When the SAT or ACT scores come out, we are often asked, “Is that a good SAT or ACT score?” This is a tough question to answer because “good” is very relative.
Before we answer that question for a parent or student, we ask students to list their top schools and research the average SAT and ACT score ranges of accepted freshmen. A great resource to find this information is College Scorecard (ed.gov). Here are a few of the most popular schools in Virginia and their average SAT and ACT score ranges:
|College Name||Mid-50% SAT||Mid 50% ACT|
|College of William & Mary||1360-1520||31-34|
Now consider what other strengths you bring to the table as an applicant. For example, if you are an athlete recruited by a school and score at the lower end of the accepted SAT score range, you might still be admitted since the school may weigh athletic ability against the less than stellar SAT scores. Similarly, if you had a challenging freshman year of high school and your GPA is not as high as you’d like, SAT scores above the average accepted scores show the effort that you are now putting into your studies and your readiness for college level work. Community service, extracurricular activities, the college essay, letters of recommendation, and strength of curriculum are additional factors in the college admissions process. The bottom line is that SAT or ACT scores are just one measurement that admissions counselors use to determine whether or not they grant you admissions.
In addition, test optional admissions policies have become more common over the last three years. Be sure to check how or if SAT/ACT scores are used at your colleges of interest to determine how important your SAT/ACT scores are to your overall application.
The bottom line is there are many factors in college admissions and SAT or ACT scores are just one measurement that admissions counselors will use to determine whether or not they grant you admissions. Set a goal based on the schools to which you plan to apply. For highly competitive schools, like UVA or William and Mary, shoot for 1400+. For moderately competitive schools, like VT or JMU, target 1200-1300+. For less competitive schools, like Radford, aim for 1000-1100+.
Want to talk in more detail about your specific situation? Give us a call.
*Data updated 9/22/2022