SAT/ACT brings down my application


New Member
Jul 8, 2017
I have attended Summer Seminar and wish to continue my USNA application.

My high school GPA brings my rank to 1/50 and I am on two varsity sports, one of which I was captain.
I hold leadership positions in the music department of my school and volunteer through my youth group. (These are the two bigger extracurricular activities, along with some others)

That being said, USNA can easily pick at my 1350 SAT score and 28 ACT score. While I plan to retake these exams, I am worried about my application.

Does anyone know, how heavily weighted the standardized test scores are in the USNA application?


Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Jul 26, 2008
I'll chime in here; not because I'm a "Blue and Gold Officer" because I'm not, I'm the air force equivalent. I have worked with many candidates that have entered USNA and I got to know the B&GO's pretty well and we compared notes.

YES...standardized test scores are HEAVILY weighted on the application; for all the SA's. It seems like you think that without them you'd have a higher overall score; trust me when I say this, without them you have no score.

So that being said...let's break this down. You said "USNA can easily pick at my 1350 SAT score and 28 ACT score." Okay...that's pretty vague; for example: is that ACT score of 28 your overall score or ? And the 1350 that a combination of two scores or three? If you said: "I scored 33Math, 25English, 28R, 28S for a 28 composite", I'd say work on the English and get it up to at least 30. You have a decent score setup. If you said "My SAT math is 700 and critical reading is 650, I'd say you have a GOOD score package but go do it again to try to get higher.

The bottom line though on standardized tests is this: until you have 800/800 or composite of 35/36....keep testing! You can't hurt yourself; the SA's "super score" and you can only stay where you are or go higher!!!

Trust me; I took 12 of these nasties in my quest...



Nov 4, 2016
I was wait listed with a 28 composite ACT. I had other things to even things out (24 credit hours with all A's, Eagle, adult leadership, etc). Over the summer, study for the ACT (only english or only math) and plan to take the test in September. When I applied my first year, I had a 22 composite. After being wait listed (second year), I studied the ACT math section from May 3rd to June 8th for the June 10th test. and scored a 31 composite.

If I can bring my ACT from a 22 to a 31 composite, you can at least raise that 28 a few points. Get to studying! and good luck


15-Year Member
Jul 17, 2007
There are usually lots of threads on here about SAT/ACT scores. However, the OP generally provides no information about how well they are actually doing in the related math/english classes in h.s. If you are not good in those subjects, you are unlikely to get top-notch scores on such standardized tests which typically measure one's grasp of basic subject matter. Taking the test multiple times won't make up for a lack of skill in the areas being tested.

No one on this forums works in USNA admissions, so we can't answer questions about how much SAT/ACT scores matter in the application process. However, you are applying to a VERY competitive program where top students from across the country are competing for admissions. Obviously, to increase you chance for an appointment, you need to make your application the best it can possibly be in all of the areas admissions evaluates. Admissions also looks at your class rank vs. how well you perform on standardized tests since a mismatch can indicate your h.s. isn't as rigorous as some others.


5-Year Member
Feb 2, 2017
If you can swing it financially, go to a test prep course. DD raised her ACT from 31 to 35. Doing better on this test requires that you finish the test and they will help you achieve that.


5-Year Member
Feb 6, 2017
DS took his first SAT with just Khan Academy help. Raised his English and Math both by 70 points or so from his PSAT. He's now using free Princeton Review materials he obtained from his athletic trainer (he gets 5 copies free a year), and loves it! It does a better job of teaching the test quirks while KA teaches the material.

Old Navy BGO

10-Year Member
Jan 5, 2012
Standardized College Board (SAT/ACT) score are important, and are a significant part of the whole person evaluation -- they are one of the few totally (?) objective measurements available, and are (supposedly) a predictor of how well you will perform at the College level. (Personally, I don't necessarily agree, an sometimes think that ACT/SAT's are over rated, but who am I to go against the wisdom of higher education ?) High School grades and ranks are all relative -- while Admissions gets a profile of your school, all high schools are different and I suspect that they all "puff" and overstate their credentials to some degree.

I don't think anyone knows how USNA's whole person algorithm works, but it is my understanding that the Math scores are weighted more heavily than Verbal/English. (I once heard Math has 2x the impact as Verbal). That is understandable given USNA's technological orientation.