SAT and ACT FAQs: What Do I Do If My ACT or SAT Scores Are Low But My Grades Are High?

About this article
Standardized tests (SAT/ACT) can cause panic in many individuals because it is as if your college career will depend on the results. This article offers some relief to your anxiety if you are a good student with low standardized test scores.
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You're very close to graduation and you can't wait. It's probably your junior or senior year and you've been hard at work for most of your life in compulsory education. After graduation, however, it is time to pursue your own academic goals. Problem is, a five-hour test stands in your way. So, like many others you stress out, take the test, and bomb it. What now? Will colleges laugh in your face when you apply?

If you've had a similar experience as the one described above, consider this: College admissions staff look at many different factors when making a decision about whether or not to admit a student. One of the main things college admissions staff are looking for is to see whether your high school academic profile indicates potential for academic success on their campus. They also look at other factors of the high school years: your grades in courses, what courses you took, your participation in extracurricular activities, etc. In addition, they will look at the essay you may have to write, the interview you may have had with the college, and anything else that may be required along with the college application.

Collegeboard.com also adds that Advanced Placement (AP) courses are a good college application booster. Have you taken any AP courses in high school? If so, how well did you do on the exams in these classes? High exam/class scores indicate (to college admission staff anyway) that you're ready to handle college-level work.

So you see, your SAT/ACT scores are just a piece of the pie. If you've done well in your courses, taken advanced courses, or even if you have participated in school sponsored extracurricular activities, you have a chance to get in. Besides, you can always retake the SAT/ACT anyway. You're very close so don't worry and good luck!

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George Mason University

  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics

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American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Master of Arts in Economics

What is your highest level of education?

University of Delaware

  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance

What is your highest level of education completed?

Georgetown University

  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management
  • Diploma: Medical Office Admin

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
  • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

Seton Hall University

  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
  • Master of Business Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • Master: Legal Studies
  • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Psychology

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