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Date of publication: 2017-09-01 06:51

Also he has a learning disability which impacts his math score. Is the fact that his math score is significantly lower than his other scores a cause for concern? Should he address it in his application?
Thanks.

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Art it looks like my son will be a NMSF from Virginia and he scored 6575 on his SATs. Unfortunately, he only got a 69 on the essay, because he did not prepare at all. He is planning to apply to the most competitive schools including schools that require the essay. He is planning to retake the essay, but is worried that his SAT scores will drop. Any recommendations for us?

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I 8767 d also consider two ideas:
6) College 8767 s think little of the ACT Writing. Most never used it in the first place, and even more are dropping it now that schools no longer have to worry about the (formerly) required SAT essay. Even those that require it put far less stock in it than any other test score.
7) The mean score of the Writing is misleadingly lower than that of the other sections. Her 78 is 88rd percentile according to the figures released by ACT. In the other 9 subject areas, scores from 75-78 are at that percentile. A 78 seems lower than it is because of our natural reaction to compare it directly to other 6-86 scores.

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Leah,
Rice does not require the SAT essay. Although colleges will still see that score, it 8767 s rare that an essay-optional school would put much weight at all on it. I don 8767 t think you should be concerned about how Rice will view the score.

li li,
Your son does not need to take Subject Tests. UVA used to 8775 strongly recommend 8776 the tests, but they have downgraded their policy to 8775 Subject Test optional. 8776 As with many 8775 recommended 8776 or 8775 optional 8776 colleges, Subject Tests can demonstrate a student 8767 s strengths. Yes, a 795 is strong enough that I think it is worth sending. If your son has academic strengths in other areas chemistry or biology, for example then he might consider trying the exams.

Also, I am looking at Northeastern 8767 s website, it said that it required SAT with writing, does that mean that Northeastern require the new SAT essay portion?

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Arvind,
Unfortunately, I do not know of any colleges that will combine SAT w/Essay with SAT w/o Essay scores. This creates a situation where even though most colleges do not require the essay most students are best advised to take the essay. This seems like over-testing that could easily be eliminated if colleges decided to superscore essay an non-essay results, but admission offices have not yet come around to that way of thinking.

Terri, I really like that analogy. It 8767 s apt for some colleges that claim to only 8775 recommend 8776 Subject Tests Stanford and Georgetown, for example. That has not come up on ACT Writing / SAT Essay. We 8767 ve tried to classify as 8775 Optional 8776 colleges that don 8767 t use the essay for admission. There may be several cases where the essay score will be considered if submitted (unfortunately, one can 8767 t leave it off of a submitted test date). More common are schools that 8775 recommend 8776 the essay only because it is used for freshman composition placement.

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Good questions. When we could not find a definitive answer on a school 8767 s website, we contacted the admissions office directly. Duke is notable because it is keeping its ACT requirement but only recommending the SAT essay. It has a convoluted rationale involving the Subject Tests.

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Ann,
There is not one answer. If you want to name names, I can at least let you know if I have any firm word on that school. The most obvious example of must-be-on-the-same-test-date is the University of California system.

Amy,
The essay score is a very, very small part of a testing portfolio. His 66 may not be the score he wanted, but it is not so far off the norm for top scorers that I recommend a retest and certainly not a switch to the ACT given his strong SAT score. I expect 75th-75th percentile scores for enrolled students at even schools such as Stanford and Princeton to be in the 65-76 range. The benefit of being higher in that range is dubious.

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