Is my student's SAT/ACT score good enough?

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Having heard thousands of iterations of this question from families over the years, my answer is always the same: Which school(s) are you applying for? Most colleges utilize some variance of a holistic approach, taking into account a student's GPA, course rigor, extracurricular activities, and a host of other factors. However, one of the most important factors is still the student's test scores, which can largely be increased through a student's dedicated effort toward honing their skills.

"What is a good SAT/ACT score for my student at University X?" To be among the strongest applicants, we recommend that a student's test score be among the top 25 percentile when referencing the "Middle 50" for their chosen university. This "Middle 50" represents test scores that are above the 25 percentile and below the 75 percentile from students attending that university. For instance, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas - Austin have top 25 percentile scores of 1370 SAT/31 ACT and 1410 SAT/33 ACT, respectively. The closer your student can get to achieving, or surpassing, those marks, the greater their odds for admission become during the holistic review process.



"But how do I know which test is more suited for my student?" The best way to answer this question is to test your student in each. Then, compare your student's scores using a SAT/ACT concordance table (many available online) to assess which test is best for your student. If results are similar (such as a 23 ACT and an 1140 SAT), we recommend preparing for the test that the student feels more comfortable taking.

Once a test is decided upon, we strongly recommend using resources specific to that test to prepare. Through repetition, your student will begin to recognize patterns in the question stems and the test's nuisances, which will help to build confidence. Effectively, with consistent practice, your student will begin seeing every SAT (or ACT) as the same test, instead of a new beast to conquer each time.

A new question has arisen in this 2020 Covid-19 era: "Do we have to submit our test scores if our intended school is temporarily moving to a "Test-Optional" policy?" The term "TEST-OPTIONAL" simply means that students have the "option" of submitting applications without SAT or ACT scores, giving them a chance of being admitted as long as their applications are exceptional in every other respect, including high GPAs. However, these schools still actively consider SAT/ACT scores when students submit them, making standardized test scores an integral part of most competitive applications. That is, your test score could be what puts you ahead of a similar applicant who chose to not submit scores.

Overall, it is best to identify the set of schools to which your student intends to apply, and then research the various admission metrics to determine the score that will be most helpful. From there, you can decide how much test preparation your student is in need of to successfully increase their chances of admission.

If you have additional questions, please ask us! We're here to help and to serve as a professional resource for your student's college application journey. You can also visit our website for more information (https://www.avantgardeprep.com/test-prep-services) or to set up a free consultation to learn how Avant Garde - College Prep Services can specifically help your family.


Avant Garde - College Prep Services
Redefining College Prep
http://avantgardeprep.com
AvantGarde_CollegePrep
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A friendly reminder to parents, today is the last day to register for the June 13 ACT test without a late registration fee. We strongly recommend seniors taking this test if it is the one most appropriate for them. Give us a call if you have any questions about which test is best for your student.
Avant Garde - College Prep Services
Redefining College Prep
http://avantgardeprep.com
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