How to Get Accepted into College with Low SAT Scores

February 8, 2021 at 5:00 AM
Learn how to get accepted into college with low SAT scored.

The SAT has long been the standard-bearer that dictates which prospective students colleges and universities choose to accept. Due to its weighted importance, it’s understandable that taking this test is stressful for students, and it can be even worse if you get your score back only to realize you didn’t perform as well as you had hoped. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. You still have plenty of options, and the team here at Educational Attainment Services can show you how to get accepted into college with low SAT scores.

What you can do if you receive a low SAT score.

Take the test a second time.

Schools understand the various stresses that can affect your test-taking abilities, so you aren’t necessarily beholden to the first score you receive when you take the SAT. Maybe you didn’t sleep well the night before, you were nervous, or you had distractions on your mind.

Regardless of why you didn’t perform to your best abilities, you’re likely to do better on your second attempt. Luckily, many colleges allow you to submit multiple test scores and will either take the higher one or average the two out, which bolsters your chances of acceptance.

Choose the ACT instead of the SAT.

Most colleges and universities accept the ACT – an alternative college readiness exam – when deciding who to admit for the upcoming semester. So if you didn’t receive the score you’d hoped for on the SAT, this is a viable option to boost your chances.

There are also key differences between the two tests that might help you. With the ACT, your math performance accounts for a fourth of your overall score compared to half with the SAT, making it better for students who struggle with arithmetic. The optional writing section is also different. The ACT allows you to give personal opinions in your essay, so it’s better for students who are confident in their writing capabilities.

Find test-optional colleges.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges across the country have stopped requiring the ACT and SAT as part of their admission process, and it’s a trend that’s likely to continue as we move forward in 2021. That means you might not have to worry about how to get accepted into college with low SAT scores anymore.

If you didn’t perform well on these tests, you can still get into college. Even if it’s not your dream school, you always have the option of attending a test-optional institution and then transferring to your preferred school later.

Expand your extracurricular activities.

While test scores are certainly an influence in the admission process, it’s not the only determining factor admissions professionals use when making their decisions. Colleges want well-rounded students, so what you do outside of the classroom matters, and focusing on this aspect of the application can help offset low test scores.

Activities such as participating in sports, joining academic clubs, excelling in music or dance, and volunteering in your community build a more complete resume. You should also highlight any awards or accolades you’ve accrued in high school to better your chances of getting into college.

Want more guidance on how to get accepted into college with low SAT scores?

Then contact the experts at Educational Attainment Services. Based in Los Angeles, CA, we are a college admissions advisory group that is dedicated to helping students and their families realize their dream of attending a higher education institution. From obtaining scholarships and financial aid to helping with college essays, navigating the application process, and providing interview preparation, we help you on every step of the journey.

We’ve already helped thousands of students get into colleges all over the world, and now we want to do the same for you. Learn more about how we can help, or send us a message online to schedule your initial consultation.