6 College Admissions Myths - Busted
Monday, November 29, 2010
Myth # 1: Colleges Prefer the SAT
Myth #2: Colleges Will Only See the Scores That I Choose
While the College Board adopted a score choice policy two years ago, colleges have their own rules. Some use super scoring, which means that they will take the highest score in each section regardless of when you took the SAT. Other colleges use the single highest test date score, and still others require that you submit all your scores. Each college’s policy is on file at the College Board, and the system is programmed to not allow you to cherry pick scores from different dates if the college rules state otherwise. Additionally, some colleges that allow score choice require that you submit ALL your scores if you are applying for merit aid.
Myth #3: Colleges Don’t Super Score the ACT
While it was true until recently that many colleges only super scored the SAT, there is a growing trend to now super
Myth #4: If I Ace the SAT/ACT, My Low GPA Won’t Matter
Years ago, some colleges would take students with high SAT scores and low grades. The theory was that some students just hadn’t been challenged in high school. Those days are gone. Research now shows that SATs are NOT a predictor of how well a student will do in college. Grades in high school are the single most relevant predictor of success in college. Studies also reveal that the students with the highest dropout rate are those with high test scores and low grades, making those candidates a dangerous commodity for colleges.
Myth #5: PSATs Don’t Really Count, So I Don’t Need to Take Them
PSATs are an important part of getting ready for the SATs. You should take them each and every time they are offered at your school. First, they allow you to get used to the process of sitting for hours taking a timed test (which studies have shown raises scores). Second, they familiarize you with the various formats for asking questions. And third, if you ace the PSAT, you may win a scholarship ranging from $2500 to a full ride.
Myth #6: Test Prep Doesn’t Work
While studies have yet to prove that test prep works for the ACT, there is extensive research to support that the SAT is coachable. I think that the data will soon show us that ACT prep also works. However, all test prep is not considered equal. While large classes will give you test strategy, many students lack content knowledge. They need to study vocabulary, grammar, algebra, geometry, etc. The only way to do this is through self-study or by working with an experienced SAT or ACT tutor. Also, remember that students who get the greatest score increases are usually the ones who study several hours a week on their own, outside of test prep sessions.
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