4 years ago
Admissions Advice

Should I submit a Standardized test if it’s optional and I’m just below average?

Due to Coronavirus a lot of schools are making it optional to submit ACTs and SATs, although I’ve heard it looks better to submit a standardized test than to not. If I want to apply to a school that has an average ACT score of 32 and I got a 31, would it improve my chances to not submit my score or submit it? (An example of one of these schools is Boston University)

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
4 years ago[edited]

With the way test optional schools have worked in the past, there's always been an inherent advantage to submitting scores as long as they're around or above the average for the school you're applying to, and a disadvantage to not submitting them unless your other factors—GPA, coursework—are well above average. So what is the rest of your application like? If your GPA is extremely strong and you've taken a ton of AP classes, you'd probably be fine going the test optional route, as a 31 isn't going to move the needle much in either direction. But if your GPA, coursework, etc. isn't the strongest, I'd still submit the score.

Incidentally, when looking at averages for test scores, GPA, etc. for schools with holistic admissions, you also need to take into account what students you're going to be compared with. E.g., if you're from an over-represented minority background, the "average" score they compare you to will be higher than what you see on PrepScholar or CollegeSimply. If you're from a URM background, then it will be lower (in this case you'd be absolutely fine submitting a 31). I'm pretty sure CV's chancing engine takes that into account, so I would also go through the chancing profile on here and see what your list looks like with that score vs. without it, or with a score one point higher (so you can see what the difference between a 31 and 32 is). That might give you a more data-driven indication.

4 years ago

A lot of schools use a mid 50 percentile so if so you would fall into the mid 50% and that could help.

Though it kinda depends on what school as schools with less than 20% admittence rate would not like it. Thouh it is kinda a judgement call.

Though if your SAT is better if you taken that I would submit that.

Hope this helps!

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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