6 months ago
Admissions Advice

Penn State: SAT or no? 1170

High School Senior

Good evening,

I just received my SAT score today of 1170. This was my second SAT test. On my initial attempt I received a 1150.

I understand this isn't particularly good (though I do believe my GPA, coursework rigor, and activities make up for this), though I am having trouble weighing whether I should give my scores when I apply or not. According to CollegeVine, the average SAT score of Penn State is 1270. PrepScholar has it listed as a 1265.

Personally, would you consider my score to more negatively impact my application than if I took the test-optional route?

Thank you very much in advance for any advice!



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2 answers

Accepted Answer
6 months ago

It depends on which campuses you are applying to.

CV suggests that you submit your score if you are within 60 pts of the lower bound score in the 50th percentile range.

In the case of Penn State, I would not submit to the University Park campus since you are 70 pts out of bound, however I would submit your 1170 to all other Penn State campuses since you fall squarely in the middle of their range.

This is based on the last date published by Penn State for their class of 2024.

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math

University Park Campus 1240-1410

All Other Campuses 1080-1260


6 months ago

Hello and welcome to CollegeVine!

Regarding your question, you have a unique option this year. Applying test-optional is an opportunity for you to cover a weak spot in your application. If you feel that your SAT score is below the average of the school you are applying to (and your other personal aspects cover for that weakness), then your application will not be negatively judged by not submitting an SAT score. In your case, I would probably select test-optional as it will not negatively impact your application as compared to a below-average score.

I wish you the best of luck in your Penn State application! -TIme


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