2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Should I Apply Test Optional To Ivys?

So I have a 1500 SAT, 790 Math and 710 Reading. Some of my peers have told me to apply test optional while some said to submit them. So now I'm on the edge and after some Googling, I read that applying test optional may offer a disadvantage as AOs may assume that you had a terrible score and did not submit them. So what's the verdict? I'm also a first-generation Asian majoring in comp sci.


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2 answers

2 months ago

Hi, I think you should definitely submit the SAT. You have a high Math score which will help you, and your Reading is not so low that it would significantly impact your chances. While Ivies are 'test-optional', the general consensus is that its usually better to submit your SAT, especially if its 1500+, which you technically fit in! I don't think AOs assume your test scores were BAD, but it certainly gives them less information to weigh you against other applicants who may have sent an SAT.

Since comp sci is a more math-related course, the high math score will help you a lot, while they may not care as much about the low reading score if you're applying to specific STEM-related colleges (eg I'm doing engineering so I'd apply to the engineering school rather than the arts&sciences college etc- not sure where comp sci majors would go).

I'd recommend sending it, but if you're still feeling iffy, you could check out the 25th percentile scores for the unis you plan to apply to. If you're WAY below the 25th (like, if they have a 780 Reading), then MAYBE you could consider not sending it. If their 25th percentile is 750 or below you're probably good.

Good luck!

2 months ago

Hi @elvxn!

Your score is in the 25th-75th percentile range for Ivies, so it would be a good idea to submit it. Although scores for your demographic are typically around 1530, being a first-generation student does give you some leeway. Moreover, the difference between 1500 and 1530 is (in most cases) just 2-3 questions. That wouldn't be why admissions officers would pick an applicant with 1530 over you. The major tiebreakers will be your extracurriculars and essays.

Hope this helps!


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