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How to recover from a poor SAT score

  1. Feb 14, 2008 #1
    Got back my SAT scores. I did absolutely horrible i got a 1390 out of 2400. This is my first time taking this exam so hopefully next time I will excel in it. Is the ACT a better exam to take? I don't know what happened I am self studying for the ap physics B exam, I took physics honors last semester and finished with a final grade of 97. Also last year I took Algebra 3 and finished with a 97 also. I have a 3.7 unweighted GPA what do you think my chance are in getting into either Drexel university or main campus up at Penn state main.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2008 #2
    Pretty damn good lol. I don't know their admin requirements, but you did better than I did on the SAT. I was lucky enough to be in the top 10% of my high school to get an into admin into UT.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2008 #3
    no i got a 1390 out 2400 the, new test
     
  5. Feb 14, 2008 #4
    Did you do practice tests? Lots and lots of them? That's the best and only way to score well on these kinds of standardized tests. I recommend Collegeboard's book which contains 11 real tests.
     
  6. Feb 14, 2008 #5

    G01

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    Penn State Main can actually be a little tough with SAT scores. You should not have much issue getting into a satellite Penn State campus, but, due to the amount of students that apply to Main, then tend to be strict with the SAT's to encourage people to make use of the satellite campuses. Also, it'll usually be easier to get in to the school if your a resident of Pennsylvania, at least that's what I usually hear.

    Take the test again and try to improve your score. The SAT is beatable. It is a test that must be practiced for though. I suggest getting a practice book with real previous exams or taking an SAT course if possible.
     
  7. Feb 15, 2008 #6
    Well I will defiantly do better next time because i did not study at all this time. I am probley going to get a tutor for writing and reading section and will be getting a study book. I will be doing better on the next SAT. Also how are the satellite campuses for a physics major. I would think that they wouldn't be as good because they don't have as many resources.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2008 #7

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    I'm going to disagree. I believe that unless you take fairly substantial action quickly your chances are quite poor. Taking another test like the ACT is unlikely to change this.

    Drexel is a Common App school, and I think Penn State might be as well. Common App requires an essay. Judging by your posts here and by the score on the writing portion of the SAT, your writing skills are substantially below what even moderately competitive colleges and universities require of entering freshmen. I say this not to be mean, but to focus your attention on something that will keep you out of good college unless it's rectified.

    Admissions offices usually don't weight any individual piece of evidence very highly - they are looking for patterns. If your essay looks like the writing samples you've posted, and you finish in the 5th percentile in the SAT writing portion, that's a pattern.

    If I were you, I would be working day and night to improve my writing. I would be writing essays every single day. You have a few months to make the same improvement to your writing that takes many people several years. They say practice makes perfect, but in fact, practice makes permanent. You would have to make it a point in all your writing (including here) to use proper diction, capitalization, spelling, grammar, etc.
     
  9. Feb 16, 2008 #8
    I am going to get my engish tutor to tutor me in writing, plus I went into the SAT cold after 1 year without any engish classes. I did not setup the essay like I should of, but now I know the correct way to write the essays. On these fourms I just write what comes to my mind, which I dont proofread. I think I should start practicing my writing at this fourm and proofread everything.
     
  10. Feb 16, 2008 #9

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    Having one year without English classes may sound to you like a good excuse for performing poorly. It will sound to the admissions department like "this student didn't take the classes necessary to prepare him for our college". It makes your application look worse, not better.

    I think it's vital that you practice good writing everywhere. As I said, practice makes permanent. Your latest reply has only two or so errors, which is an improvement, but it is also not where you need to be if you want to get in to the schools you mentioned.
     
  11. Feb 18, 2008 #10
    I am now looking into Albright College because I have decided that I wish to focus my studies on optics eventually. Is this a good school for this
     
  12. Feb 18, 2008 #11

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    I looked at their program. My (general) physics undergraduate education had almost as much optics in it as their optics program, and their general program looks to be substantially weaker. I was at a strong school, but that's who you will be competing with when you try to get into graduate school. The fact that there are only two physics faculty would be something I would keep in mind as well.

    Studying optics at a graduate school does not require an undergraduate optics degree, and indeed, it may be detrimental as you will likely have to pass the general physics qualifying examination.

    I think you're still not facing up to your biggest obstacle. Being in the 5th percentile in writing is bad. Missing a year of English makes it worse. You really need to focus on getting this fixed if you want to get into any competitive school.
     
  13. Feb 18, 2008 #12
    The Reason I did not have English Class for almost a year was because we have block scheduling. This is were we have English the first half of the year and not the last. The problem is that I had English the first semester last year and in the second semester this year. That is why I did not have English for about a year. I took the SATs during the first semester of this year that means no English experience.

    Right now my first choice of college is Penn State, which I have a good feeling that I should get into with no problem. This is because I expect to raise my math score to at least 600 reading will most likely stay the same and the writing will rise to about 450. This should give me a cumulative score of around 1600. Do not forget last time I took the SATs I did not study. I will not make that mistake again.
     
  14. Feb 19, 2008 #13

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    Like I said - a college will not think this is a good excuse for performing poorly. They will see this as a lack of adequate preparation. You can tell yourself that your problem is that you didn't study, but from reading your messages, I think that it's going to take more than that. You still haven't posted an error-free message here, and from that I conclude that your English difficulty is not something that a couple nights of studying is going to address.

    Besides, even a 450 is not a great score in writing. It's 28% percentile. Almost three times as many people do better than 450 as do worse. Writing is doubly important because it shows up again on the essay.

    2/3 of 600M+520R+450W is 1050. The 25th percentile of two-component SAT for Penn State is 1180. So if you do as well as you hope - which is far from certain, as we don't always do as well as we hope - you're at best in the lowest quarter of admitted students. Extrapolating from the numbers Penn State has provided, the lowest test score they admit will be somewhere around 1620 (three component). Of course, there are individual factors one has to consider, but that should give you a ballpark estimate for where they draw the line. You're hoping for 1570.

    I don't think a couple of practice tests are going to get you where you need to be. I think you need to make a concerted effort to improve your academics, particularly your writing. By "concerted effort", I mean that this has to be your main priority, not what you do when you've done everything else you feel like. A good start would be to make sure that everything you write - even here - is an example of good writing.
     
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