Which score to use

J1317

5-Year Member
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Dec 25, 2016
Messages
39
Hi,
This is my first post so my apologies if this is the incorrect area to post.
I am currently a Junior and have taken both the ACT and SAT. I have a few questions regarding which scores to use.

My ACT breakdown is as follows:
Composite: 32
English: 35
Reading: 35
Math: 27
Science: 32

SAT:
Composite: 1410
Reading: 720
Math: 690

As you can see, I tend to score much higher on reading/English. I am conflicted when it comes to which test I should focus on, or in the case that my scores don't improve, which scores I should use. My ACT reading and English are near perfect, whereas my SAT is relatively high, but definitely not as high as my ACT. However, my SAT Math score is a higher percentile than my ACT Math score. I am aware that the Academies emphasize math. What would be all of your opinions when it comes to this? Thanks!
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
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Your SAT math score is actually quite impressive as it equates to just over a 31 on the ACT scale. Your scores are more than enough to get you into the academy and any additional increase will only help your application. However, think about the whole person character that the academies are looking for. I wouldn't spend all your time trying to increase these very competitive scores if it means taking away from other involvements. Just something to be aware of. Best of luck with the application process.
 

RickD_USAF

Air Force Veteran
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Oct 21, 2016
Messages
368
Agree with 2021. Those are competitive scores. Work at seeking leadership opportunities, volunteerism, and becoming a team captain in a varsity sport. You have time to test again your senior year to raise them. Review the CFA requirements and work to increase those as well.

Best of luck.
 

Nav21

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
18
@Usnacandidate2021 hit it right on the nose. Your scores look good as is, but taking it again can't hurt anything, especially since your a junior.

Assuming you are applying to other colleges, I would work on the ACT. The reason is:
1) Naval Academy doesn't look at science scores at all, and because they super score, you can keep the outstanding English scores and focus entirely on Math without worrying about anything else.
2) I believe SAT forwards more data than ACT (aka, other test scores, number of times test was taken), so if you are applying to other colleges, no matter what happens with ACT you can choose which scores to submit to other colleges, however if you mess up on the SAT then they may see those scores (from what I've heard).

Don't forget to work on other parts of your application. You don't want to overlook physical fitness or leadership! Best of luck!
 

kinnem

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If you're going to focus on a test then focus on the one you feel more comfortable taking. Your scores seem good enough already although they're certainly no guarantee of getting in. There are other aspects of the applications that need attention as well.
 
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Your scores are more than enough to get you into the academy and any additional increase will only help your application. However, think about the whole person character that the academies are looking for. I wouldn't spend all your time trying to increase these very competitive scores if it means taking away from other involvements.
I scored a 35 and got rejected so I think saying a 31 is "more than enough to get you into the academy" is a bit of a stretch.
 
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I got a 1340 on the SAT, and I got an appointment. Your application is more than a standardized test score.
That wasn't the point. The point was telling the OP a 31 is more than enough to get him in is inaccurate, because a 35 was not more than enough to get someone else in.

In other words, instead of sticking with a 31 because it's "more than enough", it would probably behoove the OP to retake the test and try to get a better score, because a 31 might not cut it.
 
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Nav21

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Nov 10, 2016
Messages
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That wasn't the point. The point was telling the OP a 31 is more than enough to get him in is inaccurate, because a 35 was not more than enough to get someone else in.

No need to get mad. I think someone said it earlier, but the point was: A 31 is high enough to get in (for the scores only), but they CAN improve on the Math section. However, there is a lot more to an application than the ACT score. They can score a 36 and still get rejected, because there is SO much more to an applicant. I think OP is at the point where they can begin to look towards improving other sections of their application and not worry so much about scores (except maybe Math, which they had a really good SAT score for, and USNA only looks at the best scores). I wish the OP the best of luck with their future endeavors!
 

cobaltfox

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Nov 11, 2016
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Beachedwhale- Although I see where your coming from, I guarantee it wasn't a nearly perfect ACT score that kept you out.
 
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No need to get mad.
There were never any emotions in my words.
Beachedwhale- Although I see where your coming from, I guarantee it wasn't a nearly perfect ACT score that kept you out.
I played basketball and football in high school and was a team captain. I took the hardest schedule I could possibly take and got A's in every class I took from the beginning of my sophomore year to the time I got rejected. I went to Boys State, which I've read holds the same weight as being an Eagle Scout, and I held the second highest position in my JROTC unit. I maxed out half the sections of the CFA and performed well above average on the rest of the sections. There was no glaring weakness in my application that kept me out. I got rejected because I didn't win my district, and my whole candidate score was lower than 150 other candidates on the national waiting list. What adds to your whole candidate score? Getting a higher score on the ACT/SAT. So when you say it wasn't my ACT score that kept me out, I counter that it was my WCS that kept me out, and my WCS could have been higher if my ACT score had been higher. Would that extra point have pushed me into the top 150 of the national waiting list? I have no idea, but it may have, and in the OP's case, I would say there is a solid chance that the difference between a 31 and a 36 would make the difference between them being in the top 150, and not being in the top 150. Why take the chance? The test takes 4 hours. If the OP gets rejected, do they want to have to go the rest of their life saying "what if I had taken 4 hours of my time to try and get a higher ACT, would I have been able to go to USNA?"

I didn't retake the ACT when I got a score that I perceived to be high enough, and that is a decision that possibly had a profound impact on my life.

My dad once told me it is better to learn from the mistakes from others instead of making the same mistakes yourself. He's not a very smart guy though, so take it with a grain of salt.

-1337BeachedWhale1337
 

cobaltfox

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Nov 11, 2016
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@1337BeachedWhale1337
First off, I want you to know that I am by no means bashing you or trying to say that you didn't work hard during HS or that your application was weak. I'm positive you did everything you could to get in and put your heart into the process like the rest of us.
What I am saying is that I don't think scoring one point higher on the ACT, when you already almost scored a perfect, would have negatively influenced the admissions decision and your WCS by a large margin. I'm NOT saying that one should relax when they receive a high and say 'I don't need to re-take the ACT/SAT my score is high enough". You SHOULD re-take admissions tests as often as you can, especially if you have low scores. I just think there is a certain point where maybe you could put your efforts into doing other activities (instead of laboring over test prep) that could strengthen other parts of your application. That being said, getting a higher ACT/SAT Score isn't the only way to improve ones WCS. Class rank, teacher SOEs, courses you have taken and your success in those classes, are just a few things that contribute to a higher WCS.
Anyway, I did not mean to be accusatory and I wish you all the best in the future.
 

Stealth_81

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Your officer (BGO) interview also is included in your WCS. A poor interview can sink even the most statistically stellar candidate. As has often been said here, a great interview doesn't guarantee that you'll get in, but a bad interview can certainly keep you out.

Stealth_81
 

J1317

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Dec 25, 2016
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Thanks for the advice guys! Since I have so many more opportunities to retake the tests, I know I will take them. I'll probably end up taking the SAT one more time with some extra studying, see how I do, and depending on that I'll decide which test to focus on.
 

dvnkmmy

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Mar 7, 2015
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Your officer (BGO) interview also is included in your WCS. A poor interview can sink even the most statistically stellar candidate. As has often been said here, a great interview doesn't guarantee that you'll get in, but a bad interview can certainly keep you out.

Hit the nail on the head with this one. As a third year applicant I can say that the best thing I have ever done for my application was to meet with a few military officers and have them compile a list of questions that they would ask in an interview. Questions that they thought were important to ask people in the Navy. I then went ahead and did mock interviews with them where they would tell me if an answer seemed too forced or if there was a question that they thought I could have worded better.

Keep up the good work and best of luck to you in your future!
 

AcadAdmCoach

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Jan 8, 2017
Messages
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The Academies will take your best scores. They do not 'care' if they are either of the two tests. In fact, they will take the best math and best reading scores from separate tests to produce the highest composite score for your overall whole person score. I recommend taking the SAT again (as you noted), and take it again if you feel you can continue to improve. Hope this helps.
 
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