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Road to College: Finalizing Standardized Test Scores
October 3, 2018
As October rolls around and college application deadlines draw closer, the class of 2019 prepares to complete their final standardized tests. These scores will be sent to colleges to be used as part of a student’s application materials.
The SAT and ACT are standardized tests used for college admissions and scholarships. While both tests assess students on college readiness, the ACT covers information students should have learned in school while the SAT deals with topics students may not have learned in school.
“The first time I took the SAT it was difficult,” senior Mark Gan said. “But the more times I took it the more familiar with it I got, so it became easier.”
Both tests can be taken multiple times, with the best scores being sent to colleges. Additionally, some schools allow students to send a superscore, which is when colleges accept the highest section scores from each time someone takes the SAT.
“I studied for the SAT using Khan Academy, which is a great free resource that’s available to students,” senior Kyley Thomas said. “I also studied using the SAT/ACT prep book at least twice a week when I have time.”
For seniors curious if they should retake either test, many college websites contain information on scores they expect from fellow applications, as well as the average scores of their recent classes.
“If a college has a certain average or a general score that they require, then I am hoping to get a score that is higher than that,” Gan said. “That way I have a better chance at getting in.”
Colleges only require scores from one test, meaning students can decide which ones to send.
“I think test scores are equal to everything else in your application since colleges use a holistic approach when deciding whether or not to admit a student,” Gan said. “I have been putting equal emphasis on my test scores as other things like my extracurriculars and essays.”
Most college applications deadlines fall on Jan. 1. In order to ensure test scores make it in time, the last SAT seniors can take is on December 1 and the last ACT is on December 8.