top of page
Search

How to Improve Your SAT Score with Targeted Academic Rigor


As college consultants one of our most often asked questions is “what is a good SAT/ACT score?” There are many factors that impact a student’s standardized test scores including prior preparation, test anxiety, academic preparedness and a bit of luck on test day. Obviously, factors like preparation, anxiety and luck will vary greatly between students. We have found that the one common factor between all our clients SAT or ACT success is academic preparedness. A rigorous academic curriculum and achievement is a factor that impacts a student’s SAT/ACT scores directly.


What is academic rigor? The term rigor used in the academic setting refers to courses

that are academically, intellectually, and personally challenging. If you start with that definition as your guidepost, you easily arrive at the conclusion that what is rigorous for one student may not be for another. A student’s academic rigor will depend on the courses available in their high school and their academic ability and interests but there is a link between high rigor and standardized test preparedness.


For instance, using a student’s English class as a guide for their Critical Reading and Writing Score we expect to find the following:


Strong (A’s and high B’s) Honors/AP Students + Strong Readers | 650-800 Strong (A’s and high B’s) in Regular English/B-Level Honors/AP Students| 600-650 B Students in Regular English/C-Level Honors/AP Students | 550-600 All Others | 450-550


Likewise, once a student has Algebra II and some Pre-Calc we expect to find the following:


Strong (A’s and high B’s) Honors/AP Students | 650-800 Strong (A’s and high B’s) in Regular Math/B-Level Honors/AP Students| 600-650 B Students in Regular Level Math/C-Level Honors/AP Students | 550-600 All Others | 450-550


Obviously, these anticipated scores do not take into account other factors like dedicated preparation, test anxiety and a student’s mental state on test day. In fact, dedicated, focused preparation can improve a student’s confidence and their scores. Further, we are not suggesting that standardized tests should be the measure of a student’s years of hard work in high school. Plenty of students work very hard and continue to increase their rigor and academic challenges throughout high school and will do just fine in college. However, SAT/ACT scores continue to be an evaluative factor in college admissions and merit awards. We recommend that students ask themselves these questions when selecting their courses:

• Am I taking a well-balanced academic program that will provide me with a good foundation for college?

• Am I prepared to take college-level math, writing, and science courses?

• Do I feel challenged by the courses that I am taking?

• Am I seeking challenge or avoiding it?


14 views0 comments

תגובות


bottom of page