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Common Application Issues

September 18, 2013


  1. The application asks how many times you have taken the SAT. Guidance counselors are encouraging students to answer 1 even though they have taken the test the usual 2 or 3 times. Some Ivies require all scores to be sent; other Ivies and selective schools do not. What number goes in the box — especially if your highest scores were in one sitting? What is the purpose of the question if the scores are being sent in accordance with the college’s policies anyway, which collegeboard.org makes abundantly clear. Can you get the commonapp folks to remove the question? It is fraught with potential to be dubbed a fibber if the number is not correct. By the way — when I have asked this question of the commonapp.org help center (that lists no phone number), they have not had a responsive answer. (College Confidential is replete with pleas from students to get a response.) Please advise.

    • Not sure why school counselors would tell students to write that they’ve only taken the SAT once if they’ve taken it two or three times, but if you’re hearing this on College Confidential then don’t believe everything you read. Kids who comment on College Confidential typically have hidden agendas. Think about it – these kids have their own interests first and foremost and, at the same time, they may be looking to sabotage their competition.

      So here’s your answer: If you’ve taken the SAT once, then the answer is 1. If you’ve taken it twice, then the answer is 2. If you’ve taken it three times, then the answer is 3. And if you’ve taken it more than that…get a life!

  2. I continue to have trouble accessing the common application recommendation page to upload your recommendation.
    The page refuses to allow me to create an account, although it does have my e mail.
    Any suggestions?