4 years ago
Admissions Advice

Better SAT score (above 1470) or ACT?

I scored 1300 (680 RW, 620 M) on my sophomore PSAT October 2018. I studied 10-20 questions per day with 4 practice tests from mid-April to late-August. In August 2019, I scored 1470 (750 Math, 720 RW). This was roughly on par with my progression in my earlier practice tests (1410 --> 1430 --> 1450 --> 1500). (I scored 1450 (690 RW, 750 M) on junior PSAT.) My current priority is choosing SAT Subject Tests. But after those, should I take the SAT again (I worry that I've studied as much as I can), take the ACT so my application has two scores, or do neither? My SAT Essay score was 4/4/4. (I barely studied for the essay.)

Thank you for reading and enjoy your day.

These practice tests were later invalidated.


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
4 years ago

A 1470 is a good score, even for highly selective schools. However, I would suggest you retake that SAT with a focus on improving your EBRW and Math score, but with higher emphasis on your essay. 4/4/4 is not a good score if you are aiming for top schools. The barest minimum would be a combination of 6/4/5 or something similar.

So, simply because of the essay, you may want to retake the SAT.

Again, if you like the ACT's questions, I do not see why you should not take it. Remember there is an extra Science section.

Good luck! And I hope you get into your dream school.

3 years ago

Take the SAT again if you haven't already to bump up that essay score.

Most people who score 1470 have equally good essay scores of say 18-22. 12 is a sub-par score that doesn't help your narrative that you are good an English and know how to write well. IMO getting an 18-22 is more important than improving your 1470. I don't think there is anytime to prepare for the ACT and take a different format test.

4 years ago

Hi @ONE23, congrats on your score! It sounds like you've been putting in a lot of time and effort to practice. With a score of 1470 your test scores will be competitive at most schools and should more than likely get you through the door far enough where the admissions officers look at the rest of your profile. So, depending on the schools you're interested in, a 1470 should be enough.

However, if you're thinking of applying to schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. it might make sense to try to bump it up a bit. Anything over a 1500 would probably make your application look even better. When deciding if you should do this there are some things you might want to consider. Typically with the SAT the higher you score the more effort you will need to put in to improve it further. You need to decide if using time to study more for the test is going to give you the biggest boost possible. At some point you begin to reach a point of diminishing returns where your time and effort needed to improve is more than the benefit you will receive.

I do agree with @Cross and think redoing the essay might be a good idea. While your essay scores won't hurt your chances at schools that don't require the essay, it can be a deciding factor for schools that do want it

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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