Should I Apply Early Action with So-So Test Scores?

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Question: I have taken both the ACT and SAT twice during my high school career. All four tests have been a letdown for me. I am extremely active outside of school (two jobs, sports, band, etc.), and I'm wondering if I should use my mid-tier ACT or SAT scores for Early Action or retest and apply for Regular Decision. My GPA is around a 3.7-3.8 unweighted. I have taken seven AP/IB courses in high school. My highest ACT was a 27, and SAT was a 1290. I plan to apply to Purdue, University of Florida, Ohio State, University of Cincinnati and Florida State.

With four test sessions under your belt and comparable scores on the ACT and SAT, the odds aren't good that yet another test attempt will bring a meaningful bump-up to your scores. So at this point, “The Dean" suggests that you forge ahead and apply to all of the colleges you've named. Most have an Early Action option, which you should choose. U. of Florida, however, has a Nov. 1 deadline and then reviews future applications on a space-available basis, so Early is best there, too. Although in a perfect world your application would include higher test scores, your best bet at this point is to indicate your interest with an Early bid.

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