What SAT score should I submit/not submit to selective test optional schools?Answered
Since many colleges are now test optional for the next admissions cycle, I'm wondering if I should or shouldn't submit my SAT scores for applying to selective institutions (Wellesley, Middlebury, Amherst). What SAT scores would hurt my admissions, and what do I need to increase my chances (I currently have a 1420)? Other than test scores, I'll have taken 7 APs, 8 Honors, and 2 college courses once I graduate. I have an unweighted gpa of 3.97, and a weighted gpa of 4.50. I participate in varsity XC, Track, and Nordic Skiing, as well as being part of the technical theatre team and run crew for 8 musicals and 17 plays. I'm the treasurer for my class and will be a member of the executive student council next year. I'm also a part of debate club and sources of strength (suicide prevention). I'm in National Honor Society, and am a chair of the Youth Leadership Academy in the Communities That Cares Coalition in our town, meaning my job is to work in the community and with partners to reduce youth substance use. Do I need to submit an SAT score, and if so what scores would be beneficial vs harmful to my application? Thank you!!
Having 1420 is a good SAT score and it's in the 50% middle for all the schools 1420/1530 (Amherst). 1390/1510 (Middlebury) and 1380/1520 (Wellesley). It's really up to you. If you have the opportunity to improve it by retaking it in the fall, aim for 1450+ and you should be good to go. At this level, it's not going to hurt you in any way. Personally I don't know how many applicants are going to submit scores but I imagine that it's still going to be pretty high like 75%/85%. One thing to keep in mind is that more HS Seniors will be applying to better schools so there might be a 10% bump in total applications. Therefore you want to have an SAT/ACT score in your file, in my opinion, to differentiate yourself from similar applicants who have great GPAs, APS, ECS, etc. I hope that is helpful.
@CameronBameron summed most of it up! The biggest takeaway is that even schools that are "test optional" will still consider and look at test scores. If your score is at or above the 50th percentile, then submitting will typically be to your advantage. I'd like to also point out that it'll be important to consider your demographics. While 1420 will likely be a good score for the schools you mentioned (though definitely on the lower end for Amherst), that mostly holds true if you're white or an underrepresented minority (URM). If your demographic is Asian, it might be better to withhold your score or wait to see if you can improve it and send it later.
Hope this helps!
If the school's have gone test optional, that means a student who will submit scores won't get a competitive advantage over you. So if you think the score doesn't reflect your ability, it is better to not submit it.