SAT vs ACT

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by fruitytooties, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. fruitytooties

    fruitytooties Member

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    hello!

    what if I know that I'm going to bomb the SAT, would it be wise for me to not take it and just focus on the ACT?
    If I do take sat and act, and my act scores are better, would the academy only look at the acts and ignore the sats? or is the sats i took be considered an admission factor?
     
  2. Gonzo15

    Gonzo15 USAFA Cadet

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    I didn't even take the SAT and I was appointed in February.

    Composite-30

    Math-27
    Science-28
    Reading-32
    English-34
    Combined English/Writing-29


    But I would still take the SAT if I were you.:wink:
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    First of all; how can you "Know for sure" that you would bomb the SAT? The information required for the SAT and the ACT is the same. The questions are asked different; but it's the same knowledge base. Some say he ACT is easier. Some say the SAT is easier. Have you already taken the SAT? Have you already taken the ACT? How do you know what the score will be.

    To answer your question; the academies use the best scores all around. In other words; if you took the ACT 3 times. The first time you scored a 500 on math, the second time you scored 600, and the 3rd time you scored 650; they would take the 650. They would also take the highest score for another area if it was in the 1st test. The same with the SAT. Also, if you take BOTH; the academy will mix and match. They are going to take the BEST score, no matter where or when it came from.

    You can sign you name; get diarrhea; leave and score a 0 on the test; and it won't matter as long as you have a previous or future test with better scores. I suggest taking both tests if you can afford it; and take the tests as many times as you possibly can. I've only known 2 people that decided to take the ACT and SAT once each. And I've only known 1 person to only take the ACT and didn't take the SAT. All 3 of these individuals were 4.0 gpa students in High School. All were in the IB program or a full AP schedule. All scored a minimum area score on ACT of 29; with composite scores of 30-32. They had pretty much a full resume and application. They knew that the SAT/ACT wasn't going to give them any more of an edge than they had. All 3 were correct. I believe the highest composite score the academy gives on the academic portion of the application package is like 805. (For the air force; 3rd person went to west point so I don't know their scoring). But the 2 going to air force both maxed the academic portion at 805 or whatever the score is. It's been a while. And no, that score isn't readily available. But some ALO's can help find your scores if you care enough. Anyway, these 3 students pretty much aced what they had to so trying again on the ACT/SAT was a waste of time.

    But for all applicants, I always suggest that you take the SAT/ACT as many times as you can. That 0 point increase on SAT or that 2 point increase on ACT could be the difference between an appointment and not getting one. Remember; I've said it at lest 50 times; applying to the Air Force Academy is the "JOB INTERVIEW" of your life. Applying to Harvard is a breeze compared to this. Give it 100% all the time.
     
  4. JustCallMeDan7

    JustCallMeDan7 USAFA Cadet

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    i only took the SAT and took it twice...no change really. I got a 1900
     
  5. kt.gipson@gmail.com

    kt.gipson@gmail.com Member

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    Crazy how similar we were on scores. I have 30 comp, 28 math, 28 science, 34 english, 31 reading :shake:
     
  6. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    I took the PSAT and didn't do well, so I just took the ACT. Got a 31 composite, LOA in October.
     
  7. weathermom

    weathermom Member

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    sat and act

    Take both.... I believe SAT is letting you choose whether to report it now or not... check it out. If you really bombed it, you could possibly keep it private... but I believe the academies like to see that you keep trying and keep trying to raise the score....ChristCorp is dead on in explanation as usual. :thumb:
    They(academies) do what is called Superscoring.. take the best for each of the different tests.. like his SAT example. Take it 3 times they take the higest of each of the scores and make that the composite..

    In addition she was told by USNA admissions counselor that they (Navy) mix the SAT and ACT together.. and convert them to an SAT-like score. Not sure how true that is or if any of the others do it...but my daughter scored pretty high in Math on ACT versus the SAT.. but much better on SAT Verbal than ACT...the writing sections were equivalent. I know when she went to SS the AFA said they would not mix those two tests...(as in superscoring).

    Some people do much better on SAT than ACT and vice versa.. for the most part I believe the people I know did better on ACT.. and this seems to be reflected on this thread as well. The key would be to take practice tests.. you can do a lot on the SAT to bring it up.. a lot.

    The trick on the ACT science section is to skip the paragraphs of backround information, look at the graphs/charts etc. and then the questions.. there is a lot of extraneous information that wastes your time, but you can usually pick it out pretty quickly to answer the question. The time compression for science was what my daughter had to most difficulty with on the ACT.

    Good luck.. and remember all these tests from academic to cfa are like the old joke.. "how do you get to Carneige Hall?" "practice, practice, practice" :shake:
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The only problem I can see, is that the SAT/ACT may be a part of your fromal transcript. For our DS it was on it, thus, you can't hide it since the transcript shows the dates and scores.

    Only speaking from ou schol experience, yours may be different.

    Take both, you might do better on one than the other and they superscore. DS in the end had a better ACT(took only 1x) score than SAT(took 2x). I am also big supporter in doing both because ea has a different approach
     
  9. kaullman

    kaullman Member

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    Superscoring ACT/SAT

    True. The USNA admissions folks take your best scores on your best days on your best tests and convert and combine them. Ex: An ACT 32 Math and a SAT1 700 English.

    Navy ROTC does not. They use your best test overall score on your best day. Ex: Your June ACT vice your April SAT1.

    Can't speak for the other SAs or ROTC programs.
     
  10. J.NordicSkier7

    J.NordicSkier7 Candidate

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    I took both and I liked the SAT better (because the writing section was more straight-forward), I got SAT: math 800, crit reading 680, writing 700. ACT: Math 35, science 35, english 34, crit reading 34, writing 7/12 :eek:, composite 35.
     
  11. petermcd123

    petermcd123 Member

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    I have a weird question
    is it best to focus on one section each time you take the sat?
    like completly study for math instead of a little of each math reading writing

    or just study for all of them
     
  12. weathermom

    weathermom Member

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    study for them all...because you never know if the topic or question is going to be right up your alley.. etc.. although I admit that since she did really well on ACT, except the science section the first time.. she did not "worry" too much about the other sections and then focused on the science... although her scores in other subjects stayed about the same.. her science came up 5 points.. which is a ton on the ACT.

    I think you can order an in depth explanation and answer sheet afterwards to see where your weaknesses are (trig.. or calc for example) and that will help you to see where your mistakes were.. use every test as a springboard for the doing better on the next one. BTW.. everytime she took one of the tests.. she said.. "that was the worst test I ever took". She thought she bombed ACT first time...sometimes you just cannot tell.
     
  13. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    I recommend studying for all of them equally for the first time around, then after you receive your scores, revise your studying schedule to focus on the lowest scoring area. Taking an SAT prep class also helps, though the return on investment is questionable (it only raised my score by a little bit). But if it can raise your score just enough to nudge you above the competition, it'll be worth it. Bottom line: DON'T purposely neglect a section, and bank on doing extremely well on another section - that's just too risky. Try your best on every section, every test.
     
  14. l Taz l

    l Taz l Member

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    I did better on the ACT despite the fact that I took the SAT 5 times.....i was persistent. I have heard that students fromthe South tend to do better on the ACT, dunno if that is true though.
     
  15. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Almost everyone I've talked to says the ACT is easier. Not sure how much of that is true and how much is simply repeating what others say.
     
  16. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    The ACT was popular in the south when it came out because southerners did poorly on the SAT, so they made the ACT to help them out. Today, they are the same though. The East and West coast, as well as TX and IN tend to like the SAT better with the midwest and south liking the ACT.
     
  17. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

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    Ok - don't know if this is true or not but son heard at Boys State last summer that the AFA selection committee double weights the math score. Son did extremely well on ACT Math and admissions officer was real excited about it and told him how many points (can't remember but someone in a prior post said that was alot of points) his ACT scores upped his composite score. So.. if you want to concentrate on an area that might not be a bad one to concentrate on. Got an LOA in early Oct. so guess it did really help!
     
  18. fruitytooties

    fruitytooties Member

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    does the air force combine scores of sat with act to figure out your best score or is that only usna? does air force ignore the sat scores or do they still consider them if I do better all the acts.
     
  19. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    They will compile them all to give you the best score as well.
     
  20. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    Superscoring is awesome! Take it as many times as possible until you are satisfied.
     

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