3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Low gpa but good sat/act score

I have a 2.75 unweighted gpa in my junior year but I have a 1390 on my first sat attempt, if I stick with this sat score or hypothetically get a 1420 on my sat will I still be in shape for a decent college such as UOFA or NJIT? Basically my question is can higher test scores outweigh a lower gpa?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

First of all, it is extremely difficult to chance you at specific schools knowing only your current SAT score and your GPA from one year. Chancing depends on many factors (including your full GPA, course rigor, demographics, high school type, legacy status or lack thereof, extracurriculars, awards, and so much more.) This is what our chancing engine is for! If you're curious about your chance of acceptance at UOFA and NJIT, I strongly recommend you check it out - you can do so by inputting all of your information into your profile, tapping "Find School" in the drop-down menu under the "Schools" tab, and then looking up those specific universities.

In response to your second question, a good test score can make up for a low GPA to a certain extent. To what extent that is exactly depends on the given school and on the other parts of a student's application (in particular, what challenges they may have faced that stopped them from doing well in their courses, their demographics, extracurricular activities, and essays). For one example, if you had a high GPA during your freshman, sophomore, and senior years of high school, but a low one during junior year because of specific health challenges you faced at that time, admissions officers will likely be somewhat understanding of this situation if you explain it thoughtfully in your application. On the other hand, if you had a low GPA during all years of high school, had no real way of explaining why you hadn't done particularly well, and also had a high SAT score, admissions officers might assume that you're quite smart but that you don't apply yourself in school. From this they might infer that you're not ready for a demanding college course load and decide that you're not an ideal candidate for their school.

Whether or not you get into UOFA or NJIT, there are definitely fine colleges you can attend with a 2.75 and a 1390, so don't lose hope! My best advice, though, is to do what you can to raise your GPA before you apply to college. Try to improve your junior year grades this semester, and try to do the best academic work of your life next semester! I'd even consider a summer course or program (could be dual enrollment at a college) if that's a realistic option for you and might help you raise your GPA. Best of luck.

3 years ago[edited]

A high test score can never outweigh a lower GPA, but it helps to have a high test score always if you are in that predicament.

The best narrative for you right now is to use that to your advantage like a spike. So I would try my very hardest to do 3 things since 90% of all HS are dying to have a high SAT score like that.

1. Get that SAT as high as possible like a 1500+ score or 99th Percentile, you are 95% there already. The last 4% is a killer. Hypothetically you should be able to get to 1500+ score by studying all your mistakes and fully understanding all the material you didn't get right. It takes patience and diligence to do that. Also take a lot of practice tests that are available online on various blogs, like Reddit and other places.

2. Get your grades up significantly. You only have 1 semester to show that. So try to get a 3.5-4.0 GPA fall of senior year. And if you can, get your grades up this Spring semester. All colleges like to see an upward trend when there exists evidence of the untapped academic potential that has not been leveraged to the maximum benefit.

3. Target better schools and improve your writing ability so you can submit better essays and improve your ECs.

You are what I called someone who is inherently gifted but bored by HS so you don't apply yourself or strive to get As. The best advice I can give you is not to waste your talent. If no one has told you directly that you are super smart, I'm telling you now! So remember that and use it okay?

((( last thing, if you can take summer classes or enroll in 2 college classes this summer, that will significantly show that you decided to change your narrative and colleges will take you more seriously. Try to pick 2 classes you can get As in. I don't know if your school as summer school or dual enrollement with a community college. Make an appt. with your HS counselor and tell them you need their help to figure out how to do this )).

Good luck

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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