It really boils down to this: “Or would it be worse if she retakes and gets a slightly higher essay score but her 1590 goes down?” Yes, it would be worse. She might receive a 1570 or 1580, which would be no harm, but it seems like an iffy bet to risk such an incredible SAT score. Her 5’s are not going to be that out of the norm. Some schools superscore, of course, but Stanford and Berkeley are examples of colleges that do not. Stanford is a special case because it does not even recognize Score Choice. They are going to see her 5/5/5 whether she repeats or not. If you were an admission officer, what would you think about a 1590 student who decides to retest? It certainly seems that she has more than enough to show that the Essay score does not define her. I would sit tight on the SAT and concentrate on Subject Tests, grades, and all of the other things she enjoys doing.
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To me it sounds like volleyball will be your main thing, and maybe calligraphy could be a secondary main thing (depending on how into it you are), and then you can round out your application with some volunteering, a few clubs, maybe a summer program or two. I can tell you that national recognition in volleyball is going to impress them the most, though – they love awards. Of course, NEVER sacrifice grades for extracurriculars – if your grades aren’t good enough they won’t even look at them. Remember, at the Ivy League level extracurriculars are mostly just a way for you to stand out from all the other national merit finalists and semi-finalists. Best of luck to you – keep up your grades and keep up with volleyball and your chances will be as good as anyone’s. Also, don’t neglect application strategy .