Preparing for College

Will Perfect Verbal Score Make Up for Lower Math SAT?

Question: I am in 10th grade and have a question about my SAT's. Will a very high verbal score (800) overshadow a lowish math score (620)?

A perfect 800 always makes admission folks sit up and take notice, and it certainly will have some clout when it comes to overshadowing a weaker math number. However, keep in mind that, if you are applying to the most competitive colleges, you will be up against many contenders who have high scores in both areas of the SAT.


Of course, colleges look at many other factors as well, and even applicants who are “dialing toll-free” (that is, perfect 800’s on their verbal and math scores) will be turned away from the top schools, if there aren't plenty of other outstanding accomplishments on their records. In other words, scores like yours (math included) are certainly in the ballpark everywhere, but only if they are accompanied by additional unique achievements, great grades, tough courses, and memorable recommendations.

Finally, you are only a sophomore, so you can expect that your math score will climb, assuming, of course, that your math career isn't already over.