Should I retake my 1540 SAT?

By Maxine Seya

“Is 1540 SAT (740-R; 800-M; 6-4-6 W) along with 800 Math 2 & 800 Physics good enough for top engineering /comp sci. schools? Would you recommend a second attempt for SAT I or focusing on other aspects of the application?”

– Vijay in New Delhi, India

Hey Vijay, your scores are in line with those of admitted students in many engineering and computer science programs.

Let’s take a look at Carnegie Mellon’s statistics of admitted students. Let’s look at “CS” and “Engineering.” This was taken from the website of Carnegie Mellon — one of the top schools for engineering and computer science in the U.S. — in January 2019.

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Your verbal score of 740 falls within the admitted student averages for both the School of Computer Science (740-780) and College of Engineering (710-760). Your perfect math score of 800 exceeds both.

Because of that, I would strongly recommend against retaking the SAT, for four reasons.

4 Reasons Why Vijay Shouldn’t Retake His SATs

1. It’s already good. Your SAT score already meets the minimum criteria to be considered equally amongst your competition. As a tenth grader, when I scored a 2280 on the old SAT and considered retaking it, a wise advisor told me that colleges view scores between 2250-2400 as essentially the same score.

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.