We often get asked just how important SAT scores are when it comes to college admissions (or ACT scores depending on the school). The answer depends on several different factors:
- The school – Some colleges care more than others. If the average SAT score of students accepted at a school is 1500, you might struggle to get in with a 1300. It’s not impossible. You just have to be realistic.
- Your focus – If you are going to school to be an engineer and you score 800 on the math side of the SAT but did poorly on the verbal side, the school may not care as much because you excel at what you are there for. The SAT becomes even less important if you are looking for a sports or arts education
- The total package – Even high SAT scores won’t matter if the rest of your application is ordinary. But if you have a great total package and high grades, you may be able to get into your school of choice with a slightly lower score than someone else.
Navigating the College Admissions Process
In the end SAT scores are important, but certainly not important enough to risk jail time by cheating like what we’ve recently seen in the college admissions scandal. The best thing to do is to do your best and try an SAT prep course if you think you need to a few more points to get into your school of choice.