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Do You Really NEED to Take College Admissions Tests?

Do you really NEED to take college admission tests?  Even when you have dual enrollment in a community college?
Quick question. If my daughter is in the Running Start program,  doing dual enrollment, and will enter college as a transfer student, does she need to take the SAT? Thank you in advance,
Leslie

Dear Leslie,

Quick answer:  yes!

Long answer:  She doesn't rally "have to" take the SAT in that position, but it will help.  If she is doing dual enrollment her junior and senior year in high school, she is only a transfer in terms of academics.  She'll still be a freshman in terms of admission.  So having the SAT scores will help her freshman admission package to look as complete and awesome as possible, and can lead to more financial aid.   If she really stinks at tests, then the SAT probably won't hurt her, and her grades at community college will be more important than her SAT.  But if she does above average on the test (above 500 on each section) then it will improve her chances of admission and scholarships.

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Comments 1

Guest - Michael Hickey (website) on Saturday, 11 July 2009 08:32

Leslie,

Lee is absolutely correct. College admissions is more competitive than ever before. Hence, college admissions counselors, particularly at competitive schools, have their hands not only full of applications, but have the challenge of evaluating students coming to them through non-traditional programs and curricula like Running Start and homeschooling.
Therefore, as Lee said, although it's not imperative to take the SAT, the score on this exam has become a more expedient tool than ever for admissions folk. In many respects it quickly "levels the playing field" for them and culls the mass of applications. Once again, as Lee pointed out, GPA is a better predictor of college performance, but it's impossible to know how one school's GPA compares to another at times. The SAT and AP scores help clarify that.
One final note of importance with regard to the SAT. Recently the College Board changed their score reporting rules. In other words, students in the past were required to report their SAT scores before they actually received their scores back, and whatever was reported was available for any college to see. Since March of this year, the College Board will allow students to take the test as many times as they like and report ONLY the scores that they wish, AFTER they receive their scores back!! (The College Board says that the change in this policy is due to test anxiety that some students experience.) This is a HUGE advantage to students, particularly since many schools will still allow students to "build" a composite score from the best Math, Critical Reading and Writing sections from tests of different dates. In addition, since many schools offer merit scholarships based directly on SAT scores, tens of thousands of dollars can be saved in tuition. With my four children going to either Gordon College or Wheaton College, I will save well over $100,000.

God Bless,
Mike

Leslie, Lee is absolutely correct. College admissions is more competitive than ever before. Hence, college admissions counselors, particularly at competitive schools, have their hands not only full of applications, but have the challenge of evaluating students coming to them through non-traditional programs and curricula like Running Start and homeschooling. Therefore, as Lee said, although it's not imperative to take the SAT, the score on this exam has become a more expedient tool than ever for admissions folk. In many respects it quickly "levels the playing field" for them and culls the mass of applications. Once again, as Lee pointed out, GPA is a better predictor of college performance, but it's impossible to know how one school's GPA compares to another at times. The SAT and AP scores help clarify that. One final note of importance with regard to the SAT. Recently the College Board changed their score reporting rules. In other words, students in the past were required to report their SAT scores before they actually received their scores back, and whatever was reported was available for any college to see. Since March of this year, the College Board will allow students to take the test as many times as they like and report ONLY the scores that they wish, AFTER they receive their scores back!! (The College Board says that the change in this policy is due to test anxiety that some students experience.) This is a HUGE advantage to students, particularly since many schools will still allow students to "build" a composite score from the best Math, Critical Reading and Writing sections from tests of different dates. In addition, since many schools offer merit scholarships based directly on SAT scores, tens of thousands of dollars can be saved in tuition. With my four children going to either Gordon College or Wheaton College, I will save well over $100,000. God Bless, Mike
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