2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Is a better option to send in scores that you may not like from the ACT and SAT or just don't send in the score at all?

I am a rising Senior And I'm interested in my question above especially with many schools becoming test-optional.

🎉 First post
Let’s welcome @joe. to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.

Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

The best way to do this is to look at the previous admissions data for the middle 50% scores of admits to the school you are applying to. For example if you are applying to ABC college and their 50% middle test scores are 1220-1350 for SAT and 26-29 for the ACT, then you want to be in the range. Since test scores are self reporting in most cases, you can decide which score to submit. If you have a high SAT score and low ACT score, just submit the SAT. If you have taken the SAT 4 times and your scores are 1100, 1150, 1260, and 1290 but your super score is 1340, then just write in the 1340 on your common app and explain which tests make up the super score. Same goes with the ACT, if you have a 25, 27, 27, 28 but your superscore is a 29, just write in the 29 and explain which test make up your superscore.

Its up to you which format test you submit, either SAT, or ACT. It's up to you how you self report as well. On rare occasions, the college will ask for the entire series of test scores. But they will disclose that requirement on their website under test requirements.

If your SAT or ACT fall below the 25% percentile for the schools you are applying to, the rule of thumb is not to submit your test scores. So using the previous example of 1220/1350 or 26/29, you do not want to submit an SAT lower than a 1210, or 25. Then you want to apply test optional.

If you have time to improve your SAT or ACT during the summer, I would recommend trying to get a higher score. It's very true that submitting a very good test score benefits your chances of getting accepted versus not submitting a test at all.

Good luck.

2 years ago[edited]

It depends on your GPA, if you have an average GPA (like around 3.0) but wicked high test scores (I'd say 29+ or 1330+) then submit your test score! It will help when the college offers you a merit scholarship! If your GPA is super high (4.0+) but your test score is pretty average (like 20or 1060 vibes) then don't send in the score.

This is based on my experiences! An average test score/GPA won't necessarily tank your admissions chances for most schools, but it will affect your merit scholarship! I initially applied to a school as test-optional with a 4.49 weighted GPA and obtained a solid scholarship, but later I actually ended up getting a higher ACT score of 29 and was able to switch to test-considered (ask the admissions counselor about this!) and the yearly scholarship amount went up by $1000!

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works