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05/25/2020 at 03:14AM

Should I report my SAT, ACT, or both to colleges?

I'm a rising senior and I was lucky enough to be able to take both the SAT and ACT before COVID. I scored 1540 on the SAT (780 math, 760 R&W) and 32 on the ACT. I was registered for the July ACT before COVID (but that test date could possibly be canceled) and I will be taking the SAT again in the fall because my school provides the test for free (rescheduled from the April test date). Is it better for me to send/self-report both scores or just my SAT? I don't want my chances of being accepted to be lowered by my ACT score, and I don't think my ACT score will end up being better than my SAT score. I have a 4.12 W, 4.0 UW GPA, with 7 APs by the time I graduate, and strong extracurriculars. I want to study either mechanical or aerospace engineering and I plan to apply to Duke, UMich, Northeastern, Northwestern, UIUC, Georgia Tech, Purdue, University of Wisconsin, and Michigan State.

@parenta05/25/2020 at 01:09PM

You should be fine with just the SAT - that is a great score. The ACT is good as well, but not necessary to report both. Also you do not need to take the SAT again.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@ajdekoninck05/29/2020 at 07:40PM

I wouldn't take the SAT again if my school didn't require it, but I have to because the school has to provide a free test for all students.

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2 answers

05/26/2020 at 04:35PM

Submit the SAT score. A 32 on the ACT roughly corresponds to an SAT score in the low-1400s, so a 1540 is significantly better than a 32. A 1540 should be enough to get you attention at all of the schools you're mentioning, though if you're taking the SAT again, there's no harm in trying to raise it to the 1550+ range.

Accepted Answer
05/25/2020 at 03:35AM

I would personally just submit my SAT score. You almost got a perfect score. You’re more lucky than me because I did not get to take my SAT before COVID-19 but even if I did I doubt that I would have gotten a 1540 like you. Congratulations. Would you mind sharing how you studied and got such a great score?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@ajdekoninck05/25/2020 at 04:44AM

I was able to take the PSAT in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade so I connected my CollegeBoard account to Khan Academy and used their specialized practice based on the problems I struggled with on the PSATs I had taken. I mainly practiced math questions on there, because there are a lot of simple math concepts that you forget about that show up on standardized tests. For the reading and writing portions, I looked up the main grammar rules and concepts for the SAT and wrote them all down (1/?)

[🎤 AUTHOR]@ajdekoninck05/25/2020 at 04:47AM

because a lot of the questions are easily answered if you know the rules to explain it. Reading a lot of different styles of writing also helps you with preparing for that section. For the test overall, also for the ACT, I looked up simple tricks that helped people score higher and chose the ones that I liked. Some of those are skipping problems math problems if you can't solve them in one try and coming back later, bubbling in the answer sheet one test booklet page at a time, and picking (2/?)

[🎤 AUTHOR]@ajdekoninck05/25/2020 at 04:49AM

Only one letter to answer whenever I was unsure of a question. Doing practice timed tests and such online also helps put you in the test mindset and allows you to see how good you are at taking tests and thinking while under pressure. (3/3)

@KDennis05/25/2020 at 05:28AM

Over what period of time did you do all of this? It kinda sounds like something you’ve been doing for a year or so. I only have a couple months in till I take the SAT so I’m not sure if I can study and memorize everything.

@cp83905/25/2020 at 04:18PM

You can definitely increase your score a lot in one month with Khan Academy. I went from a 1430 to a 1570 with one month in between the tests by using Khan Academy. Just take the diagnostic test and it really gets you through any weaknesses you might have on the test.

@KDennis05/25/2020 at 04:44PM

Thank you so much. I will definitely try it.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@ajdekoninck05/29/2020 at 07:38PM

I started doing this about 3 months before I took the SAT. You'd be surprised by how much you can improve in such a short period of time.