Lind, I qualified my statement with the point that I know a 171 isn't bad. What's bad is stress, and stress can drop the score you've worked hard to attain, regardless of what it is, 5 points. The difference between a 171 and a 165 is not much point-wise, but it is a lot of closed doors at T14s. Just like the difference between a 160 and a 155 is a lot of closed doors.
A 5 point drop from 171 is a 166, technically, which still gives you a shot at a T14 with ED and good grades. And you're unlikely to really drop that much if you're hitting 171 consistently. Bottom line, 171 isn't really "borderline" by any reasonable measure, unless you're talking HYS.
However, if you want to score above 170 on test day, a 171 IS borderline.
But you don't really need to break 170 unless you're gunning for HYS. That's my point. (Yes, it's helpful for T14, but high 160's won't screw you either.) Sure, it's borderline for 170, but that's hardly something to get stressed about.
Anyone who tells you you're rude for pointing that out has probably never been borderline in anything in life to understand what that feels like, whether that's borderline 160s, borderline 150s, borderline 180.
I was talking to Lavahead in terms of the rudeness. And I stand by my point that it's obscene to complain openly about "only" scoring 170 when your friends may be struggling to break 150. I don't fault anyone on here for doing so, because this is a fairly unusual forum. But in real life, people should expect others dying for a 160 (or 150) to get upset if they hear someone complaing about stagnating at 170. It's like complaining to unemployed people that you're only getting paid $150K, instead of $200K.
I know what it's like to stress about marginal stuff, and I'm sure I've annoyed people in the process. I'm just trying to lend some perspective.
Anyway, I've also gotten stressed over goofy stuff, I'm just noting that by hitting 171, you're solidly in the T14 range, even if you drop on test day.