Why Submit Sat/act Scores If They Are Below The Median
Unless the course of the pandemic shifts drastically in the next few months, the majority of American high school seniors will not have a chance to sit for the exam at any point in the pre-application submission portion of their 12th grade year. Likewise the majority were unable to sit for the exam through the spring and summer of 2020. This means that the majority of applicants in the 2020-21 cycle who did take an ACT/SAT did so in the first half of their junior year.
Undoubtedly, there are some students who sit down to take the SAT or ACT only once and score a 1,600/36 on that first try. Along the same lines there are some individuals who take a standardized test two, three, or even four times, and fail to ever top their initial score . Yet, studies have shown that retaking standardized tests generally does lead to higher scores. Overall, those who retake the SAT, regardless of whether or not they practice in between sessions, improve by an average of 40 points. Those who study on the Khan Academy for 20 hours increase their SAT score by an average of 115 points.
With so many score-submitting students unable to retake either exam , the scores for the prospective Class of 2025 are likely to be lower than those of the Class of 2024. Lets look at one highly-competitive school as an example.
Does Having Mostly Ap Scores Of 3’s And 4s Hurt My College Admissions Chances
Yes, if thats the best you have to offer. An AP Score of 3 or 4 will likely not get you any college credit or respect at a top school like Stanford/Ivies/MIT.
A score of 5 may not either top colleges like to think that their courses are more rigorous than APs and thus should not be passed out of, and earning a 5 is simply expected for top admits.
And Dont Forget A Thank You Note After An Interview
If your college requires or requests an interview as part of your college application, dont forget about the thank you note! You should send one of these a few days after your meeting with the school representative, thanking them for their time and any impressions you had from the interview.
Handwriting these notes can be valuable, as they show the interviewer you put time and care into it. Youll want to make it personalized to your meeting with them while also expressing your further interest in the college. In cases where you cant handwrite a note, an email should do fine.
Sending in your college applications is certainly a cause for celebration, but dont forget to follow up! Whether its checking in after sending in the application itself, making sure the college received everything they need or sending a thank you note, it can go a long way in helping you earn an acceptance letter from the college.
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Earlier Is Better For Rolling Admission
Schools with rolling admission review applications as they are received and become complete. They generally promise students a decision anywhere from 4-12 weeks after their application becomes complete. However, most schools wait until they have a critical mass of applications before they begin reviewing them, so there is not an advantage to submitting early.
Your College Planning Timeline For Early Deadlines
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should your application be. You need to take time filling out your application, thoughtfully writing about your extracurricular involvement, and proofreading all of the information for errors. Apart from filling out your app, you’ll have to take time fulfilling other requirements. Three that demand the most planning and time are your personal essay, recommendation letters, and SAT or ACT scores.
You should spend a few months thinking about and writing your personal essay. Giving yourself space to brainstorm and mull over ideas is an important part of the writing process that can take weeks. Since your essay is such an important part of your application, you should spend a couple of months drafting, getting feedback, and revising it until it feels precise and authentic, almost like a work of art.
To meet an early deadline, you might begin working on your essay over the summer before senior year. While it’s rare that the Common App changes its essay prompts, they have done so in the past. Common App announced these changes in August. Most recently, Common App made changes to its essay prompts in February 2021 you can learn all about those changes here. Keep this in mind when working on your essay, but don’t worry about drastic changes in the questions. Generally speaking, they all ask you to communicate something important about your identity and show how you make meaning of significant experiences in your life.
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Every College Gets To Choose Their Own Recommendation Requirements You Can Find More Details On Each College’s College Information Page
Inviting and Assigning Recommenders
From the My Colleges tab select a college and open their “Recommenders and FERPA” section.
If you have not done so already, you will need to complete the FERPA Release Authorization.
Invite recommenders using the invite button from each section. You may also use the “Invite Recommenders” button at the top.
Select the type of invitation you would like to send. For each invitation you will need information like their name and email address.
After you add a recommender, you can view their info using the Manage Recommenders button.
Note that teachers, parents, and other recommenders will not receive an email invitation until you assign them to a college. To assign these recommenders, go to their section within this screen. Select their name from the dropdown and use the assign button.
If your high school uses Naviance or another partner software, you will not invite your counselor or teachers here. There will be instructional text on this page explaining what to do next. You will still add other recommenders and advisors using the steps above.
In general, each college has their own recommendation requirements. For example, one college may need two teacher recommendations. Some colleges may not want any teacher recommendations. Colleges can also determine what kinds of other recommenders they want. Some may allow for any recommender type, whereas others only allow an employer recommendation.
Will I Be Able To Retake The Test
If you have the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT a second time and feel that you can do so in a safe and secure environment, then by all means, we advise that you avail yourself of the opportunity. However, if the August administration of the SAT is any indication, this is very much a hit-or-miss proposition.
Of the 402,000 high school students who registered to take the August 2020 SAT, 178,600 were blocked due to test center closures or limits in their seating capacity. Forty-six percent of the testing centers closed and many of those that were open had to operate at reduced capacity. In July, 1,400 students showed up to take the ACT, some traveling from hours away, only to find that their test center had been shuttered without notice.
On paper, there are plenty of plenty of opportunities to take the test. For more, see the following articles:
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Creating A First Year Common App Account Is Easy And Should Only Take A Few Minutes
- Choose your registration type.
- If you are applying to college for the first time you’ll select the “First Year Student” button.
- Provide your login credentials.
- Make sure you use an email address you check often. This is the email the Common App and colleges will use to get in touch with you.
Congratulations on taking this first step in the college application journey!
- Standardized testing policy
- Recommendation requirement
Adding a college is easy! You may add a college using the add button in the search results list. You can also select a college and add them using the “Add to My Colleges” button from their info screen.
Once you’ve added colleges, you can see them on your Dashboard and in your My Colleges tab. Keep in mind you may only add up to 20 colleges. You may adjust your list of colleges at any time. Once you’ve submitted, you will not be able to remove those schools from your My Colleges list.
Collaborate with counselors, teachers, and more
Summer Before Senior Year
Summer is the perfect time before the chaos of September rolls around for you to start the preliminary phases of college admissions. Schedule tour visits for any college campuses that you have not yet visited and make notes that can be used to eventually narrow down your choices. Start considering which of your teachers would write a strong letter of recommendation. Take time to look over the Common Application and begin brainstorming some topics that you could use for your personal essay or personal statement. Once you narrow down your choices, explore their websites to learn admissions requirements and request an application. Make sure that your senior class schedule will meet all of the required courses youll need for enrollment.
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What Are Supplementary Materials
If you have a skill or an exceptional achievement that cant be demonstrated on your application, some colleges give you the option to submit visual, audio, or video samples of original work. Depending on the school, supplemental materials may include:
- Audio recording
Keep in mind, most admitted students do not submit supplemental materials . Admissions committees still place the most weight on required materials like essays and test scores.
When Do You Apply For Rolling Admissions
Your timeline for applying for rolling admissions depends on a few factors and may vary from student to student. Schools with rolling admissions accept applications throughout a period of time, usually ranging from the fall to the spring. For example, the application for ASU opened July 1 this year and will remain open through Spring 2022.
Since most schools with rolling admissions accept applications on a first come, first served basissometimes notifying you of admission only a few weeks after you submitit’s advisable to apply as early as possible. Sticking to an early deadline of November or regular deadline in January, even though you don’t absolutely have to, is a good guideline to follow.
Not only will setting a deadline for yourself help you keep better track of your college planning, but it will help you apply early and thereby impress admissions officers, which gives you a better chance of admission.
Some schools with rolling admission also publicize a priority deadline, meaning students who apply by that deadline have an advantage. University of Maryland’s priority deadline, for instance, is November 1. They’ll still accept applications after, but you’ll have improved chances if you apply by then.
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Youve likely seen your senior peers enduring College Applications Season, but do most seniors begin work on their college applications well the fall and winter of their senior year? When does College Applications Season really start? In this post, we share our advice on when to start on your college applications, along with key college application dates and deadlines that will be relevant to most applicants.
Choose The Right Standardized Test
Students should take standardized tests as early as possible, allowing themselves time to prepare, complete the test, and send out the results. Candidates generally take the American College Testing exam or the Scholastic Assessment Test during their junior year of high school. Most schools accept either test, but some prefer one over the other, so check with your target schools for details.
These exams both assess college readiness, but they cater to different skill sets. The ACT provides more opportunity for students who excel in language arts, while the SAT focuses more on quantitative reasoning and command of evidence. Many students take both exams and use the higher score in their application materials.
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College Transitions Final Thoughts
Faced with so much uncertainty during these difficult times, college applicantslike everyone elseare seeking sound, concrete advice wherever they can find it. In aiming to provide such guidance on the topic of test-optional admissions we hit the following key points:
- The majority of U.S. colleges have gone test-optional for 2021, including almost all of the most highly-selective institutions in the country.
- If you only took an SAT or ACT once and achieved a score in the typical 25th-75th range for a given university, we recommend that you consider submitting that score, even if it is closer to the 25th percentile than the median.
- If you feel it is safe/prudent to do so, sign up to retake the test in fall 2020, even if the probability is high that these dates may be cancelled.
- Non-traditional students who attended a fully virtual high school, were homeschooled, or experienced significant disruptions during their 9-12 career, should strongly consider submitting scores, whenever possible.
- We dont yet know the true impact of SAT/ACT scores on merit aid in the 2020-21 admission cycle, but they could play a similar role as in previous years.
Think Carefully Before Submitting Anything Extra
Admissions committees read thousands and thousands of applications every cycle. Use caution before giving them more to read! An additional letter of recommendation from another teacher won’t necessarily tell colleges anything new about you but a letter from an employer might.
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Address The Letter To The Hiring Manager
In your research, try to find the name of the person reviewing applications for the job. Address your letter to this person with a common business greeting, such as Dear Mr./Ms. and their last name. If youre unable to find their preferred gender pronouns of the individual reviewing your application, you can use Dear or Dear Hiring Manager.
Close the letter
Complete The Uc Application
After creating your account, you’ll be immediately sent to the beginning of the application. The University of California application contains eight sections:
You’ll answer background and demographic questions, such as your birth date and contact information, which language you grew up speaking, what your family’s income is, if you qualify as a resident of California.
Campuses & Majors
You choose which school you want to apply to. There are nine UC schools, listed below, and you can choose to apply to as many as you want, including all nine. Be aware though that each UC school you apply to requires its own $70 application fee . If you have a fee waiver, you can apply to up to four UC schools for free.
Here are the UC schools:
- UC Berkeley
- UC Santa Cruz
- UC San Diego
You’ll next select your major. If you’re applying to multiple UC schools, you’ll need to do this separately for each school since they all have slightly different majors. Some schools also offer the option of selecting an “alternate major” which is your second choice of major if you can’t be placed in that campus in your top major.
This is a lengthy section where you’ll need to enter in information about the high school you attended, all the classes you took in high school, if they were honors or AP, and the grade you got. It’s basically like entering all the information on your transcript.
Activities & Awards
Scholarships & Programs
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Colleges That Require Resumes
On the other end of the spectrum, certain schools/programs such as Cornell Universitys prestigious School of Hotel Administration require you to submit a resume with your application. The vaunted Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester has an identical requirement. Resumes will also be necessary for all pursuits within the University of Michigans School of Music, Theater & Dance. The University of Wisconsin-Madison only demands a curriculum vitae from prospective undergraduate business students. While many universities used to require the submission of resume for all incoming students, regardless of major, it is rare to come across such a mandate in 2021. Florida State University is one of the more prominent schools that still falls into this category, although it has shifted to strongly recommended status in recent years.
Early Is Better Than Late
Submitting your application early will certainly indicate to the admissions office that you were organized, on top of your game, and eager to have them know you are interested. For example, if you are being evaluated next to another student of similar caliber who sent in their application ON the deadline, you certainly win points for being early! Will applying early make up for any deficiencies you have as an applicant ? Probably not but it certainly does not hurt!
CounselorEast Hampton High School
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