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


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Understanding Middle 50 SAT Scores

Hi everyone! I've been researching colleges and seeing a lot of talk about 'middle 50' SAT scores. I understand it's a range of scores, but how does it impact my chances of getting into a college? And should I be concerned if my SAT score is below the middle 50 range for my dream school?

6 months ago

Hi! You're correct that the term "middle 50" SAT scores refer to a range of scores. Specifically, it's the range between the 25th and 75th percentile of accepted students' scores. Out of all accepted students' scores, the 25th percentile is the score that did better than 25% of other students, while a 75th percentile score did better than 75% of other students.

Since this range falls right in the middle of accepted students' scores, it can give you a clearer understanding of how competitive your SAT score is relative to other applicants of that particular college - reporting the top 50% might make the college seem more selective than it is, while reporting the bottom 50% would have the opposite problem. This range gives you a realistic sense of what you need to shoot for to be a viable candidate.

While having a score within the middle 50 range indicates you're competitively positioned academically, it's important to remember that while SAT scores play a significant role in college admissions, most colleges use a holistic approach to evaluate applicants. This means factors like your essays, extracurriculars, recommendation letters, and coursework also play a role in the admission decision. Just because you're within the middle 50 at a particular school, or even above it, doesn't mean you're guaranteed to be accepted.

On the flip side, if your SAT score falls below the middle 50 range for your dream school, don't lose hope: you can still get accepted. However, having a lower SAT score may mean that you'll need to compensate in other areas of your application, like having exceptional essays, extracurriculars, or recommendation letters to show your potential and passion. You could also consider retaking the SAT if you feel you can score significantly higher on a future attempt.

Ultimately, the middle 50 SAT scores are a helpful gauge to see where you academically stand amongst other applicants for a specific college, but they don't solely define your chances of admission. Focus on building a well-rounded application to maximize your chances of getting accepted. Good luck!

6 months ago

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