3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Can someone tell me whether test optional would be good for these schools?

I only have a 1440 sat. Would it be better to go test optional for Harvard, Columbia, washu in st.louis, and duke?


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Congrats on your 1440, that's a great score.

In spite of it being on the lower end of the 50% percentile for all the schools you mentioned, this admissions cycle is different.

1.) Everyone is test-optional.

2.) Most high achieving kids don't have a test score to submit or they only took it once and didn't have the time or opportunity to ramp it upwards to their goal score. In past cycles, many kids took the SAT/ACT 3 sometimes 5 times to get the desired score.

3.) Standardized test scores although valuable information to admissions officers are downplayed right now with more weight given to grades, course rigor, essays, ECs, and recommendations.

CollegeVine's advice which I agree with is to submit a test score if it's within 60pts of the lower bound for SATs, and 3 pts of the lower bound for the ACT.

I think Columbia's Class of 2024 was 1500/1560 and 34/35 for the ACT so you're okay to submit there with a 1440 or a 31 ACT. Same with the other 3 schools, you're good to go.

A bit of advice for you since I'm just got accepted ED to Columbia is that you need to make sure your essays are the very best they can be and go over your application with a fine-toothed comb with no spelling errors, grammatical errors and always answer the prompt. For ED, Harvard got 58% more applications than last year, Columbia 49% more, and Duke about 25% more, and no data on WUSTL. Admit rates were down as well, 7.4% H, less than 10% Columbia, 17% Duke, and no data WUSTL. Therefore expect record numbers of applicants for RD and keep in mind there are fewer spots (up to 20% less than last years because of all the deferred admissions from Class of 24 taking gap years). RD admit rates are going to be (my guess) less than 4% for Harvard, less than 5% for Columbia, less than 6% for Duke, and less than 10% for WUSTL.

Good luck and apply to more schools as well!

3 years ago

Please take my advice with a grain of salt, as I am not a professional. In my opinion, if you have high stats in other areas (i.e. GPA, rigor, subject tests, ECs etc.) then I would recommend not submitting your SAT. You won't be penalized at all, and your score is on the lower end for those schools. If your stats are not that high, and you think your score would give you a boost, then by all means submit.

3 years ago[edited]

Answer deleted

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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