Based off of the chancing here on CollegeVine, it estimates that both Duke and Columbia should be hard target schools for me if I send in my 1380 on my SAT. However, I'm hesitant to send it in because it's pretty far below the 25th percentile of their accepted student's SAT scores, which is around a 1450 for both schools. I have three 5's, five 4's, and a 3 on all of my AP tests that I am including on my CommonApp. I also have a 4.0 unweighted GPA. I'd say my extracurricular profile is fairly strong too. While I know my SAT score is slacking for these schools, I also know that applying test-optional is a pretty big disadvantage, so I'm not sure what I should do. Will the rest of my profile compensate for submitting a bad SAT score? Or would it be better to just not submit a score at all, and hope they get a kick out of the rest of my application? Thanks for your help. 😬
I would recommend not submitting a score. Applying test-optional is not truly a disadvantage this admissions cycle - since the pandemic has reduced the number of opportunities to take the SAT/ACT, schools across the board have started assuming that COVID-19, rather than a bad score, is the reason why an applicant might choose not to submit their score. The lack of a score only puts the other pieces of your academic profile into the spotlight, and because yours are competitive, they will prove your intellectual vitality. Hope this helps!
First of all, are you a junior? Because the RD application deadline has already passed for both schools (1/1, 1/4)
If you are a junior, then unless you bring your SAT score to 1500, I would not submit your test score. At Columbia last years class had a 50% percentile middle of 1510-1570 and Duke had a 1500-1570 2 cycles back. Your 1380 is 120-130 pts below the 25th percentile. If you don't have a hook meaning you are not Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, First Gen, Low Income or LGBTQIA+, nor an ALDC, then you really want to have an SAT between 1520 and 1550 because there the competition is fierce for Asians and White applicants who do not have hooks.
In April, keep close tabs of these school profiles because I have a feeling they are going to be just as competitive or slightly higher.
No reason to send a score of 1380 to Duke or Columbia. You have better chances applying the test optional.
To keep this community safe and supportive: