If you are a “normal” kid from Connecticut, your SAT scores matter enormously

By General Education Advice, SAT ACT Test Prep

An article from Forbes illustrates the point. 

The following is an excerpt from an article in Forbes on the importance of the SAT:

Despite all of this negative noise, standardized tests like the SAT still matter a lot to highly selective colleges. Two biggest reasons:  1) It is an effective way to screen out students when the number of  applications is overwhelming (Stanford reported 42,000 applications for roughly 1,700 freshman in the Class of 2018), and 2) Colleges admissions offices care a great deal about popular rankings like U.S. News & World Report’s and tests like the SAT have a fairly significant weighting in the formula. For executives running admissions offices at top colleges, moving up on U.S. News list is almost always recognized by the Board of Trustees, and this can mean good things during  bonus time.

The problem among some parents and many students is that they do not want this to be so.  How can it be that a test matters more than years of activities?

How can it matter as much as two-three years of grades?  The reality is that while 4 years of grades (or 3 to 3 and 1/3 when they apply) are more important, the SAT (and ACT) matter almost as much.

Here’s why: top colleges are inundated with applicants.  At least 50% of spots for admitted students are related to areas that your “normal Connecticut suburban” student is not eligible for.  I have had blunt discussions with admissions officers who walk through the pressures they have and the percentages of students who are (1) recruited athletes (2) underrepresented minorities (3) first generation college students (4) VIP connected (consider not only the 1% but also all the higher ups at any university who have children applying to that university (5) some special talents (my niece was admitted to Harvard, in part, because she is a world class opera singer) (6) extraordinary stories (children of refugees or the rare student who really did create something special) and (7) geographic diversity (it really does help if you are from Wyoming).

No need to argue with reality.  It is what it is.  Let us help your child excel.

Daryl Capuano

CEO, The Learning Consultants and Connecticut’s top private education consultant
full bio