SAT to ACT

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by azhockey, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. azhockey

    azhockey New Member

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    Does anyone know how ACT scores translate to SAT scores, for example a 30 ACT score is equivalent to what on the SAT? Can someone also tell me which is a better score, a 27e/33m or a 580v/710m, so I can put more focus on one. Thanks a lot!
     
  2. The Commissioner

    The Commissioner Retired Staff Member Founding Member

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    Here is a comparison table.
     
  3. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    By comparing the grades as posted in the class profiles, your ACTs appear somewhat better. Great American posted an individual comparison on the "other" forum several months ago. Perhaps he can repost it here.

    Composite average SATs for candidates coming directly from high school has historically been in the 1350+ range.

    One thing that is worth considering, especially if your MOC selects primary nominations, is to do well in the test that his board recognizes. Which is the more common test in your area? In your case, if it is the ACT, you are golden. If it is the SAT, you might want to consider continuing to work on both, ACTs for the Academy and SATs for the MOC board.
     
  4. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Several have suggested taking the test most common to a candidate's region suggesting the nominators won't recognize, understand or interpret the other sufficiently. My own suggestion is take the one you do best on and trust that these folks are sufficiently intelligent and informed to grasp what you're presenting. Especially since the USNA says either/both are fully fine and in order. Send copy of the translating sites and tables if you're concerned and even a cover letter doing the translation for them if you fear they won't get it. Now, the ACT is recognized and received at virtually every college and university in the U.S. regardless of geography, and our personal experience has been that Congressmen and Senators and their staffs are fully informed, especially among those that are engaged in the nomination process. And there are now nearly equal numbers of students taking each exam.

    My recommendation is submit your best test and if that's the SAT in New Mexico or the ACT in Maryland, be fully confident that your MOC will get and understand your best effort. Remember this is part of their business and responsibility. Wherever your best is, that's what you should provide per directions from the USNA admissions.
     
  5. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    It's all a matter of perspective. Does the candidate want to do the minimum, the average, or everything he can to get appointed. The candidate doing everything possible, within his area to affect, to get into an Academy; will leave no stones unturned. If that involves taking both the SAT and the ACT, it is a small price to pay.

    We also don't know how many times he has taken each and where he stands on the normal range of distribution. Another SAT testing may see dramatic improvements.

    WP, you have a lot more faith in the MOC process than many. Remember that it is usually a group of volunteers, some with very little guidance, that comprise the boards.

    I guess maybe I could have been more forthright. In this particular situation, with each score being what it is, I would recomment he retake both.
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    azhockey:

    You have time this fall to retake both the ACT and the SAT - so take them both again.
    Your math score is pretty high and that is good, but you should still be working on getting your CR or English score higher.
    Retaking the SAT's and/or ACT's shows that you are working to make your package better. This shows drive and initiative.

    Send both sets of scores, even if one is higher than the other. When you retake the tests this fall, you probably want the scores to get to the Acadmey and MOC rather quickly so register for the scores to be sent directly to them when your test is graded.
    When you send your official high school transcripts with your nomination package all of your test scores will be on your transcripts anyway, provided they were sent to your high school.

    Competition in Congressional Districts can vary widely from year to year - just go out there and do your best and present the best possible package.
    If a candidate is concerned that a MOC committee may not recognize excellent ACT scores, there may be an opportunity either in an essay or during the interview to bring that up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  7. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    I tend to agree wtih WP and believe that the MOC staff know the ACT/SAT routine and regardless of what is more common in their area, they are well versed. It is, after all, their job and the SA's do provide them with training at each SA as well as various other training materials. The nominating committee may be made of volunteers, true, but my understanding is that the MOC staff meets with them and explains the process and the value of the tests. That is not to say they discuss specific candidates but rather that they discuss the process ... I would like to think that the people on the committee are dedicated and proud to be on the committee and view it as a high honor and responsibility to make the best selections possible. Perhaps my experiences are atypical but I think the system, at least in our area, is set up such that either test can be used and I feel confident that our MOC and nominating committee is versed enough to understand.
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I don't think the problem is so much as in deciphering the scores as being able to compare candidates.
    Every candidate is competing against the others in a congressional (or senatorial) district. If a congressman gets 20 candidates for a slate of 10 and 19 took the SAT's and one took the ACT's then it might be difficult to compare, especially if the scores are in the middle of the pack.


    Each candidate should take the test most common in their area. Then unless they got top scores - 2400 SAT or 36 ACT they should take the other test.
    Send all scores to MOC's and the Academy.

    To answer Azhockey's questions - since this candidate has already taken both, that is great. Go ahead and take both tests again. You probably only have one time in the Fall to take them again for your MOC. Then if you get a nomination and want to do better to get that appointment, take the test you did the best in.
     
  9. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    So, WP, 2011's mom, what do you suggest to azhockey? It sounds as if you are suggesting that he forget the SATs. True?

    It has nothing to do with honor,pride, responsibility and dedication but everything to do with familiarity. A board member who prepped for the SATs, took the SATs, whose friends took the SATs, and whose kids took the SATs is much more familiar with the SATs than the ACTs. There are certain areas of the country where NO ONE takes the ACTs. And I am sure the opposite applies.

    Bingo. The only official comparison that I have ever seen was the composite scores which The Commissioner posted. When I sat on MOC boards many years ago, that was the comparison handed to us. There is not enough information given to accurately compare the individual sections to each other. In the SATs, a given percentile verbal score is lower than the same percentile math score. How is this compensated in an ACT/SAT comparison? One has to guess to a certain extent, and, in my opinion, people are going to favor the familiar.

    I am actually kind of shocked that you are advising candidates not to approach the application process being as well prepared as they possible can.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  10. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Of course one should do "everything" and more. But "everything" is like "beauty." It depends.

    Let's bring this back to the original point which had nothing to do with not doing "everything."

    Some are suggesting that candidates focus their testing efforts based on geography. ACT if you're Midwest/West, SATs for those in the East. Why? Because the local MOC, his/her staff or volunteer committees won't be able to translate the scores more prevalent in the other regions of the country.

    I disagree. Take that which you are best at and as often as you continue to improve and your parents and you can afford in money, time, effort. That is precisely what the USNA will do, i.e. take your best scores regardless of which test, when they were taken (post Jan of the junior year).

    Further I would not recommend taking the SAT or ACT repeatedly simply because it's the test someone else thinks that yet other someones might understand better. That's presumptious at least, arrogant at worst. Presuming that MOCs, their staffers and their volunteer committees are unable to translate ACTs to SATs or ACTs to SATs.

    My point: Focus on the one you do best on and don't worry about the MOC. Paid staffers who do this year in, year out are the information gatekeepers and I'm fully confident they are capable of translating for any volunteers who don't understand the tests.

    Doing "everything" is like saying "take the test until you've done your best." Neither of which make any sense of course. One does their best, barring exceptions for illness, etc., everytime they take the test. One always does "everything" they can to put forth their best efforts.

    You're right though about my having more confidence in MOCs than you. I've not heard of a single instance where MOCs who allow and encourage either/both exams have been found unable to translate. That may be true for BGOs who are all volunteers.

    My default position were I a candidate would be vigorously pursue the test which works best and is allowed and encouraged by USNA. Be it the ACT or SAT. And do everything and my best ... always and every time I were to take it. And I'd not be shocked if the candidate succeeds.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  11. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Lets do an exercise. Take the Commissioner's comparison chart, which is either the SAT or the ACT official conversion, the other is similiar, and convert azhockey's individual ACT scores to equivilant SAT scores. The only thing you can do is make an educated guess which is not fair to anyone.

    I have been a volunteer sitting on two MOC boards with a single ACT combined with the remainder being SATs. The ACT was as foreign to the staffers as it was to the board members. On both cases we were simply given that year's version of the Commissioner's posted chart and told to fend for ourselves. The CGO has specific whole person points to ascribe to each specific math and English ACT score which are not available to anyone else.

    Maybe it doesn't make sense to you but it does to most. Time management and testmanship are important parts of each test. Some master these procedures in practice tests, some do not. Until a student has taken a single test mastering both these concepts, he can do better. Furthermore, even after a single test where he has "done his best" he still doesn't know where he falls in his normal range. He should continue to take the test until he is assured that he is on the upper end of his own personal bell curve.

    In this particular case, I was simply starting a dialogue, hoping azhockey would give us some more particulars. ACTs are based more on attained knowledge and once an individual has mastered the intricies of the test itself, scores are more fixed. There is more movement in the SATs, and should these scores be his initial, he should most definitely retake in order to do everything he can to posture himself in the best light.

    WP, your naivitity amazes me. MOCs are voted in and out of office continuously. The Academy laison, I have found, is usually a part timer, who works out of one of the regional offices. Once a year, they prepare themselves for the nomination processes. Many are marginal at best. I honestly believe that much of the misinformation promulgated by parents on these forums is a result of marginal conversations between themselves and the parents. The BGOs. which you attempt to dispare above, have been trained. The MOC reps have not. They're not quite as bad as persons attempting to give advice based on what they read on these forums, but sometimes they seem close.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  12. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    It goes without saying that a candidate truly interested gaining a nomination & appointment will do his/her best. If not, perhaps the individual is not as interested at gaining admission as others may believe. That being said - the candidate should determine which test he/she scores best at & try to improve those scores. I realize the scenario regarding the one ACT vs. the multiple SAT candidates & the committee trying to figure it all out - the reality is, for the most part, that situation will not be the norm. The MOC staffers are trained by the SA's via visits to SA's with training seminars during that time as well as regular contact. It is my belief that, at least in our area - and I suspect most areas, the MOC staffer ensures that the nominating committee understands the test models. Could the lone ACT mixed in with lots of SAT's occur, thereby resulting in potential difficulty for the committee to decide - yes. It is the MOC staffer job to understand that & ensure all candidates are given equal opportunity. If you don't have faith in your MOC staff then I guess there could be an issue. Otherwise, focus on the test that you do best at & master it to the best of your ability. Take control of those things for which you have control & have faith in the rest.

    That's my two cents worth.
     
  13. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    I hope all these irrelevant side notes have not scared off azhockey.
     
  14. azhockey

    azhockey New Member

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    Hey guys, sorry for the late response. No I have not been scared off, I’ve found lots of this useful. In Arizona, according to Wikipedia, the popular test is the SAT, but I know lots of students also take the ACT. I'm really not sure how these MOC's all work so thanks for all your input. I talked to my congressman's service academy secretary a while ago to find out the ballpark range for test scores, and she said 1100-1300 for SAT's and gave me a very unsure 28 for the ACT. She actually told me that they do not think as highly of the ACT as they do the SAT, so I'm a bit worried because I feel I have a slight edge on the ACT. I have taken the SAT twice and the ACT once, and have applied at USNA, USMA, and USAFA. But, I have been buried in books and studying SAT/ACT prep books for hours a day, so would it hurt to take each at every opportunity just in case? Is that a good idea to send them a comparison chart or a kind of follow-up? I don't have any say in what scores the MOC boards or Academies use, is that correct?
     
  15. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Your SAT/ACT score is the single most important item in your application process right now over which you have the most control. You are smart to be buried in the books this summer. You are correct, I think, in that your ACTs are better than your SATs. I think your MOC's secretary was a little light on the scores. Like I mentioned earlier, 1350+ is average SATs for candidates coming straight from high school, and also a 28 ACT Math is in the lower half of successful candidates. Shoot higher.

    Without knowing the rest of your package, with your SAT/ACT scores standing on their own, I would take both as often as I could, concentrating on increasing your Verbal/English primarily, and your SAT math secondarily. I think you have about four takes of each available between now and your going before the board.

    Send them all to the Academy and let them sort it out.

    If there is someplace on your MOC application to explain the comparison between the two tests, yes, I would utilize it.

    Good luck.
     
  16. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    One more time so that your good question is not lost in all the rhetoric...

    The above counsel is notably irrelevant and presumes either ignorance or stupidity on the part of those who've directed you to submit scores from either test. If your MOC nomination source(s) asks for either/both test scores ... and you are stronger on the ACT vs. SAT ... and you reside in Rhode Island ... or Timbucktoo... go with the ACT. The USNA will do same. And I'm fully confident that even a New England Democratic MOC and/or staffers and volunteers can fully figure this out.

    You're being asked to worry and address something that is totally unnecessary, "irrelevant", and purely speculative and presumptious as well as NOT what your MOC and USNA call for. Give 'em your best and go get 'em. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
  17. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Luckily he asked the question instead of depending on your advice huh?

    WP, the academies are very difficult to get into. Most people realize this. There are many many things that a candidate might do, which in no way can hurt him, but cause him a little extra work and might possibly give him a slight edge. I will do everything in my power to assist these candidates obtaining this edge. Much of your "advice" is counter to this philosophy. One might wonder at your true agenda.
     

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