Dear College Admission Expert,
I just received my SAT scores, and they aren’t really very good. My poor SAT performance surprised me, because my grades in school are, and have always been, terrific. I’m afraid the test score will be a problem when it comes to getting accepted to college. How much do test scores really matter anyway?
New York, New York
The fact of the matter is, more and more schools are choosing to make the submission of SAT and ACT scores optional. The schools have noticed that many cases such as yours, where the test scores and grades don’t really match up. They have taken into consideration that even some of the brightest, most driven students don’t do very well on standardized tests for one reason or another, and have been looking more at grades, class choices, and the student as a whole. However, if you are applying to a school who still counts test scores as important indicators, you might want to retake your test, if you have time. Also, many schools accept either SAT or ACT test scores, and many students who do poorly on the SATs find that they are more successful on the ACTs. If the admissions committee sees that you have challenged yourself throughout your academic career, that you have done well, and that you are well-rounded, the test scores won’t totally discredit your other accomplishments.
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