The Importance of Being Earnest (About your Goal Score)

Yikes, did we just reference Oscar Wilde in the title of this post? Freaking English Majors!

Mr. Wilde’s play, whose title bears the same name as this post, is all over the place. We want to make sure your test preparation is not.

One of the most important elements of SAT and ACT test preparation is setting a reasonable goal score for each subject. Take a look at where you’re at now, and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Is there a section that you’re happy with? Lets rephrase that: Is there a section in which your score, as it stands, will get you where you want to go?

The only way to be sure is to have a list of schools, and know what their average scores for incoming students are. Most schools have this information somewhere on their admissions site. Here’s a link to UCLA’s test standards, and here’s one for Williams College. If you’re having trouble finding information for a specific college, ask your Higher Learning tutor to lend a hand. We’re always happy to do so.

Be sure to check if the schools you’re interested in attending accept super scores as well. Your “Super Score” is your highest score in each section after multiple test dates. Say your first test scores were: Math 620, Reading 580, Writing 570. If the second time you took the SAT you scores were higher in both the Reading and Writing sections, but lower in the Math section, you could combine your first Math score with your improved Reading and Writing scores. Some schools accept “super scores” and some do not. Here is a link to the College Board website that lists how each school judges your scores.

If you haven’t figured out a few schools that pique your interest, talk to your Higher Learning tutor about your interests, odds are we know a few schools that could be a good fit. This is truly the first step in the admissions process.

If all subject areas need improvement, shoot for a score within 100 points (SAT) or 3 points (ACT) in each section. (That’s some serious improvement! ) Focus on what you need to do to get that score. Odds are, you don’t have to worry about nailing every question in every section. Don’t stress the extra stuff!

When you know what you want, its a lot easier to go out and get it. Once you’ve defined success on your own terms, Higher Learning can help you get to where you want be.

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