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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Test Optional: Yes or No?

I've noticed that a lot of colleges have gone test-optional, and I'm debating whether I should send in my SAT scores or just go test-optional. What factors should I consider, and did any of you have success going test optional?

6 months ago

When deciding whether to submit your SAT scores or go test-optional, you should consider several factors. Here are some points to think about before making your decision:

1. SAT Score Comparison: Compare your SAT score with the average score of admitted students at the schools you're applying to. You can find this information on the colleges' websites or through resources like CollegeVine. If your score is at or above the average, submitting your SAT score could be beneficial. On the other hand, if your score is significantly lower than the average, going test-optional might be the better choice.

2. Application Strength: Consider the overall strength of your application apart from standardized test scores. If you have impressive extracurriculars, strong letters of recommendation, high grades, and a compelling essay, you might not need a stellar SAT score to stand out.

3. Test Scores vs. Grades: Do your SAT scores accurately reflect your academic abilities? Sometimes, students with high GPAs have lower SAT scores or vice versa. If your SAT score isn't reflective of your academic potential, it might be best to go test-optional and let your grades speak for themselves.

4. Financial Aid: Some schools may require test scores for certain scholarships or financial aid opportunities. If you're aiming for a specific scholarship that requires SAT scores, you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of submitting your score, keeping the potential financial benefits in mind.

5. Time and Effort: If you're on the fence about submitting your SAT scores, think about the time and effort you've invested in test prep. If you've prepared extensively for the SAT and your score is above average for your desired schools, it might make sense to submit it.

As for success stories, many students have been admitted to competitive colleges without submitting test scores in recent years, especially during the pandemic when many schools adopted test-optional policies. Ultimately, the choice to submit your SAT score or go test-optional truly depends on your unique situation. Think critically about your circumstances and weigh the possible outcomes before making your decision.

6 months ago

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CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.