As the first board finishes it’s work this year I wanted to publish some thoughts on Test Scores, which are a critical part of the application.
What tests and scores are looked at?
if you submit SAT scores Cadet Command will look at your Math and Critical Reading scores. Your writing score will be posted, but it won’t factor into the points generated directly from the score (more on that later). If you take the SAT multiple times Cadet Command will use the highest score you get on each part for your total. If you take the ACT your composite score is converted into an equivalent SAT score, which then generates points. So an ACT score of 19 correlates to a 920 SAT score and a 29 ACT score correlates to a 1300 SAT score. You can find the full conversion table in Cadet Command Pamphlet 145-1 if you are really curious
Where do I get points for my application?
The first thing to understand is that your file is given a score by the scholarship process and this score is used to rank order all the applicants. That Order of Merit list is used to make scholarship offers. You SAT or ACT score effects your score in a couple different places. You get a score specifically for your SAT/ACT scores. You will also receive a score for your PMS interview. At least 20 points on that interview can be directly impacted by your test scores. Your test scores will also factor into you SAL score. Finally the board that looks at your file will consider your test scores when they score your file. Test scores and PFT scores are probably the most quantifiable and least subjective parts of your application and are seen and considered more than any other piece of data.
How should I submit my scores?
You have a couple options. In my experience the least reliable way is to designate Army ROTC to receive your scores when you take them, or request the testing agency to submit send your scores to Cadet Command. Sometimes they get sent, received, processed, and posted by the testing agency and Cadet Command and sometimes they don’t. In my mind the less hands anything you are trying to submit go though the better. You can fax the test scores in. Once again, relying on a fax machine, and a person to post that to your application is risky. You can scan and email. That’s getting better, you are probably only relying on the person that opens that email to post it. My recommendation is you upload your scores to your application right on the application website. You can scan or take a screen shot of your test scores and upload the file. Once you upload the file you will be able to see that it is there, and you won’t have to wonder where your scores are at.
And one last bit of wisdom
SAT and ACT scores are important. I recommend you prep for them and do your best. The Army offers a free resource at March2success.com that you can use to prepare for the tests. You also need to make sure you are tracking when the tests are given and how that correlates with the deadlines for the scholarship process. Typically if you wait until your senior year to take your SAT for the first time you won’t have your scores back in time to be seen by the first board. If you don’t do well and need to retake the test then you may miss the second board too. I recommend taking SAT during your junior year to give yourself time to fix problems if you don’t do well the first time.