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By now, your student has likely taken the SAT or ACT and has some idea of where he or she wishes to apply next fall. As college application time approaches, it may be a good idea to take a look at your student's scores and consider how they'll influence his or her college choices next fall.
SAT Score Ranges for Reach, Match, and Safety Schools
Most students will apply to schools that can be classified into three categories-reach schools, match schools and safety schools. Simply put, a reach school is one whose expectations a student may not meet in some categories but may meet or exceed in others, making acceptance a possibility; a likely school is one whose expectations are fairly equal to a student's accomplishments making acceptance likely; and finally, a safety school is one whose expectations a student will easily exceed for an almost-certain acceptance. Most students will apply to one or two reach schools, two or three likely schools and one or two safety schools.
One easy way to determine whether a school falls into a reach, match, or safely category for your child is to compare your child's SAT or ACT scores against those of prospective schools. Most schools publish the scores of the middle 50% of their current freshman class, so this information is easily available school's website and on the CollegeBoard website. Comparing your child's scores to this middle 50% group can help you determine whether the school should be classified as a reach, match, or safety school for your child. Let's take a look at an example.
Susie Student is a rising senior who took the SAT twice in her junior year, and scored a 1400 both times. Susie has always dreamed of attending Brown, but is also interested in Boston University and Bentley University. Let's see how Susie's scores compare to those of the current freshman class at each school.
What if your child's scores don't match?
When It Comes to Choosing Schools. . .
Try not to get too hung up on scores. Don't forget - while test scores are important, they're not the only indicator of whether a student will be accepted. Grades, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and many other factors are considered. Any of these factors can easily boost a lower-scoring student up into a more competitive tier. So while it's a good idea to apply other places, if your student has his or her hopes set on a particular institution, remember that it can never hurt to apply.
Don't discount the match and safety schools. Not every student is meant to attend an Ivy League school. The admissions process at these schools is highly competitive, and the academic routine is rigorous. If your student has taken the SAT and ACT a number of times and simply can't get the scores his or her school of choice is looking for, it may be a good time to start looking into other possible institutions.
StudyPoint offers private, in-home SAT, PSAT, ACT & SSAT tutoring. Our staff also includes expert math, science, foreign language, and writing tutors.
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