SAT + extracurriculars
how much does the SAT matter?
how should you write about your extracurriculars?
For the SAT it's going to depend a bit on the schools you're applying to. But, in my personal opinion, the SAT is beginning to matter less and less in admissions (it does still matter though). Most schools do something called holistic admissions which means they look at your entire profile to get a sense of the type of student/person you are. If you don't have the strongest test scores you can sometimes make up for it based on the rest of your application. I say sometimes because if you're significantly lower than what the school typically accepts it will be difficult to make up for it in your profile.
Many schools right now are still test optional which can be both a good and bad thing. The good thing is that if you don't have great scores you don't need to submit them! The bad news is the school will look at the rest of your profile with more weight so if your grades aren't as good as they could be or your ECs are lacking that can be difficult to overcome. However, the opposite is also true. If you have good grades and ECs that can be in your favor. If you are applying to top schools the test optional policy really only benefits you if you're in the second situation. This is because the students with great test scores are still submitting them and then you also have a bunch of applicants who don't have great scores but are still applying because the school is test optional so they think they have a better chance and in the end this increases your competition.
In terms of writing about ECs I'd recommend checking out this article we wrote: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-fill-out-the-common-app-activities-section/. The article walks through how to do it and there's also a livestream which is helpful. Let me know if you have questions!
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