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Are SAT and ACT very important in university?

I took the PSAT ( Pre-sat) this year, and my math score was better than my English, And some people including our school counselor is saying SAT is not very very important in the application, but some of my teachers and my family are saying it's very important, and you have to get a good score on it. I am stuck between this.

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Stuart’s Answer

Hello Boshra,

Lisa has provided an accurate response to your question regarding college entrance exams. To give you a more comprehensive understanding, here's an overview of the process:

1. Research Requirements: It is essential to research the universities you are interested in attending to determine whether they require the SAT, ACT, or neither exam for admission. Different institutions might have specific requirements, and it's always a good idea to be well-informed about those.

2. Compare the Tests: My children took both the ACT and SAT exams once to gauge which one suited their skills and preferences better. By comparing their performance and comfort levels in each test, they could determine which exam to focus on for better results.

3. SuperScoring: Majority of the colleges offer a feature called 'SuperScoring.' This involves taking the highest mark for each section of the exam from different test attempts. So, if a student takes the same exam multiple times, the best individual scores are combined to create an overall better score.

4. State Scholarships: Even if your desired school might not require a particular entrance exam, consider the state-sponsored scholarships connected to these scores. For example, the state of Florida offers scholarships based on students' SAT or ACT scores. Keep such opportunities in mind while planning your entrance exams.

5. Other Options to Boost Your Application: When applying to universities, consider additional factors that may influence your application, such as AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate), or dual-enrollment courses. Universities often view these courses as indicators of academic rigor, which may enhance your college application.

I hope this information helps you in making a well-informed decision regarding college entrance exams and applications. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you very much, sir, This advice is very helpful. Boshra
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Jolese’s Answer

Hi Boshra,
When I was applying for college back in 2008 some colleges were more concerned with the ACT scores over the SAT scores. Some institutions look at both. My advice would be to look into the requirements of the specific institutions you want to apply to and then base your decision to take both on that. I hope this helps. Best wishes on a successful college process.
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Boshra
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Boshra! I think the SAT and ACT do have an impact on your application, I know there has been a large shift to some colleges not requiring them. That being said I do think it is important to have a numerical goal when taking the SATs and apply it to the colleges you want to go to. For example, a public universities SAT scores may differ from an Ivy league. I also think it is important to not stress too much about getting that perfect score on the SATs but getting a score that is within a safe range of what colleges you are applying to. There are also other aspects of your application such as your essays, volunteering and overall portfolio that makes a difference in the selection process too. I also want to include that yes standardized exams are a reliable estimator of how you may do in your undergraduate/graduate education however they are not the sole predictor. Myself included, there are students I know who struggled with SATs or some classes in high school but in college learned to navigate this better especially once you found what you really want to study. I hope this helps! I wish you the best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Yasemin! Boshra
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Lisa’s Answer

Hi Boshra,

I understand your plight and I hope this response helps.

Both standardized exams are accepted by schools that require an entrance score and they are used to weigh in the admissions-decision process and as an indicator of your college readiness and aptitude level for college level classes.

Most schools do not prefer one test over the other, btw.

However, some schools have stopped requiring it (test-blind) or made it optional because they found that it’s NOT a strong indicator or predictor of how students will perform in college. Some students may just be better test takers than others.

Additionally, some colleges use the scores to give out merit scholarships (free money) to attend that institution. So this may be a factor in your decision. But please do your research because some of these as scholarships are now test optional as well.

If you decide to take the test and get a good score, you may find that some schools weigh this favorably in your application.

If you don’t take it or don’t score well, be sure that your GPA, essays, course levels, like Honors and AP, and your extracurricular activities are strong elements in your application. Most test-blind (not required) or test-optional schools will focus on these items without a score.

Finally, you can go to the CollegeBoard and Princeton Review websites to see the differences in these tests, time, questions, etc.

I hope this helps to clarify your options a bit.

Lisa
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Aisha’s Answer

Hi Boshra,

When colleges use scores in admission decisions, they weigh the scores differently. The scores on the SAT and ACT allows them to narrow down the playing field and make decisions on acceptance. This also makes your individual score extremely important. But no matter which college you're applying to, do your very best on the test & it could set you aside from the rest.

Best,
Aisha Taylor
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Boshra
Thank you comment icon I agree with Aisha's comments. Additionally, Use Google to research your question to see what others think. Also, some schools that always used SAT's, now do not. Maybe this is a trend going forward. Howard Schwartz
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Mr. Schwartz. Boshra
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Claudia’s Answer

The ACT and the SAT are college admission tests. You don't have to take both. Personally, I took both and I ended up getting a higher score on the ACT so I completed my college applications with my ACT score. I would suggest doing practice exams for both types of tests and see which one you're better at, then you can target your study efforts towards that specific test and maximize your score. Good luck!
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