To take the SAT again?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by ngpiro, May 6, 2014.

  1. ngpiro

    ngpiro Member

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    Hello, I am in a bit of a dilema right now trying to decide wheter to take the SAT again in June or to take some subject tests for my second choice schools. You are not able to both at the same time. I took the SAT in January. Without any studying and got a 1630, I was having a bad day. I know that I can do much better than this with some studying. I also have taken the ACT and got a 32 composite with a 31 in english, 30 in math, 32 in reading, and 33 in science. I may also take the act again in june to improve my math section. As for the subject tests, some of my second choice schools require them. I plan on taking the chemistry and math 1 subject tests because I will have just finished ap chem, ap stat, and honors pre calc. I was thinking that I should do the subject tests in june so the chemistry is fresh in my mind. On the other hand I would like to get a better SAT score in time for nominations and june would be the last possible SAT. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

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    Retake all tests until you get an appointment or TWE. You never know what will help and there just isn't any score outside of perfect that is "good enough." Work, work, work right up until IDay.
     
  3. mjm

    mjm Member

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    my suggestion :

    if you can not take the SAT and SAT subject tests the same day take the subject tests and take the ACT... the SAT and ACT dates dont conflict.
     
  4. 1984USNA

    1984USNA Member

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    Check to make sure your MOCs accept the ACT. One in our state did not, so a strong ACT and a weak SAT was a non starter. Lay out your test taking schedule from now thru December. There should be time enough to fit it all in.


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  5. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    That MOC needs to get with the times.....more students take ACT now than SAT so not accepting one vs the other is ridiculous. Quote from the NYT referencing 2012 stats:

    "In fact, the ACT has pulled ahead for the first time: 1,666,017 students took the ACT last year; 1,664,479 took the SAT."
     
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  6. 1984USNA

    1984USNA Member

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    Yea, in more ways than one. ;-)


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  7. Scooter11

    Scooter11 Member

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    I'd have to agree with mjm... Take the subject tests in June. However, some schools will really only consider them when paired with the SAT. The ACT, having 5 different sections, will usually suffice for those schools that accept it (which to my knowledge is every school). In my experience, I took the SAT and ACT each 4 times and saw an increase after each one... Also took 3 subject tests but didn't send any of them. Btw, my congressman/senators accepted test dates through November so you should check to make sure yours don't as well. If you have a goal in the end like I did, keep testing!
     
  8. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    select only the best scores to send. Retake the test as much as you can but only send your top sittings
     
  9. time2

    time2 Member

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    Taking the test over and over doesn't guarantee better scores. I would imagine some also will get lower scores, since the questions aren't the same on each test. If you aren't familiar with the type of questions and how such tests work, then probably good to become familiar with that ahead of time.

    Some people do better on one vs the other so probably a good idea to take both the SAT and the ACT. I don't think you can really study for either test since they tend to ask more of what I would call general knowledge in a wide variety of areas you learn all though high school.

    Do what you think makes sense for you.
     
  10. ngpiro

    ngpiro Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. How much do test scores impact the nominations process? My concern is not having an improved SAT score to go with my nominations applications because the June SAT is the last test until October. From my state only my congressmen accepts ACT scores. Also, where do I stand with a ACT composite score of 32? Thanks again.
     
  11. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    Per admissions, USNA looks at Math & English on ACT and Math and Critical Reading on SAT. They superscore so will take the top score from any sitting and any test. For my DS, they took Math from SAT and English from ACT.

    Today admissions posted on their Facebook page that 27/27 on the ACT is competitive. Based on those that post on this site there were more than a few who had 30+/30+ or 700+/700+ and still got TWE so, as many have said, you have to take the scores in the context of your entire package.

    It may well be that USNA will look at composite scores and each section but on your 'official' portal as a candidate only Math and English/Reading appear. From DS's discussion with admissions and BGO, there is no magic to having the best scores in one sitting and you ate not 'dinged' for submitting multiple scores.

    IMHO, you should take the SAT in June and see how you do. If you need subject tests for Plan B, C, etc. than take those in the fall.

    Most importantly, get your package together and submitted as soon as possible later this summer. Your ACT scores are already competitive. From my understanding the board will review your package when it is complete. They will also review it when new information comes in - such as higher test scores - that improves your package.

    Good luck.
     
  12. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    I STRONGLY urge you not to take 650/600 or 27/27 as competitive unless you are all-state ranked athlete or otherwise possessor of some outstanding credentials. For ALL prospects: your best bet is to do your absolute best to compile the best scores you possibly can. As someone mentioned earlier, there were candidates for NA'18 who had scores in the 700's (SAT) or 30's (ACT) who received the dreaded TWE for their efforts. No one can tell you what is a safe score (except perfect) because none of us, nor do you, has perfect knowledge of those against whom you will be competing - that's what makes this so challenging. If you want to play the odds, that's your business, but the outcome also will be yours. Big clue: USNA is more concerned with your math scores on the SAT/ACT, and it really isn't known for using other subject scores for candidate selection. Best wishes.
     
  13. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Take the SAT again!
    DS has 36 on the ACT, still got the TWE.
    My limited experience is that SA's don't care about subject tests, and your Plan B,C schools are not going to care if you max out subject tests in history or Spanish or whatever if you SAT score isn't competitive there to begin with. For example, DS was accepted EA, out of state, University of Michigan, College of Engineering, Nuclear Engineering; to even be considered, he had to have at least 34 on the ACT (plus all his other stuff, but you get the idea), he could have had 20 awesome subject tests, but his application probably would not have even been opened without the ACT (or SAT conversion) being at their "minimum" score.

    As always, agree with 1964BGO; read the last 1000 posts of "still in the game" of posters' stats that got the TWE. There is something very "special" about the kid with a 27 that got an appointment. Your 32 is a great score at many many universities but may be just starting to scratch the surface for an SA depending on the rest of your stats, where you live, etc.

    Good luck!
     
  14. ND_Candidate

    ND_Candidate Member

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    How did your son not get in with a 36? Did he have no extra curriculars? Lower GPA?
     
  15. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Just not enough slots.
    He had it all, 3.98 Uw/4.93 weighted, 8 out of 320, 2 varsity sports, captain in both, 7 yrs CAP (unit commander twice), AFJROTC (cadet Col, commander), community service, leadership, awards, Boys State, SAME Eng camp, NASS, avgs with a couple maxes on the CFA, NHS, AP scholar, IL state scholar, etc, etc ,etc. He has been preparing for this since third grade, it was all there. There are many many packets like his where the numbers just don't match up. He got an NROTC 4-year to his first choice in the first round and an appointment to AFA, Someone else on his slate got the USNA appt, and the mess that was admissions this year, I doubt anyone came out of the national pool. 1,170 kids is not a lot of slots when you consider there has to be one from each MOC district and state, meet the diversity requirements of the class, prior service, athletes, etc, etc. Which goes to show, nothing is ever "good enough", there is always something more you can do, one more point on a test, one more pull up...and a great couple of backup plans.
     
  16. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    Dial - Wow, your DS is quite accomplished. When was his application for USNA complete? Did he have any DoDMERB delays/waivers? The 'special sauce' is a mystery.....

    UMich Nuclear and NROTC is awesome. Congrats.
     
  17. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    I cant agree strongly enough enough with Dial the gate.

    One challenge that Dial the gate had was that Dial the gate's DS was redistricted to a more competitive district. Had Dial the gate's DS' application cycle been the year before odds would be better.

    We were in tough district when my son applied and the slate winner from the yr before my son had a 36 ACT as well. The slate winner the year before that had a 35. DS knew this and he knew that he had to maximize every single detail to be competitive in our area. A 32 was not close. Oddly e were redistricted this year to a less competitive district (of course there can always be an outlier)

    Regarding the "27/27 being competitve"...Read the following article particularity the section titled: "The Three Card Monte Test Score Range"

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevecohen/2012/09/29/the-three-biggest-lies-in-college-admission/


    -------------------------------


    Actually time2 you are statistically incorrect. I do educational diagnostic testing for a living and had the opportunity, at a professional conference to sit down with some of the research staff @ ACT. Here is what they tell you and here is what the dont tell you.

    ACT tests are valid and reliable in the composite score BUT NOT in their sub scores. In other words at each testing date, when given the ACT the same person should get the same COMPOSITE score each month given-though the actual tests are different. This is NOT true for subscores. Subscores can range (statistically) tremendously. USNA does not care about the composite only Math (weighted more) and English (weighted less). Interesting enough the English section is the easiest to move, Reading is the hardest to move, with Math and science being in the middle.

    WHAT THEY TELL YOU: The average test taker improves 2 COMPOSITE points on the second test and halves that improvement exponentially which each subsequent test. In other words between test 1 and 2 it is +2, between test 2 and 3 it is +1, between test 3 and 4 it is +.5 The higher your score the less likely to move the composite and the tipping point at 34 the composite may go up or down. However, ACT does not keep data past four tests. This may seem like limited variability however...

    WHAT THEY DON'T TELL YOU: subscores range significantly as the test is not designed to demonstrate strong validity and reliability between subscores. And again USNA only cares about Subscores: Math and English.

    So while you are correct it does not
    Statistically it is a very good idea to test and retest. (but use score choice!)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  18. kayaker

    kayaker Mother of USNA Midshipman (Class of 2019)

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    Absolutely correct. I have a quote similar to this posted in our kitchen. Our kids have heard this many a time from DH and me. DS has very similar stats to Dial the gate's DS's stats, though he didn't do Boy's State. He's on the WL at USNA and received 4 year NROTC to MIT, which did not admit him. He's hoping scholarship will transfer to UVa, where he hopes to study while reapplying to USNA. He will do NROTC regardless of whether the scholarship transfers.
    DS took the SAT twice, after taking several practice tests at home. He opted against the ACT because he did not do well on practice tests. "Good enough" is treated like a four letter word in our little world. Take the test until you are satisfied that you can't do better. That's when DS switched to subject tests, but even great scores on those don't help at USNA, and they did not get him in at MIT.
     
  19. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Two main thoughts here:

    1. Don't leave "points on the table." You want to excel in every area possible -- grades, SATs, CFA, etc. No one minor "blip" is going to kill anyone's chances, but they all add up. 660/650 SAT vs. 700/700. Regular calc and chem vs. AP. Earning 2 As and 3 Bs vs. 4 As and 1 B. Running the mile in 6:30 vs. 6:00. Each element is an opportunity for you to shine -- do your very best!

    2. Even if you do all of the above, it may not be enough. The fact is that SAs have more terrific candidate's like Dial's DS than they have slots. And there is the mandated geographic repesentation that the Harvards and Stanfords aren't required to match.

    In the end, you can only do your very best. Just make sure that, when the process is over, you can say you did give 100%.
     
  20. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    +1
     

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