4 years ago
Admissions Advice

SAT Reporting with Essay

Hi, I have taken the SAT a few times. The first was in Nov 2019 as a benchmark. I did not do that well on the test but scored a 19 on the essay. When I took the SAT again, I did much better on the actual SAT, but I scored an 18 on the essay. So, when I'm self-reporting my scores on the common app, I have to put the score and date of test for the SAT and then the SAT essay separately. For a one-point difference on the SAT, is it worth "telling" schools I had the opportunity to take the SAT in Nov before the pandemic? (XXXX SAT Aug 2020, 19 SAT essay Nov 2019) And I had all that time to study, yet I still don't have a phenomenal SAT score? I want schools to "assume" I could have done better on the SAT if I had more opportunities, given the current circumstances. Is one point on the essay worth it?

@EllaGrace3 years ago

I am in a similar situation for class of 2022; Essay in September 2020 was 18, March 2021 was 17, but March 2021 Math & Verbal were 90 pts higher than September. This question and answer helped. Thanks!

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1 answer

4 years ago

I would report the 19 you took Nov. 2019 because on the common app it doesn't ask you to report Nov. 2019 Verbal or Math unless you got higher scores which you stated you didn't. I think 19 is a good score. Most colleges do not care about the essay section but some do.

If the college you are applying to is on this list of colleges that require or recommend the essay portion, then it can only help you. I don't think they are going to be deliberately the "what if scenarios" since they only spend like 10-15 minutes tops on reading the whole thing.


I did the same thing for the ACT on the common application. I reported my highest scores as a composite and the 4 sections scores and then put in a former essay score of 11/12 because I only took the essay section once.

Good luck

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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