The Importance of SAT/ACT Scores

For students that struggle with standardized testing, the SAT/ACT exams can be dreadful. Not only are they not the most accurate representation of one’s intelligence, they hardly paint an accurate picture of a student’s personality or ability. However, the fact is that most colleges do require that you submit SAT/ACT scores as part of the consideration process. They are not the be-all, end-all of college admission, but they do play a role. That being said, on top of earning good grades in classes, you want to try to get a competitive score.

We recommend students to start early so that they are able to retake the test of choice several times until they earn a score they are happy with. If you have a dream school or two in mind, you may want to do some research to find out what the average test score admitted students in the past have received. This way, you have an idea of a “minimum score” you have to earn to be in the safe zone. Your score alone won’t get you in, but it could possibly keep you out if your school is super selective.

In addition to SAT/ACT scores being a part of the college application process that you can’t avoid, they can also come in handy when it’s time to qualify for scholarships. Some merit-based scholarships will ask for your score, and depending on what it is, you may or may not be eligible for them. On top of scholarships from your choice of college directly, there are also scholarships offered by local, state, or regional programs where your test score, grades, and academic achievements may affect your eligibility.

Did you not do as well as you wanted in your freshman and sophomore year of high school? Unfortunately, it’s hard to completely turn around your GPA if it started super low. Even if you get straight A’s in the final years of high school, it may be too late to reverse the damage already done. In this case, the SAT/ACT score can really make an impact. It can be another opportunity for you to show your university how far you’ve come academically, even if your GPA is lower than expected. A high score can hint at a student’s ability to work well under pressure, study hard, and perform well. In other words, admissions officers may predict your likelihood of succeeding in college based on your test score.

Studying for and taking the ACT or SAT exam can be super daunting. However, it’s worth spending the time and energy on it because you’ll soon reap the benefits in the near future! Keep in mind that your colleges will consider them as part of the application process to determine if you are an ideal fit.