Posts Tagged ‘SAT scores’

The ACT: What It Is, and Why You Should Take It



The ACT (American College Testing), is a test you can take in addition to, or sometimes in place of, the SAT depending on the college to which you are applying. In some ways, it is like the SAT, but in other ways, it’s completely different, so students who struggle with one might perform better on the other.

The Difference Between the SAT and the ACT

The SAT is made up of English, math, and writing sections, while the ACT contains English, math, reading, science, and an optional writing section. These additional categories provide an opportunity for students who aren’t as strong with vocabulary and algebra to still score well!

SAT questions are designed to be a little tricky and confusing, while ACT questions tend to be more straightforward. For this reason, the SAT allows more time for each question than the ACT. This means that students who tend to get bogged down and behind with wording might have an easier time with the ACT.

On the SAT, wrong answers convert to points scored against you. On the ACT, wrong answers don’t count as anything, which means you can guess all you want on the ACT without taking any penalty for it. Many ACT test takers like the comfort of knowing they will not be penalized for guesses. That alone can really take the stress level down a notch!

The SAT tends to focus more on algebra and geometry whereas the ACT has some of that, as well as trigonometry. Students who sometimes do poor on the SAT because of the algebra tend to be better at the geometry and trig offered on the ACT.

The SAT costs $50 while the ACT (minus the writing portion) costs $35. If you want to include the writing portion, the cost ends up being about the same as the SAT, so you’re not spending anything more to take the ACT.

The ACT is offered six times a year (September, October, December, February, April, and June) in the US. Like the SAT, there are web sites, practice tests, and review books, all designed to help you do your best. You can also retake the test more than once to work to attain the highest score possible. Registration can be done online.

If you’re unhappy with the results of your SAT score, or if you just want to try your hand at a different kind of exam, taking the ACT might just be worth a shot! With standardized testing, particularly the SAT, being under criticism for not being a true reflection of student knowledge, the ACT is believed to be better at creating a snapshot of what it is you’ve really learned in school and how prepared you are for college-level learning.


40 Colleges with Highest SAT Scores

The SAT is a ginormous exam that colleges utilize to assess your academic readiness for college. Generally speaking, most four-year universities require you submit your scores from either the SAT or ACT. The SAT, specifically, tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that you’ve hopefully caught a bit of while spending most of your teenage life in the classroom.

The SAT is just one factor among many that colleges use while reviewing and sifting through applications. So your score is considered with other factors like teacher recommendations and your leadership and volunteering history. While most colleges accept and require either the SAT or ACT, each college and university uses a different combination of criteria for admission. To understand what your college choices look at, just contact them.

Here are the top 40 colleges with the highest SAT scores. The scores given are actually the top 25th percentile, meaning that of the of the 100 students admitted to The School of Hard Knocks, 25% scored above the stated number.

California Institute of Technology
Top 25th percentile: 2180

Harvard University
Top 25th percentile: 2100

Princeton University
Top 25th percentile:  2100

Yale University
Top 25th percentile:  2100

University of Chicago
Top 25th percentile: 2090

Harvey Mudd College
Top 25th percentile: 2080

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Top 25th percentile: 2080

Pomona College
Top 25th percentile: 2070

Columbia University in the City of New York
Top 25th percentile: 2050

Stanford University
Top 25th percentile: 2040

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Top 25th percentile: 2030

Northwestern University
Top 25th percentile: 2030

University of Pennsylvania
Top 25th percentile:  2030

Tufts University
Top 25th percentile: 2030

Vanderbilt University
Top 25th percentile:  2020

Amherst College
Top 25th percentile: 2020

Dartmouth College
Top 25th percentile: 2020

Swarthmore College
Top 25th percentile:   2020

Rice University
Top 25th percentile:  2000

Duke University
Top 25th percentile: 2000

Brown University
Top 25th percentile: 2000

Reed College
Top 25th percentile: 1970

Bowdoin College
Top 25th percentile: 1970

Haverford College
Top 25th percentile: 1960

Vassar College
Top 25th percentile: 1960

Carleton College
Top 25th percentile:  1950

Washington and Lee University
Top 25th percentile: 1950

Hamilton College
Top 25th percentile: 1950

Emory University
Top 25th percentile: 1950

Middlebury College
Top 25th percentile: 1940

Johns Hopkins University
Top 25th percentile:  1930

Carnegie Mellon University
Top 25th percentile: 1930

Wesleyan University
Top 25th percentile: 1930

Oberlin College
Top 25th percentile: 1930

Wellesley College
Top 25th percentile: 1920

University of Southern California
Top 25th percentile:  1920

Scripps College
Top 25th percentile:  1910

Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Top 25th percentile: 1900

Barnard College
Top 25th percentile: 1900

Macalester College
Top 25th percentile: 1890

This information is from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) database.
Have you taken the SAT? Share your story in the comment section below!

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What Does Your College SAT Score Mean?

Categories: Admissions Advice

SATToday, the students who took the March SAT will finally be able to refresh the CollegeBoard website and see their scores.

But now everybody’s wondering, “What does my score mean?”

According to College BoardSAT scores are on a scale from 200-800, with additional subscores for the essay (ranging from 2-12) and for multiple-choice writing questions (on a 20-80 scale). You probably knew that already, though.

So what you really want to know is what these scores mean to college admissions?

Here’s what says about your score:

Your SAT scores tell college admissions how you did compared with other students who took the test. For example, if you scored close to the mean or average — about 500 on SAT critical reading and 500 on SAT mathematics — admissions staff would know that you scored as well as about half of the students who took the test nationally.

But this is also probably old news to you–of course your SAT score will help admissions officers see where you stand among your peers.  You want to know what your SAT score means for your college search: Where can you get in? What’s a safety school? What’s a reach school?

While an SAT score can help you navigate your college options, it’s not the end-all be-all of your college career.  If you score kinda low the first time, don’t get down on yourself, tear out all of your hair and announce to the world that you’re never going to get into college. Just don’t.

Do, however, take time going over your exam.  Use your resources at school and online to see what you can improve. If there’s a will, there’s a way.  Find the option that fits your goals and financial capabilities. There are SAT tutors, classes, books and even very helpful online products to help you increase your score. Then, take the test again.

So after you get a score you’re content with, what can you do with it?

Option #1: Tape your score to the wall beside your bed so you have something beautiful to wake up to every morning.

Option #2: Apply to college.

Since most of you will probably opt for #2, you should find where you score fits into different colleges.  Every college has a different average of accepted students’ SAT scores, so it can get pretty confusing. Making a Cappex profile will make this process super simple by showing you your chances at each school based on historical data.

And now that you found that colleges you want to apply to, your’e probably asking, “but how much of admissions in based on the SAT score?”

Again, for each college it varies.  One college might value the SAT dramatically more than another. If you’re super curious, speaking with college admissions departments will give you a better idea about what they’re looking for.

While it’s difficult to speak for all schools, we’re gonna go ahead and put an umbrella statement out there because the questions about SAT scores are pouring down on us: There’s more to your college application than your SAT score.  A score can show aspects of your intelligence, but it barely cuts the surface of a student’s personality, wisdom or drive.