ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

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Mrxyz
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ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Mrxyz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:05 pm

Hi all,
My kid got 34 in ACT and wants to try for a 35 or 36.
What happens if repeat test scores lower?
Pros/cons? Is this recommended? does it make any difference with college applications?
Thanks

snoopdoug1
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by snoopdoug1 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:07 pm

What does he/she want to do?

I would say it makes no difference for the vast majority of students.

Rupert
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Rupert » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:09 pm

Some schools will take the higher score. Others will average all scores together. Your kid should look at what the schools he/she wants to attend do.

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celia
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by celia » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:26 pm

Have the student take the SAT instead, if there is any chance (s)he will go to a college near one of the coasts. Colleges in the mid-west typically prefer the ACT, but colleges near the Atlantic or Pacific prefer the SAT.

psteinx
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by psteinx » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:37 pm

While it is always possible there are outlier colleges, and/or that generally accepted wisdom and/or the information provided by colleges is wrong:

1) Selective US colleges basically universally don't care about ACT vs. SAT. They can convert between them using concordance tables. There are some cases where one or the other may be important for, say, a scholarship. But for admissions, not really. A given kid may do better on one versus the other due to differences in the tests themselves, and/or chance, but you could also do better/worse just by retaking the same test.

2) I have not heard of averaging being used [Edit - superscoring is something else. But superscoring as I understand it would never lower your kid's score, versus his current 34 - it would only, potentially, help it]. In general, there is almost no downside to taking the ACT a second time, other than the time and money devoted to taking it.

3) Some folks will say that a 34 is functionally about as good as it gets - that a 35 or 36 won't help any more. I don't agree with this sentiment. Obviously, there's not a LOT of room for improvement, but there is some, and based on the totality of what I've read and surmised, I would guess that the higher the better. 35 a little better than 34, 36 than 35, etc. Of course, if your kid is going to state U and scholarships are not a consideration, then functionally he/she may have topped out. But for highly selectives, the higher the better.

4) That said, the potential gain isn't that big here. So it kinda comes down to where the kid wants to apply, how the kid him/herself feels about a retake, with some additional prep, and so on.
Last edited by psteinx on Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

psteinx
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by psteinx » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:38 pm

Oh, and generally, College Confidential has the go-to forums for these kinds of questions.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by HereToLearn » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:41 pm

Is your child hoping to receive a merit award that is available for a score of 36 but not 34?

Almost all schools super score the ACT now, so if her score improves on one section, the college will pull the highest score from each section and recalculate her composite score. If her score does not improve, she can just submit the 34, unless she will be applying to the one of the small handful of colleges that require the submission of all testing history. Check score reporting policy in the admission section of each college's website.

The coastal bias against the ACT has really disappeared, especially after the SAT was revamped two years ago.

Editing to say that there are more schools than I realized NOT super scoring the ACT. Here is a list of schools and their super score policy for SAT & ACT.
https://princetonreview.blog/2018/06/14 ... re-should/

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by psteinx » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:48 pm

ACT vs. SAT, scholarships:

You'd have to dive into the details of particular scholarships to get a better understanding, but there are instances where one or the other would be preferred (or required) for a particular scholarship.

2 examples - one requiring SAT, one tilting towards ACT...

1) National Merit Finalist requires, I think, a decent SAT score - ACT can't help there.

2) In my state (Missouri), there's a state scholarship offered to kids with high test scores who go to college in state. In theory you can use either SAT or ACT, but the ACT threshold is much lower (per concordance charts). I think this is an oddity of the test taking populations (the 99th or 98th percentile on the SAT among Missouri takers only is effectively much higher than the same percentile for the ACT, because so many kids take the ACT, and only a handful, presumably weighted towards high achievers, take the SAT...)

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by jayk238 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:52 pm

Frankly despite what many say ACT is simply not considered the same league as SAT. As a result high act scores are less relevant for the most competitive institutions even if they affirm that both are accepted and treated “equally”. They arent.
What you should do as others have said is investigate scholarships that depend on high act scores usually in the midwest.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by HereToLearn » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:55 pm

psteinx wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:48 pm
ACT vs. SAT, scholarships:

You'd have to dive into the details of particular scholarships to get a better understanding, but there are instances where one or the other would be preferred (or required) for a particular scholarship.

2 examples - one requiring SAT, one tilting towards ACT...

1) National Merit Finalist requires, I think, a decent SAT score - ACT can't help there.
PSAT is officially named the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The only way to become a National Merit Finalist is to attain a score at or above the student's state cut-off on the 11th grade administration of the PSAT exam. (There is some other workaround for a student who cannot attend the single administration of the PSAT.) If student's PSAT score is above the state threshold, then a confirming SAT score is needed. Shockingly, this confirming score is very low. It used to be 1960 or 1970 on the old 2400 scale, whereas the required PSAT score is in the top 1/2 of 1% for each state. Say 223 out of 228.

You are correct that even a perfect ACT cannot function as the confirming SAT score for the National Merit Finalist application process.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by psteinx » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:59 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:52 pm
Frankly despite what many say ACT is simply not considered the same league as SAT. As a result high act scores are less relevant for the most competitive institutions even if they affirm that both are accepted and treated “equally”. They arent.
What's your basis for this claim? Seems out of line with the solid information I've acquired in the last few years of caring about this stuff for my kids.
Last edited by psteinx on Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

anonymousboglehead
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by anonymousboglehead » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:35 pm

Went through this entire process a year and a half ago (applying to college). Had stellar test scores and ended up at a great school that I love; PM me if you want any more help in the process, as I'm happy to chat.

jayk238 is incorrect; the ACT and SAT are entirely equivalent for college admissions. Kids who perform highly in one tend to perform highly in the other, but doing well in either one is good enough. A 34 is a great score, and getting a 35 or a 36 on subsequent tests will almost certainly not increase your kid's chances of getting into a top-tier institution (Harvard cares that you've cured cancer, not that you have a 34 vs. a 35 on the ACT). That being said, it's not impossible to consider a scenario (especially scholarship application) where those two points could make a difference by offsetting some other deficiency, so if your child is interested in taking the test again and thinks they can do better, I see little harm in that. If, on the other hand, it would be solely the result of your encouragement, that wouldn't be a great idea.

There are some schools that require all standardized test scores to be sent in, but the vast majority of universities I applied to let me pick. In other words, if your kid takes it again and gets a 22, they will likely be able to "hide" that score from admissions committees by choosing not to send it. Ultimately, though, a 34 is an exceptional score and you'd be hard-pressed to find a situation where the stress of taking it again results in a tangible benefit for college applications.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Traveller » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:18 pm

If your kid wants to go for it, you have nothing to lose except the fee for the test. When submitting Act scores to colleges, you pick what score(s) to send so no risk if they score lower. My kids took the Act multiple times and it helped in all cases. My daughter started at 34 and then got her 36. Those 2 points opened up a little bit of additional merit scholarship.

Also, I do not agree with the prior comment that the ACT is somehow less regarded than the SAT. Every school my 3 kids applied to accepted either and had an "equivalency" chart between the two.

HereToLearn
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by HereToLearn » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:28 pm

Traveller wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:18 pm
If your kid wants to go for it, you have nothing to lose except the fee for the test. When submitting Act scores to colleges, you pick what score(s) to send so no risk if they score lower. My kids took the Act multiple times and it helped in all cases. My daughter started at 34 and then got her 36. Those 2 points opened up a little bit of additional merit scholarship.

A handful of colleges require submission of all testing history, so there may be a school which will see all scores. They will take the student's best score, but as I pointed out above (editing my post to correct), there are still many schools that do not superscore ACT.

MathWizard
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by MathWizard » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:14 pm

When I took the ACT, you picked which schools saw your scores.
I got 3 for free , that I had to pick at the time I registered, I believe.
That is now 4. The rest you pay for.

With a retake, he/she could just wait for the score, and report then by ordering one to be sent. That requires a small fee, and it is likely colleges have figured out this strategy, so it may not help.

Make sure the retake does not mean you are late for it to affect application or scholarship deadlines.

A lot depends on where your child wants to go. I got a 32 ACT, and my son's got 33's all on a single try and we've all done fine. Nobody went to MIT or Stanford though.

I don't know the college admissions or scholarship game beyond the National Merit, but a 33 or above will probably get some scholarships at a state University.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Big Dog » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:54 pm

Frankly despite what many say ACT is simply not considered the same league as SAT.
Sorry, but I don't believe that to be correct (any more): it is in the college's best interest to take the highest score, whatever that may be.
Last edited by Big Dog on Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by ram » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:57 pm

I live in rural midwest and had to drive my son 30 miles away for the ACT test. I got lost and we reached there 15-20 minutes after the test had started. He got 35. Later he retook it and got 36. He had good scores on PSAT, SAT etc. He got full tuition scholarship at a private college worth about 160K over 4 years. I do not know if the score of 36 made a difference.
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:52 pm

I've known two kids who've received a 33 on the ACT. Both received full tuition paid at their respective universities.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by ramsfan » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:02 pm

If your kid wants to retake it, my only concern (and I have two kids who recently went through something similar) is that say they get a 31 or even worse the next time. It CAN hurt their confidence. You know your kid better than us, so if you think they can handle that, then there is no logical reason not to retake it.

My son improved his super score from a 32 to 35 via retakes. This resulted in better admissions to schools and programs, and better merit based financial aid. Also, several scholarships at some schools give a singular award for anyone with a 36 ACT.

Take a look at some schools your child is interested in, but always know that schools can hit their radar out of nowhere, so my advice is retake.

One other piece of advice. DO NOT send scores automatically just because they are free at time of registration. The small fee to send a score to a school outweighs the risk of your child not doing well and that score being sent to a school who might take that into consideration.

Good luck!

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by HereToLearn » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:10 pm

MathWizard wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:14 pm
When I took the ACT, you picked which schools saw your scores.
I got 3 for free , that I had to pick at the time I registered, I believe.
That is now 4. The rest you pay for.

With a retake, he/she could just wait for the score, and report then by ordering one to be sent. That requires a small fee, and it is likely colleges have figured out this strategy, so it may not help.

Make sure the retake does not mean you are late for it to affect application or scholarship deadlines.

A lot depends on where your child wants to go. I got a 32 ACT, and my son's got 33's all on a single try and we've all done fine. Nobody went to MIT or Stanford though.

I don't know the college admissions or scholarship game beyond the National Merit, but a 33 or above will probably get some scholarships at a state University.
While it is generally true that students are allowed to report only the scores they want colleges to see, it is not 100% accurate.

This chart lists the Score Choice Policy of each college.
https://www.compassprep.com/superscore- ... re-choice/

See Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, & Georgetown among others that require submission of all test scores.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by bubbadog » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:31 pm

My son got a 34 on the ACT and my daughter got a 1520 on the SAT (correlates to about a 34 ACT). I let them decide if they wanted to try a second time. Neither chose to and I was fine with it. Good enough

MathWizard
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by MathWizard » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:18 pm

HereToLearn wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:10 pm
MathWizard wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:14 pm
When I took the ACT, you picked which schools saw your scores.
I got 3 for free , that I had to pick at the time I registered, I believe.
That is now 4. The rest you pay for.

With a retake, he/she could just wait for the score, and report then by ordering one to be sent. That requires a small fee, and it is likely colleges have figured out this strategy, so it may not help.

Make sure the retake does not mean you are late for it to affect application or scholarship deadlines.

A lot depends on where your child wants to go. I got a 32 ACT, and my son's got 33's all on a single try and we've all done fine. Nobody went to MIT or Stanford though.

I don't know the college admissions or scholarship game beyond the National Merit, but a 33 or above will probably get some scholarships at a state University.
While it is generally true that students are allowed to report only the scores they want colleges to see, it is not 100% accurate.

This chart lists the Score Choice Policy of each college.
https://www.compassprep.com/superscore- ... re-choice/

See Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, & Georgetown among others that require submission of all test scores.
Thanks for the info.
Clearly colleges have figured out the multiple test taking strategy.

That did not matter in my case. The cost of taking the ACT and SAT tests was such that taking them multiple times was not an option.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by psteinx » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:30 pm

Cost/fee waivers are available I think. Of course, it's possible one may not qualify for one, but still...

In the right situation, paying $75 or whatever it is, to boost one's score by 1-2 points (assuming one is successful), *might* help produce scholarships vastly higher than the extra test fee paid.
Last edited by psteinx on Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nissanzx1
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Nissanzx1 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:30 pm

No reason not to try for a higher score especially if the need for scholarship money is on the line.

I got an 18, yes 18 (I ain't real bright). But I made it through a four year finance degree and have been employed since age 14 and doing pretty well so I'm not sure it really matters. I'd spend more time developing a judge of character skill set and personal relationship skills...

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:02 am

My son got a 31. I’m encouraging him to take it again. However, he wants to go to the flagship state university (UW-Madison) and a slightly better ACT would probably help. If he had gotten a 34, I’d be doing dances I’m the street because he’d almost certainly get into UW.

UW does not give merit aid, so getting a higher score unlikely helps there.

So, where does the kid want to go to school? That’s the key question.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by petulant » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:35 am

I moved from 31 to 35 when I retook, which was well worth it. For somebody already at a 34, though, my advice would be to invest time in other activities, like extracurriculars and practicing at maintaining a social life. Those activities will make the child better off for life and probably do more to put him over the edge to admission than an extra point on the ACT.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by mega317 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:01 am

Who cares? Kid has a goal, let him/her go for it. If the score is lower, and counts, and reduces the options for college, then it's a learning experience. Plenty of colleges in the world that will take lower than 34 that one could find to be happy at. It you don't allow it, or strongly discourage it, that is a lesson that taking the safer option is better. Perhaps that's a lesson the kid needs, or perhaps not.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:08 am

jayk238 wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:52 pm
Frankly despite what many say ACT is simply not considered the same league as SAT. As a result high act scores are less relevant for the most competitive institutions even if they affirm that both are accepted and treated “equally”. They arent.
Where is your source that shows this is true? I disagree.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by 92irish » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:13 am

Really depends on where they want to go and what the school's average are. My daughter scored a 32 on the first go around which was borderline where she wanted to go, so it make sense for her to retest. The next time she scored a 34 which put her slightly above average - though she still wanted to try again. On the last time she scored a 35. I don't think the last try made a difference in admission and did not make a difference with scholarships (she received no money). Financial aid at top ranked private schools I've found is mostly driven by need and there is very little merit. There are plenty of kids it seems with 4.0s and high ACTs. Surely a school with a slightly lower rank may want to tempt a good student with some money to help their averages, but top US News ranked schools have people lined up around the door with strong credentials.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by NJdad6 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:14 am

celia wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:26 pm
Have the student take the SAT instead, if there is any chance (s)he will go to a college near one of the coasts. Colleges in the mid-west typically prefer the ACT, but colleges near the Atlantic or Pacific prefer the SAT.
This is NOT True! Colleges do not have a preference.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by mlz » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:49 am

Standardized test scores are very noisy measurements of the student's intrinsic abilities. Proof? If test scores were noiseless measurements, everyone's super score would just equal to the highest single-sitting score.

Think of it this way: your kid has some internal intrinsic score, which is measured by taking the exam, and receiving a score. Over the course of many measurements (exam sittings), you would expect the average measured score to converge to the intrinsic score.

Blindly retaking the test is a waste of time. You should only retake the test if you have good reason to believe the score will improve. And there's little point in retaking the test if the intrinsic score is below a 34, since in this case the likely outcome from retaking is a worse score.

So the questions you need to ask are:
- What is your kid's intrinsic score (as evidenced, say, by practice tests)?
- If the intrinsic score is lower than 34, then is you kid willing to study to bring the intrinsic score up to a 34 or higher?
- Do the schools your kid is applying to even care about the difference between a 34 and 35/36?
- If they do care, is it worth the time to receive that benefit?

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by mountain-lion » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:13 pm

One thing I haven't seen here is the opportunity cost of taking the test again. Retaking the test is time spent on a pretty high score that isn't taken doing something else.

The goal is to get into your top-choice college, not to have high test scores in and of itself.

There are many aspects to getting into your top-choice school. Test-scores, grades, extra-curriculars, volunteer work, application essay. Most top schools look at the complete package, and if your test-score is already above about their accepted median, then improving some other aspect--which is below their median will likely pay off better.

With a 34, the odds are that the test score isn't your student's weakest area for getting scholarships or into school. So they should probably focus on one of these other areas, which could give a school a reason to reject them.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by gips » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:14 pm

mlz wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:49 am
Standardized test scores are very noisy measurements of the student's intrinsic abilities. Proof? If test scores were noiseless measurements, everyone's super score would just equal to the highest single-sitting score.

Blindly retaking the test is a waste of time. You should only retake the test if you have good reason to believe the score will improve. And there's little point in retaking the test if the intrinsic score is below a 34, since in this case the likely outcome from retaking is a worse score.
this is well-reasoned but the analysis needs to be more granular: it should be done on a section-by-section basis. for example, the student's intrinsic score might be a 33 but the intrinsic reading score is a 35 and he/she received a score of 33 on the test (outperforming on other sections). Also, after working with our three kids, it's pretty tough to nail down the intrinsic score. My daughter scored a 35 or 36 on science on every practice test and never broke a 33 in science on the actual test.

in any case, imo, if the student wants to take another shot, go right ahead, she'll probably super score to a 35 and there's no downside. Will it help in terms of college admission? maybe a little but It really depends on a lot of factors including gpa, class rank and number of aps taken. for example, I don't think a b student will get a boost by moving from a 34 to a 35.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by malabargold » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:01 pm

As far as getting into the ultra-competitive universities a 34
(but not a 33 or lower) is enough.
That just passes the threshold for standardized testing.

However, the real competition for admission just begins at that point: besides grades, essays, character, recommendations, EC’s, socioeconomic status and race will be key determinants.


Whether your student submits a 34 vs 35-36 will not be a deciding factor.
Last edited by malabargold on Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by FireProof » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:09 pm

I don't think there's any reason to believe that there are diminishing returns. 34 is not even the 75th percentile at competitive schools like University of Chicago, so it makes a direct difference for their stats/rankings. If anything, there's an almost unlimited supply of people with 34s, so the only way to set yourself apart and not have to rely entirely on unpredictable soft factors is to get a really top score.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by malabargold » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:19 pm

Ultra competitive schools rely on far more than standard scores.
It’s merely a threshold indicator, the first and lowest, bar to pass before the real competition for admission begins
Last edited by malabargold on Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by malabargold » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:23 pm

BTW
Univ Chicago stopped considering SAT and ACT scores
That’s how little most competitive schools think of them!

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Tycoon » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:24 pm

FireProof wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:09 pm
If anything, there's an almost unlimited supply of people with 34s, so the only way to set yourself apart and not have to rely entirely on unpredictable soft factors is to get a really top score.
1.010% of ACT test takers scored 34. Roughly 20,499 students. 99th percentile. Unlimited supply?
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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:26 pm

Mrxyz wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:05 pm
Hi all,
My kid got 34 in ACT and wants to try for a 35 or 36.
What happens if repeat test scores lower?
Pros/cons? Is this recommended? does it make any difference with college applications?
Thanks
It used to be they took the highest score... so a lower score would not change anything... that was 10 years ago when I took mine..

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Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:31 pm

malabargold wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:01 pm
As far as getting into the ultra-competitive universities a 34
(but not a 33 or lower) is enough.
That just passes the threshold for standardized testing.

However, the real competition for admission just begins at that point: besides grades, character, recommendations, EC’s, socioeconomic status and race will be key determinants.


Whether your student submits a 34 vs 35-36 will not be a deciding factor.
100% agree. Our son took the ACT and earned a 35. His GPA was 5.40 on 4.0 scale (weird system of bonus points for A+ grades as well as multiple AP classes). He accepted a full tuition merit scholarship offer at a top 10 engineering school. The rest of his overall application (outside of grades and test scores) package was critical to making the cut, pretty sure ACT scoring range of 34-36 would have produced the same result.

IowaFarmBoy
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:19 am

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:35 pm

As many have said, it may not matter that much but it could make a little difference in scholarship funding, etc.

I think a lot depends on your kid and what they think they can do. If the goal is to see how high he or she can score for bragging rights, they probably want to go for it. If it is simply for better admissions or scholarships, it may or may not be worth it. Our oldest got a 31 the first time and re-took and got a 34 and stopped. Daughter #2 got a 35 and decided that was good enough. She had beat her sister and that was enough. Both did well on the scholarship front. As someone pointed out, a 31 the next time may be a confidence reducer.

I'd be curious how many more questions they need to answer correctly to jump to a 35 or 36. My suspicion is that it is a really low number, like 1 to 5 and it is kind of a crapshoot to see whether they can get the extra ones right. There is some randomness in that small of range of scores.

HereToLearn
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:53 pm

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by HereToLearn » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:37 pm

Chicago is probably a bad example as they have been tweaking their admission process for the past decade in pursuit of rankings.

Almost every other school provides stats on their freshmen class each October in a report called the Common Data Set. Chicago does not, but to pull an example of a school that does, 25% of Princeton's freshman class had an ACT of 35 or above and/or an SAT of 1570. Some students took and reported scores from both exams.

malabargold
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:16 am

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by malabargold » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:49 pm

Agree that Chicago is the most rankings-hungry school out there.
Please note They have stopped requiring standardized test scores.

jayk238
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:02 pm

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by jayk238 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:45 pm

psteinx wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:59 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:52 pm
Frankly despite what many say ACT is simply not considered the same league as SAT. As a result high act scores are less relevant for the most competitive institutions even if they affirm that both are accepted and treated “equally”. They arent.
What's your basis for this claim? Seems out of line with the solid information I've acquired in the last few years of caring about this stuff for my kids.
I graduated in 2004 so its been a while but when i was applying around then and thru college and after iw as always told by admissions counselors that in this climate of helicopter parents and insecure kids the standard comment was that act was just as acceptable but when it came to brass tacks the sat wad superior and mattered more. Now some unis dont care like u chicago anymore ad theyve done away w the tests but it is important to the mits and stanfords. Could it have changed since circa 2010 when i last had my ear to the ground. Sure. But i doubt it.

Ragnoth
Posts: 223
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:10 am
Location: New York

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Ragnoth » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:40 am

malabargold wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:19 pm
Ultra competitive schools rely on far more than standard scores.
It’s merely a threshold indicator, the first and lowest, bar to pass before the real competition for admission begins
+1. This was always my understanding.

The topmost private schools want to see you crack the 98-99% percentile, but beyond that it will come down to extracurriculars and “diversity” in the broader sense (i.e., not just ethnic diversity, but a grouping of interesting people with unique skills and backgrounds).

A 34 already puts you in the middle of the pack for Stanford/Harvard/Yale/Columbia/MIT, etc. These schools generally don’t give out merit scholarships (it’s usually need based aid), and the extra point won’t matter nearly as much as your unique talents and ability to flout personal accomplishments.

CedarWaxWing
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:24 pm

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by CedarWaxWing » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:47 am

Great scores already.

Isn't there a better way to spend one's time than taking the same test over again?

Doubleeagle4me
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:03 pm

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Doubleeagle4me » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:35 am

Ohio state will give you in state tuition.

Doubleeagle4me
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:03 pm

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by Doubleeagle4me » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:35 am

Ohio state will give you in state tuition.

dcabler
Posts: 1189
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by dcabler » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:40 am

NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:14 am
celia wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:26 pm
Have the student take the SAT instead, if there is any chance (s)he will go to a college near one of the coasts. Colleges in the mid-west typically prefer the ACT, but colleges near the Atlantic or Pacific prefer the SAT.
This is NOT True! Colleges do not have a preference.
Agree. We are currently on vacation and visiting numerous colleges around the country. Each of our tours start with a presentation from the admissions office. In 100% of the cases, they are all telling us that they accept either SAT or ACT and they don't care which. Our daughter took both as we've been told that some kids naturally do better on one than the other. There are also some handy conversion tables and it turns out our kiddo's SAT and ACT scores are totally consistent with each other.

jodydavis
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 9:50 am

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

Post by jodydavis » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:25 am

jayk238 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:45 pm
I graduated in 2004 so its been a while but when i was applying around then and thru college and after iw as always told by admissions counselors that in this climate of helicopter parents and insecure kids the standard comment was that act was just as acceptable but when it came to brass tacks the sat wad superior and mattered more. Now some unis dont care like u chicago anymore ad theyve done away w the tests but it is important to the mits and stanfords. Could it have changed since circa 2010 when i last had my ear to the ground. Sure. But i doubt it.
Repeating what others have said, it has changed. I also had the same bias against the ACT based on my own experience several decades ago. But having gone through this process recently with my daughter, everyone (admissions counselors, admissions officers, etc.) said that today, that bias no longer exists, and that the ACT is just as well accepted as the SAT. So yes, things have changed.

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