My sister-in-law is a great example. She’s a Vice President at a well-known university, handles very serious situations that affect the health of the university on a daily basis, and is exactly the person you’d want in charge of those situations. She was a top student in her high school class and, in her words, “my SATs were awful.” In the 80’s, low test scores was much more of an issue and that limited her college options.
Over the last half year, there have been major changes in the world of college admissions testing. The SAT returned to the old 1600-point scale, did away with the mandatory writing section, and made it optional instead. The ACT changed the scoring scale for its own optional writing exam and the resulting scores caused an uproar among test-takers that has yet to die down. As an admissions counselor here at College Coach, I’ve had countless students ask me about the importance of the writing score, and I’ve seen a lot of stress over lower-than-anticipated scores on the writing section of these tests. Below is the advice I’ve been giving over these last few months.
By Sean Murphy, Curriculum Manager at Revolution Prep
About the PSAT
PSAT stands for Preliminary SAT and it is organized, in part, by the College Board, the same organization that runs the SAT. The PSAT is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). At its heart, the PSAT is a practice version of the SAT, so the two tests have many similarities. These similarities include a no-calculator math section and “rights-only scoring” (i.e. no guessing penalty). Even if you think your child might end up taking the ACT, the PSAT is valuable – by taking it now, they will have already had great exposure to a long standardized test, and can take a lot of their experience with them to the ACT.
Who takes the PSAT and why do they take it?
You just hit submit on your last college application and now, the rest is up to everyone else. Your teachers are sending in their recommendations, your parents are working on the financial aid application, and the college counselor is taking care of your transcript and the school report. Time to kick back and watch some Netflix, right?
Submitting standardized test scores is also your responsibility, not your school’s. While some high school transcripts include test scores, most colleges and universities require official score reports directly from the testing agency.
One of the most popular blog posts we’ve published over the years answers one of the most frequently asked questions our team of college admissions consultants receives: “When do I send SAT and ACT Scores to Colleges?” But when it comes to standardized tests, there are many more common questions that students and parents ponder. In an effort to ease some of the stress that families are feeling this application season, here are the answers to the top five frequently asked questions about submitting standardized test scores.
Q: Can I send my SAT/ACT scores to colleges after I submit my application?
A: Definitely! Any standardized test scores can be submitted after the application has been sent. In fact, this is ideal because your scores can then be matched with your application as soon as the application is received. Be sure to check the policies at each of the schools to which you are applying to review their requirements.Continue reading
Will my October Scores be Considered for Early Decision?
The results from the October SAT are scheduled to be released later this week, just a couple of days before November 1 deadlines for Early Decision and Early Action. The close proximity of these related events has a lot of people confused and concerned, and understandably so. I’ve answered questions around this issue at least ten times just this week, and I hope this short post will help you clear up your confusion and provide a little bit of stress relief. Read on to see how you can manage late-arriving scores with your EA and ED applications.
Step One: Notify Colleges of Future Test Dates
At College Coach, we see a lot of students with immaculate high school transcripts who just aren’t very good standardized test takers. Admissions offices are fond of saying they care much more about how you do over four years of high school (your grades) than four hours on a Saturday (the SAT), but that doesn’t change the reality that some test scores can be prohibitively low for certain colleges. Many students who have worked hard to earn their excellent grades yet struggled with their performance on the SAT might find themselves with fewer options than they had hoped when it comes time to submit applications in the fall. But take heart! Even if your scores are lower than the rest of your academic profile, there are steps you can take to find yourself a great college match.
Take the ACT
It’s amazing how many parents and students believe that the SAT is the only option for students who want to apply to college. In fact, the ACT has been gaining ground on the SAT over the last couple of decades, and just last year more students took the ACT than took the SAT.
I have a few questions about submitting official test scores to the colleges on my son’s list. When should we be sending my son’s scores? Is there any reason why we would not take advantage of the free score report option and submit them before we actually see his scores?
Many College Coach students ask us about the best time to send in their standardized test scores when applying to colleges. The best time to send SAT, ACT and/or SAT subject test scores is about a month before the application deadline (in the case of rolling admissions, the scores should go out about a month or so before the application is submitted). You can certainly send them earlier than that, as they will simply go into a holding place at each institution until your son submits his application. Then his scores will be matched with the file. The ACT and the College Board, which offers the SAT and subject tests, will allow you to submit scores at any point after they are available. To mark other important dates, view our college preparation timetable for parents.