SAT/ACT Score Break Down and Importance

Education is the fundamental building block of you or your child’s future. Getting accepted into college is the biggest step. There are many factors that colleges take into account when accepting a student. They base it off of grade point average, extracurricular activities, and SAT and ACT scores. Fortunately, these tests can be taken more than once. Colleges will choose the best composite scores of each.

Prep test guide books are one of the keys to success on the SAT and ACT. (photo courtesy of ECDL Learner on flickr).

Prep guides are extremely efficient for study purposes. (photo courtesy of ECDL Learner on Flickr).

SAT break down – Although you can test on different subjects like Physics or Chemistry on the SAT, students predominately takes the average three categories of math, reading, and writing. Each subject’s scores range from 0 through 800. For a highest composite score of 2400 overall. The national average is around 1500, with a 500 in each subsection. The SAT allows you to earn one point for every correct answer, zero for every blank answer, and deducts a fourth of a point for every wrong answer. To sign up, you can register at the College Board website. It costs fifty dollars for the test but families that are under free or reduced lunch may take it for free with a waiver.

ACT break down – The ACT is a slightly different from the SAT. You can choose to take it with or without the writing section. In total, the ACT (including Writing) has five subsections of English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and the combined English/Writing. Unlike the SAT, the ACT allows guessing with no penalty. The scores range from one through thirty-six, with an average national rank of twenty-two. Similar to the SAT, you can obtain a waiver to test free or pay a fifty dollar fee for the test including writing or thirty-five without. Most colleges prefer the writing section as well.

All colleges are diverse in their SAT/ACT score outlook but majority are encompassed around the same point.

In Florida, the University of Florida’s middle fifty percent of Freshman in 2012 admitted had a composite SAT or score between 1810 and 2080 or ACT scores between 27 and 29.  While the University of South Florida is around 1130-1280 SAT scores and 25-29 ACT scores. Across the spectrum, top notch schools like Harvard accept SAT scores starting at 690 in each subsection and sub ACT scores from 31-35.

Although these scores are not the only criteria colleges look at, the higher the scores are the better for a  guaranteed admission. If you or your child is worried about earning the right score or have taken the test and earned a low score, there are many prepping materials you can get your hands on. For example, you can find SAT and ACT test prep guides at any local bookstore.  They offer the Princeton Review, Barron’s, and much more that are fitted to your preference. These books contain diagnostics test and more practice tests to fully boost your test taking confidence. You can even find note cards for each subject area. Additionally, many schools offer prep classes during the summer for students. It is best to ask your school or your child’s school about it. It is in your best interest to start early on prepping to guarantee the score you satisfy. Also make sure to check the colleges of your interest for their requirements. Many are subject to change. A majority of scholarships are based upon these scores, so aim for your best.

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