Updated: Sep 9
The College Board released August 26th scores this week- what next? Data can drive good decisions; we love data, so here are some thoughts.
Are you knocking at the door or is the gap too wide?
The average combined improvement is 60-70 points. 100 points is more than respectable. While 200 + points occur, it is the exception.
Is the school test-optional friendly?
Using the common data set, students can determine if the majority of enrolled students submitted test scores, even if they are test-optional. Check out these lists
Can I change my mind after the application is submitted?
The devil is in the details on this one. If a student is pursuing the November and December tests but needs to submit a November 1 early application, they may not be able to change their test-optional status if scores improve. Schools with this policy include the University of Maryland and Vanderbilt University. You can find this information in the common application for some schools, and on the schools website for other schools.
When are fall scores released?
October 20th; November 17th, December 15th. Other schools will allow students to change their test-optional status but only until the credentials deadline. For example, the University of South Carolina has a 10/15 application deadline and an 11/1 credentials deadline so October scores will be the only fall scores looked at for early action at that school.
What other content will showcase my drive, intiative and intellectual curiosity
How you perform on one test does not define you as a student. However, if you choose not to use that tool in your aresenal, be sure you have other content to showcase these traits that colleges are looking for in successful students. Shallow participation in clubs need not apply when dealing with selective schools.
Am I applying to a limited enrollment program or selective major?
Schools differ. For example, most selective schools do not typically segment selectivity by program of study. If your application is accepted, the banquet of options is yours to select. On the other hand, other schools will be more selective for majors such as direct admit nursing, computer science, architecture and engineering. If you are applying to a competitive major, scores might be more important.
We understand students have college application fatigue. However, if you are close to in-range scores and you are applying to schools in which over 50% of enrolled students submitted scores, and timing is not an issue, keep at it.