How to Get Accepted into College with Low Test Scores

October 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM
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Many colleges and universities require testing as part of the application process. This can cause panic among students who fear that getting a low to average SAT or ACT score report might prevent them from getting accepted into their preferred university. Worrying about a bad test score is perfectly valid, but it isn’t a complete barrier to admission to most schools.

This article will discuss how to get accepted into college with low test scores.

1. Take an alternative test if you get a low score

If you received a below-average SAT score, keep in mind that it’s not the only type of college admissions test available. Most colleges and public universities accept SAT scores as part of a student’s application package, but the vast majority also accept ACT scores in place of or alongside the SAT. Students who excel in areas like math, science, reading, and English may prefer to take the ACT, especially if they are not as comfortable with the logic and reasoning sections required when taking the SAT.

2. Apply to colleges that do not require test scores

If you are dealing with low SAT and ACT scores, your student may want to reexamine their options. You should always have a backup plan, regardless of your SAT or ACT scores. You may want to consider some schools with lower score requirements or even schools that don’t require SAT or ACT scores at all.

You can create a plan by examining your target colleges and their application requirements. You may see a common theme and a list of familiar items like the official application, teacher recommendations, a personal essay, and college entrance exams. However, most colleges vary in terms of their requirements, and some schools don’t require the submission of test scores like the ACT or SAT.

Additionally, many schools have changed their stance on standardized testing over the past few years. They are now re-evaluating their policies and establishing themselves as either test-blind or test-optional institutions. Test-blind schools have taken the most assertive stance against standardized testing and instruct applicants not to send in test results to admissions officers such as those from the SAT or ACT. Unlike test-blind schools, test-optional schools will accept test scores from applicants but do not require them as part of the admissions process.

3. Take the test a second or third time

Standardized tests are not something that’s typically mastered on the first go-round. Before your student becomes upset at their low test score, consider the circumstances or other factors that could have contributed to poor performance. There could have been various issues, including taking the test while sick, panicking during the test, and taking it while ill-prepared.

But there’s good news. Many colleges allow students to submit multiple SAT scores to admissions officers during the college application process and will take the highest overall score submitted.

Reach out to Education Attainment Services for tips on how to get accepted into college.

If you’d like to learn more about how to get into your dream college, reach out to Educational Attainment Services. We help high school students prepare for applying to college and what it takes to get into the school they want. Schedule an appointment by calling 800-706-4134 or send a message using our contact form.

We look forward to working with you and helping you get into your dream college.