One of our seniors got a surprise in the mail a few days ago: a certificate of merit for “outstanding academic performance as evidenced by [her] score on the SAT or the ACT.” The letter indicated that her score “is among the 5,000 highest scores in Pennsylvania.” That might not seem that impressive until you realize that approximately 100,000 students take the SAT in Pennsylvania every year and about 27,000 take the ACT.
We talk to countless parents and high school students every week, and one of the things we hear most is: “My scores aren’t very good.” We work hard to get parents to see that there’s no such thing as a “good” score, nor is there such thing as a “bad” score. A score that’s good for Denison University might not be good for Duke University.We want students and parents to think differently about standardized test scores.
The question we like to ask is: “Are your scores where they need to be?” And we need some context to arrive at an answer by asking some more questions:
- What colleges or types of colleges are you considering?
- Do you know what your major might be?
- How does your transcript look? GPA alone doesn’t give us (or colleges) the whole story.
- What classes are you taking?
- What classes do you plan to take?
- What are your interests outside of school?
- Do you play sports? Volunteer? Work?
We ask these questions to get a more three-dimensional view of the student, because this is how admissions officers look at applicants.
If you live in the Pittsburgh area, give us a call to schedule an appointment. If you’re out of the area, we’re always happy to connect via Skype or Google Hangout. We can help you figure out if your scores are where they need to be.
Head English and Writing Tutor
david @ 3RPrep.com