7 months ago
Admissions Advice

Should I take the ACT if I’m applying early decision?

I’m currently a high school senior looking to apply to competitive schools. I have a high gpa and a multitude of extra curricular activities and other things I can place on my application. I plan on applying test optional, but I’m not sure if it’s the best idea. I never took the ACT or SAT.

The earliest I could take the ACT is Oct. 28th, and if I plan on applying early decision to my dream school I have to submit my application on Nov. 1st. As of right now, my chances of getting into my dream school is at 12%, last year they only accepted 3%.

With these circumstances, does an ACT or SAT score greatly affect my chances of getting into my dream school? Or is applying test optional a route I can take?


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1 answer

7 months ago[edited]

You could use the chancing simulator on here to see how different scores could impact your chances!

However, my biggest recommendation is to reach out to your dream school's admissions office and ask them if they would consider ACT scores submitted after your early decision application. If not, taking the ACT could still be a good idea so that you can send them those scores if you apply again for regular decision if you're deferred.

You can also use the additional information section on the Common App or a call or email with admissions to explain your circumstances around not taking these tests. The good news is that competitive schools seem to really understand that a person's test scores do not wholly represent them as a student, and plenty of students accepted to these schools applied test optional.

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)

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