutes plus optional 30 minute writing section
    4. 5 components - English/Math/Reading/Science plus optional Writing
    5. No points deducted for incorrect answers
    6. Scores of 1-36 for each section, composite score is the average of the 4 required sections
    7. Math content: Arithmetic, Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Trig - No equations provided, diagrams not to scale unless noted
    8. Reading Content: Reading Comprehension
    9. Science Content: Analysis, interpretation and evaluation of science-based material, although NO science knowledge is required or tested. This is really an evaluation of reading and reasoning skills.
    10. Tends to have more straight forward questions
    11. Reading intensive - 3 of 4 tests involve reading comprehension and 2 sections have brutal time requirements
    12. Writing section is optional and not currently required by USAFA but the writing section is required by many other schools including USMA. I advise taking it.
    Bottom line is that both tests evaluate you on how well you can take the test. If you KNOW the test through study and practice you can significantly improve your score unless you all ready have a close to perfect or perfect score and then I suspect you are not reading this thread. . .
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Great info from an analytical perspective.

    I have to say I am the hard arse Mom, and one that hates superscoring. I liked what we had in my day...2 tries, and you got the best out of those 2 tries, if you wanted to go for a 3rd, you risked the chance of getting dinged (they than avg. your scores).

    IMPO it now is insane because of superscoring kids can have 2400, just due to the fact that they can take the SAT 8 times, and all admissions looks at is the best of all those tests. We do not do this for AP's. We still have the 1 shot option.

    I think by superscoring we are in fact diluting the intention of the test and it is now a money making aspect.

    Colleges superscore because to get the best applicant they must play the game of keeping up with the Jones's.

    Can you tell I hate this system?

    Heck, if we allowed our DS to play the take it 4 times, I bet his final superscore would have been 2300+, however, to me that would have been because he learned how to take the test and not the knowledge in his cranium.

    I am not trying to insult anyone, this is just my opinion. One from a Mom that has 2 kids in college and knows the bigger downfall once you get there if all you do is learn how to take a test. Calculus at college is about understanding the method, not about practice tests. It is the mathematical foundation that you have that will determine how hard or easy the class will be.
     
  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Pima, I hear what you are saying but the reality is that both the SAT and ACT are all about how well a student can take the test (as well as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT which are all manufactured by The College Board, the makers of the SAT). When a college really wants to evaluate how much the student understands in a particular content area they require the SAT II or AP scores for that area (Both also made by The College Board). Nice business. . .

    As you know, practice, practice, practice is the way to increase your score on the ACT or SAT. For the math section, there is sometimes a significant discrepancy between how well a high school senior is doing in Calculus and how high they score on the test. In fact, often Calculus students need a good review since most of the math on both tests is from 7, 8 or 9th grade and they have forgotten their basics in areas like triangles.

    So I would argue that your son's SAT score was never an accurate indicator of what was in his head nor was it a particularly accurate predictor of how well he would do in college, ROTC, or life in general. But we do know two things for sure. One, clearly he is a good standardized test taker. And two, The College Board's profit margins were lower those two years because you failed to have your son take the SAT five more times.
     
  12. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I don't see that taking the tests multiple times is any different than sending your kids to an ACT or SAT prep class. Both of my older two kids took the ACT at least once every year from 8th grade on through the Midwest Talent Search program at Northwestern. Every time, their scores improved, and in the end, neither of them were superscored because they got their highest scores on their last test.

    I also consider it a very wise investment. The oldest one is at USAFA, so my college costs have been zero. The second one is now a Junior at UW and my total cost for her education so far is $1700, and that's only because she chose to go to Costa Rica for one of her biology classes.

    The higher your score, the more opportunities will present themselves. I believe in using every chance that you are given.

    Stealth_81
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think everyone agrees to use the opportunities available to the best of their advantage. However, the issue for me, as someone who worked in the educational system, are we losing sight?

    Are we teaching the test (SAT, ACT) through repetition compared to the AP where it is a one time thing?

    This thread is quickly becoming off topic.

    Back to the OP. For the AFA take it often, and take both the ACT and SAT. The AFA will take the best SAT or the best ACT when it comes to PAR.

    It is a personal choice on how you approach SATs...study guides or multiple Saturdays. Neither is best, nor right for everyone. Some students can't do the multiple SATs due to athletic reasons. Some students can. It is what is best for you.
     

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