What Test Score Do I Need to Get In?

Last updated May 17, 2021 

Every individual school is unique.

That sounds like a truism and not a very helpful one either. Shall we make that thought a little more specific?

Every school has its own unique set of admissions requirements. This is especially true when it comes to standardized testing. Although individual components may be similar—SATs, ACTs, essays, and SAT Subject Tests—the way colleges and universities pick and choose from these elements is far from standard. Rather than making an assumption about what a university wants to see from an applicant, your best bet is to familiarize yourself with testing requirements at each school you are interested in.

To give you a little help, we at A+ Test Prep and Tutoring have just updated our SAT and ACT Score Ranges by College. The list does not replace communication with your chosen college or university, but it is an excellent place to start getting familiar with each school’s requirements.

Copy of Can You Answer an SAT_ACT Question_

“This list is timely,” emphasizes Dan Ascher, President of A+. “The big takeaways are that fewer and fewer schools want the SAT/ACT essay or the SAT Subject Tests, so students really need to do their homework and check with each college about its standardized test requirements.”

This useful document compiles information from over 80 schools, including local colleges and the Ivies. Mid-50% scores are separated by subject (English vs. Math, for example) and are presented for both SAT and ACT.  Note: The term “Mid-50%” refers to a range of scores from the 25th to the 75th percentile. We consider the 25th percentile score to be the minimum score you should submit for a given college.

Additional categories note which components, such as the essay, are optional for which institutions. And while our list makes the distinction between tests that are required and those that are recommended, in practice you should submit anything labeled recommended.

A few examples of the differences you will find among schools are:

  • -Columbia University requires two SAT Subject Tests.
  • -Franklin and Marshall, on the other hand, would rather see two graded writing samples.
  • -The University of Delaware only looks at SAT Subject Tests for honors. In addition, SAT/ACT scores are optional for in-state students.
  • -Temple allows a student to dispense with the SAT or ACT altogether if that student’s GPA is 3.5 or higher.
  • -In some cases, SAT Subject Tests or SAT/ACT essays are valued primarily for placement purposes. See La Salle, Rowan, and The University of Notre Dame.
  • -Muhlenberg College is willing to do a face-to-face interview in place of evaluating test scores.


One final word of advice from Dan Ascher about the standardized testing landscape:

“It’s constantly evolving. So even though our list is current, families should go to each college’s website for the latest info. Sometimes they need to actually call the admissions offices since websites may be unclear—for example, not mentioning the SAT/ACT essay one way or the other.”

Finding out exactly what assessments you need to prepare for helps you to focus your energy and show your skills!

At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, our focus is always on you. Our practices are based on the latest developments in educational theory and research. Our outstanding tutors can help you with standardized testing, executive functioning, or achievement in any other school subject. If you would like more information, our Client Service Directors Anne Stanley and Susan Ware are available to answer questions and provide solutions. You may reach either of them by calling A+ Test Prep and Tutoring at 215-886-9188.


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