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Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Are National Average ACT and SAT Scores really telling?

I've been focusing on the idea of beating the national average ACT and SAT scores, but I started thinking. Are these averages a good representation of what colleges are looking for? Also, does anyone know the current national average for these?

7 days ago

The national average ACT score for 2022 was 20.3, and the national average SAT score for the 2023 testing year (since it has now gone fully digital) is not yet released. However, for context, in previous years when it was paper-based the SAT average tended to be around 1050.

While it's certainly not a bad goal to aim above these national averages, it's crucial to understand that colleges, especially competitive ones, expect an applicant's score to be well above these averages. A good rule of thumb is to target scores that align with or exceed the middle 50% range of accepted students for the specific schools you're interested in.

Furthermore, standardized scores are just one aspect of your application. Schools will also heavily consider other factors such as your high school GPA, rigorousness of your coursework, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and, for some schools, demonstrated interest. Always remember that the college admission process values a holistic view of a student's accomplishments and potential.

One last point: keep an eye on the testing policies of your target schools. Some colleges have made SAT/ACT scores optional due to the pandemic, and others such as the University of California and Cal State systems remain test-blind as of the 2024-2025 application cycle. So, depending on the schools you're aiming for, your ACT or SAT scores may be less (or not at all) relevant to your application strategy.

7 days ago

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