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Tips and Tricks for Applying to Colleges: Part 2

by Nicole Valencia, staff reporter

Editors Note: This is part 2 of a previous article linked here.

ACT vs. SAT

Testing is a required portion of any college application. Yet, when it comes down to it, which is the better test to take? There is no clear cut answer, it depends on the type of test taker. Here are some things to keep in mind though, that may make the decision easier:

  • Both hold the same weight in terms of college admission. Colleges accept either ACT or SAT scores for admission

  • The ACT has a science section while the SAT does not. Doesn’t mean a person has to be a mini-Einstein to do well, but it will test logic flow and ability to reason when given data and scientific findings.

  • Signing up for the ACT uses a different system from the SAT. Since, the SAT is college-board organized, ACT isn’t. Sign up for the ACT here.

Tip #5: Take both if possible. Don’t get daunted by the different structure of each exam. Especially since many schools super-score.

Super Scoring, What is it?

Essentially this is a policy that allows a student to show themselves to the best light possible. Say for instance a student took the SAT twice and got the following scores:

         Attempt 1: 600 Critical Reading, 660 Math, 620 Writing

         Attempt 2: 700 Critical Reading, 630 Math, 610 Writing

Now in the second try, there is improvement in the reading section but there was a decrease in the other sections. Which means the student has to choose between the two tests and make a difficult choice.

Wrong.

If the college super scores (Which most public and private do) they will take the best score that the student got, across all exams. Creating a mash-up of a test score. Thus, said student will have the following score when applying to colleges:

Final score after super-scoring: 700 critical reading, 660 Math, 620 Writing

Tip #6: Retake the SAT/ ACT multiple times, because colleges who super score will take the best score across all testing attempts. From both the ACT and SAT. Even if a college doesn’t super score, retake it to get the best score possible.

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