a year ago
Admissions Advice

SAT and ACT for class of 2024

I plan to apply to some of the top universities like Georgia Tech, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon.

Should I take both the SAT and ACT? I think I can squeeze in another fine arts activity if I didn't have to prepare for both. Is there an advantage to submitting both SAT and ACT test scores?

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Let’s welcome @calalilyhana to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.
@CameronBamerona year ago

I'm not sure you are aware but you can only give 1 post an accepted answer. Thanks for doing that 4 times.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@calalilyhanaa year ago

Yes, I learned that a little bit ago. LOL All of the answers were so helpful and I was so thankful that I wanted to accept all of the answers. Thank you so much. I've already done the SAT practice test, so I'm going to try the ACT practice test and see which one works better for me and stick to just one. Thank you!!!

@CameronBamerona year ago

Sounds like a solid plan. Just pick the one you feel most comfortable with.

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
a year ago

Hi @calalilyhana!

It's great if you can manage to take both, but if the second one comes at the cost of an extracurricular activity, you shouldn't take both. If there's an applicant who submitted an SAT score similar to yours but didn't submit the ACT, the admissions officers will probably pick you (assuming other parts of the application are equally strong). Submitting both SAT and ACT can reaffirm your academic abilities and can provide admissions officers with more information about you. However, it's not really necessary to take both.

Students often find one test easier than the other, so you should take a practice SAT and a practice ACT and then move on with the one you perform better in.

Hope this helps!

a year ago[edited]

There are far more important things you can do on your college admissions applications than sit for both the SAT and ACT exams multiple times. I say multiple times because 99.9% of applicants will not get a 1570+ SAT score or a 36 composite ACT score after 1 try. Those submitting both typically have the resources to take both exams 2 or 3 times which is really 4-6 times and up to 400 hours of preparatory work (200 for each exam)

I do highly recommend that you take 1 practice SAT and 1 practice ACT. Whichever one you score higher relative to the other, I would focus on that. Colleges do not give you bonus points for submitting both exams. If you get a 1550 SAT, it's sort of pointless to submit a 35 ACT score. And Vice Versa is true as well. It's a flex that only works if you have superior ECs, essays, recommendations, interviews, grades, course rigor, and intellectual vitality/curiosity. If you have a gap in your ECs for example no significant Tier 1 or 2 leadership roles, no musical/dance/singing/theatrical talent, and no sports talent, the AO is going to think that you prioritized standardized test-taking over honing your spike narrative or finding interesting things to do with your free time outside of school.

In very few lucky cases will someone be so clutch, smooth, and consistent that they will get to submit equivalent scores like the 1550/35 example. In most cases, it's going to be like 1550/33 or 1450/34, or 1390/35 something like that. So what's the point really?

Here's the bottom line. If colleges care that much about standardized tests, they all would make them mandatory. They make it test-optional so you can figure out a creative way to show them that you have superior learning ability and retention that can be replicated in their classrooms at their college campuses. You can do that in only 3 ways:

- Submit a high SAT

- Submit a high ACT

- Submit evidence in the rest of your academic/EC/intellectual vitality narrative that you are well prepared for college rigor and demands. So let's say you stink on both the SAT and ACT. You can still take college courses, do well on your APs and IBs and do incredible things in your free time, like learn multiple languages, build a company, do high-level research, or write and get published for your work.

The SAT and ACT are litmus tests for T25 colleges. Once you cross that magic barrier for whatever demographic and box they sort you into (ALDC, Hooked, Overrepresented Minority, White), then you just have to meet that bar that other tagged applicants have to meet.

College admissions are like an obstacle course and each course is different for each applicant because they are evaluated under the guise of holistic admissions. In reality, you get pre-sorted by demographic and whatever bucket they use to differentiate different pools of applicants at their college. So if you are a STEM Chinese Female from the Bay area, your competitors are other STEM, Chinese Females, from the Bay area, not PolySci black or Latina girls from Bronx or Brooklyn NY. That's how you game college admissions. Figure out how you are most likely going to be pre-sorted and stack the odds in your favor by doing things that your group is not doing in order to stand out.

a year ago

Pre-pandemic admissions saw a long growing trend of colleges adopting test optional policies in recognition that standardized testing is a weak predictor of college success. Large public universities, Ivies, and some of the most selective liberal arts colleges were the holdouts on this long shift, led mainly by liberal arts institutions for well over two decades.

With massive pandemic disruption to the availability of SAT and ACT testing, a new wave of colleges adopted test optional admissions policies. Most of these institutions retained their policies for at least the 2021-2022 application year, and a few have indicated extensions through 2023.

The entire University of California System has indicated they will not return to evaluating SAT or ACT https://fridaynightfunkin2.com scores

On the other hand, the University System of Georgia reinstated required score submission for all applicants for the Fall of 2022.

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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