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Great GPA but Low SAT/ACT?

February 2, 2017

There has been a lot of discussion and debate over which is better to have a great GPA or Standardized Test score well the simple answer is to have both! The reality is most students do not do well in both of these areas thus the continued struggle to find an answer to this ever growing problem.


College Planning Services assist thousands of families across the country and one of the things that is apparent is that this problem is not going away any time soon says, Anthony Weeks a National College Recruiter at College Planning Services. For years many students have been taught to focus so much on grades that in many cases not enough attention has been spent on proper standardized test training. 


On the internet and in educational circles there is no small stir of confusion regarding this question of which is better to have a high GPA or a good (SAT/ACT) test score. In an article published by Kate Rogers of Fox Business in 2014 had this to say, "Students who think they’re going to slide by in high school with barely-passing grades, but nail the SATs to get into the college of their choice, better think twice.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) finds that there is virtually no difference in college graduation rates among students who did and did not submit standardized test scores. It’s a student’s high school GPA that can play a role in college success."


While information like that published by Fox Business is good it only answers one part of the issue and  that being who typically preform better"in college" but does not answer the question of which is better regarding college admittance or scholarships. 


On a weekly basis we are approached by families that have a student that have a great gpa (say a 3.8 gpa) but can't seem to score a 1000 on the SAT or a 20 on the ACT. This happens more than some would like to admit or acknowlege and colleges are reporting that this is a challenge in admitting even the best academically inclinded students today. The reality is that colleges have what is called "benchmarks" that include minimum gpa and standardized test scores for admittance and for scholarships. 


For years families have practiced the definition for "insanity" doing the same thing and expecting a different result. In an effort to make a difference for good and assist more families College Planning Services will begin working more to share their programs with schools and the community at large to address these concerns.