SAT vs ACT scores

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by storm88, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. storm88

    storm88 New Member

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    Here is a question that has been nagging at me for a while.

    USMA admissions says it will accept EITHER the SAT or ACT.

    RC suggests (and this forum) suggests to take both exams, multiple times and a super-score will be created.

    They are both somewhat different tests and although they measure similar abilities, one candidate might score way better on one test than the other. My son scored very well on the SAT after three attempts, around 2000 total, but scored poorly on the ACT after being advised to take it to help his chances. Now there is a score that is probably in "risk" category on his portal. Will he be penalized in the long run because of this? Class rank is very high, sports, activities, etc all in place. Nomination is in as well.

    My question is this: will a competitive score on the SAT outweigh/cancel out the poor score on the ACT (Yes, he is taking the ACT again to improve..he just had a really bad day) I know they both have the same weight in the total scoring of the candidate.

    I know that someone here will say you should do exceptionally well on both tests to attend USMA and I don't disagree. But that isn't my issue. Some people only take one of the tests because they are fully aware that they might do poorly on the other. Those candidates are extended an offer of admission even though they might have done poorly on the other standardized test...and there is no way of knowing for sure unless both are taken.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you might have.
     
  2. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I can't remember anyone ever saying that you should do well on both the SAT and ACT to get into West Point. I think my cadet only took the SAT one or two times before switching to the ACT. He is more of a math/science person and to him, the ACT seemed more geared to the way his brain worked. My oldest son is very verbal and did great on the SAT.

    Once my cadet switched to the ACT, he took it multiple times and always seemed to improve somewhere. West Point keeps the best scores in each category.

    JMO, I don't see any benefit in flipping back and forth between each test, trying to improve. Let him decide which one he thinks he can raise and take it again.
     
  3. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    No need to worry if a candidate takes both tests but doesn't perform at the same level on both.

    West Point will evaluate you based on the standardized test that you did the best on - whichever test benefits the candidate the most.

    storm88 - in your son's situation - his academic evaluation will be based on his SAT scores and he will not be penalized because of his ACT scores.

    It is still advised that all candidates take both tests, because most do perform better on one than the other and you really don't know which one that is until you take both.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    They'll take the best scores from either the SAT or the ACT and ignore the rest. So in your case the current ACT scores will be ignored. Applicants to ANY college are not penalized for taking both tests and doing poorly on one. I don't know the breakdown of the SAT scores, just the overall 2000. But if he did well in math and CR then I see no need to repeat the ACT. Of course it can't hurt either.
     
  5. storm88

    storm88 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice! We can breathe a little easier now.
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ^ ditto what Kinnem said. If I recall correctly, ACT scores are converted into SAT scores, and then the highest SAT or SAT converted ACT score is kept from both Math and CR, separately (Superscoring). Writing was not used.
     
  7. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Not true for West Point.
    Candidates are evaluated on either the ACT or SAT score - whichever benefits them the most.
    ACT MUST be taken with writing.
     

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