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For Counselors: How to Power Scattergrams for Your High School

Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, Scattergrams are popular among students and parents/guardians. 


Scattergrams provide valuable insights into the likelihood of acceptance at the colleges a student follows. At a glance, they show historical admission decisions using alumni students' GPAs and test scores.

Informed by Scattergrams, students can be more purposeful in their list building, while proactively taking steps to ensure they’re in good standing, based on past performance. 

Not all high schools take advantage of Scattergrams, especially in the wake of the test optional movement. This has the potential to leave students and parents/guardians in the dark. 

Fortunately, it’s easy to populate Scattergrams in Scoir for students and their supporters who are using (or wanting to use) this tool. 

How Scattergrams Work

Scattergrams are different for every school because they’re based on your students' unique test scores and outcomes. On the graph, you’ll see SAT scores on the left vertical axis and ACTs on the right. GPAs are across the top axis. 

Students and supporters can view the plotted outcomes of prior students based on the uploaded test scores and GPAs. The star shows where the student viewing the Scattergram currently stands. 

Customizing the view is easy so students can see results based on class year, weighted and unweighted GPA, and more. 

Steps to Power Scattergrams

Often, the obstacle students and their supporters encounter when viewing Scattergrams is lack of data. 

The number one driver of that data is whether counselors upload ACT/SAT scores, GPAs, and college acceptance outcomes into Scoir. The good news is it's quick and easy. 

1. Add test scores and GPAs

Counselors can bulk upload ACT/SAT scores and GPAs into Scoir. You can also give permission for students to self-report their own test scores and GPAs if you’d like. 

You may be thinking, but wait—the buzzword right now is Test Optional. And that means, students don’t need to include their test scores when applying to certain colleges.  

We hear you! 

BUT, we still encourage you to add those scores since most students continue to take these tests, even if they choose to apply Test Optional. The data is still relevant in using Scattergrams.

2. Add application outcomes

Once you have all your test scores and GPAs imported, your next step is to ensure the application outcomes are added. These fall into the categories of Accepted, Not accepted, Waitlisted, or Deferred on the Scattergram. 

3. Rinse and repeat with a Scattergram Checklist!

Every year as students go through application season, you’ll want to get in a rhythm of adding test scores, GPAs, and outcomes to ensure Scattergrams stay relevant.

We’ve created a helpful checklist that you can use each year as a friendly reminder! 

A final note on Scattergrams

At the end of the day, Scattergrams are intended to help students gauge the likelihood of acceptance and are not intended to be a definitive predictor of admission. After all, there are other factors at play, like extracurricular activities and essays and overall academic performance.

While everyone has their own opinion about Scattergrams and whether they find value in them,  our hope is that students and supporters who do find them helpful have access to useful Scattergrams full of data! 

Don’t forget to grab your free Scattergram Checklist before you go! 

Learn more about Scoir

Are you a student or family member hoping to learn more about how Scoir can help you with your college journey? Find out more here.

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