College

Top Colleges and the SAT

This is a reader-friendly version of the data found here. However, it would be best if you did not use this PDF as a definitive resource, as it looks like it was published in 2015.

**Recent Changes**
02-25-2024: Yale & Dartmouth
03-04-2024: Brown
03-11-2024: Texas
04-11-2024: Caltech
04-11-2024: Harvard
06-07-2024: Stanford

Each college chooses how they handle the SAT.

  • Test-Blind: Schools will not include your scores in their decision-making.
  • Test-Optional: Schools do not require scores to be submitted.
  • All-Scores: Schools require you to submit all tests you have taken.
  • Highest-Seating: Schools take your highest single total score.
  • Superscore: Schools take your highest individual section to create a “superscore” that could be higher than any individual seating.

I was surprised to learn about the number of top schools that want to see all your SAT scores. Taking the test 10 times can mean different things to different universities.

California Test Blind

Currently, California state schools are test blind. This means that taking the SAT or ACT does not affect your admission.

RankUniversity
14University of California – Berkeley
22University of California – Los Angeles
30University of California – San Diego
64University of California – Davis
84University of California – Santa Barbara

Not Test Optional

Thanks mostly in part to COVID, most major schools are now test-optional. You may submit your ACT or SAT score, but not doing so will not affect your admission. If your child is still a few years away from applying, they should consider taking the SAT. Most of these schools indicate that this is a temporary situation. Dartmouth has already stated that the Class of 2029 will require the SAT as they feel it is a “key measurement.”

Only the following schools require an SAT/ACT exam.

RankUniversity
1Harvard University
2Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3Stanford University
4University of Oxford
5University of Cambridge
6California Institute of Technology
11Yale University
26University of Edinburgh
43University of Texas – Austin
48Brown University
58Georgia Institute of Technology

All Scores

Though more prominent in the past, Princeton and Carnegie Mellon are the only top schools in the United States that come close to requiring all SAT scores to be submitted. They are both test-optional and would like a bigger picture of your scoring history.

RankUniversity
4University of Oxford
5University of Cambridge
23University of Toronto
26University of Edinburgh

Do Not Allow Self-Reporting

Most schools do not require you to officially submit scores through the CollegeBoard. Instead you can self-report your own scores and then upon your acceptance you will be expected to submit official scores. Here are the top schools that require official scores and do not allow self-reporting.

RankUniversity
10Princeton University
23University of Toronto
24New York University
26University of Edinburgh
34McGill University
43University of Texas – Austin
80The Ohio State University

Do Not Superscore SAT

Most schools will take your highest score from each section to create a “superscore.” So if you got a 1300 overall (700 Math, 600 Reading) and then retook the SAT and got a 1250 overall (550 Math, 700 Reading), your superscore would be a 1400 (700 Math, 700 Reading).

RankUniversity
4University of Oxford
43University of Texas – Austin
50University of Wisconsin
59University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
68University of Minnesota Twin Cities
80The Ohio State University
*I was unable to confirm the status of these schools: University of Cambridge (5), University of Toronto (23), McGill University (34)

Departing Thought

Test scores are no longer required for admission. However, if you submit multiple scores then, yes, we will superscore. We caution students and their families against placing too much emphasis on standardized tests, especially when they are no longer required. Taking either the SAT or ACT more than twice is probably a waste of time and money — as well as a source of unnecessary stress.

University of Washington Admissions

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