According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (2015), grades – specifically grades in college preparation classes – are the most important factor in college acceptance. And despite a recent trend towards less rigid testing requirements, ACT and SAT test scores remain a highly-considered factor in the college acceptance decision.
That’s a lot of numbers. The key takeaway is that over half of colleges report that test scores on the ACT or SAT are of “considerable importance” in the admissions decision. Nearly 28% consider the test scores of “moderate importance.”
More competitive colleges will consider all or most of the above factors. At the most selective schools, impressive grades and high test scores are essentially boxes checked for the admission committee to spend time reading the students’ essays or letter of recommendation. The most selective schools also place consideration on a student’s first-generation status, race/ethnicity, and high school attended.
Moderately Selective Colleges
At moderately selective schools, test scores are considered a less heavily weighted part of the review. Essays, recommendations, and the interview may carry more weight, as these schools place greater emphasis on a more holistic, qualitative review of the applicant.
Large Public Universities
Many large public universities simplly don’t have time to give each application a thorough review and must place a heavier emphasis on numbers-based admissions. Consider that UCLA has over 100,000 applications, which requires that the admissions committee review ~1,500 applications per day.
Regardless of where students are applying, they’ll maximize their opportunities if they realize their full potential on standardized tests and submit ACT or SAT scores that make them competitive with others in the applicant pool. If you’re looking to achieve your best on the exams, check out Expert Tips to Master the ACT and SAT.
Do you like what you’ve read? Please click the links to share with friends who would also benefit from knowing about the importance of the ACT and SAT in college admissions.
About Winward Academy – Winward Academy is one of the world’s leading innovators in the online education space, providing web-based academic support that enhances students’ knowledge, confidence, and competitiveness in middle and high school academics and in college applications. We help thousands of students every year by providing personalized, comprehensive ACT and SAT test preparation and extensive math curriculum support. The Winward Academy learning platform honors over 40 years of education and cognitive psychology research, incorporating proven techniques that promote effective learning.
Winward Academy’s unmatched reputation is wholly attributable to our students’ exceptional success and to the trust earned among students, parents, and schools around the world.