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SAT and ACT Medians

Students ask us all the time, “What are my chances of getting into X?” Parents want to know whether their kids should bother with certain schools. “Do we even have a chance there?” While we’ve gotten pretty good at predicting a student’s chances of admission, there’s also a simple way to give yourself an idea of where you are with each school on your initial list: SAT and ACT medians.

A test score median represents the test scores of the average admit. If you want to have a good shot, you should be within 100 SAT points or 2 ACT points of the school’s most recent median. A score that’s within that range will get you in the front door: an admissions officer will pay attention to your application and you’ll have a good shot if everything else is in order as well.

Below is a table of SAT and ACT statistics for the top ten colleges in the country (see our Official Rankings). The statistics are the most recent class of admits, the class of 2017, which enters college in the fall of 2013-14. These score ranges are the middle 50% of the body of admitted students, meaning that the lower score is the 25th percentile and the higher is the 75th percentile. To the find the median of a school you can simply average the two, e.g. Yale has a median ACT score of 33.


SAT (middle 50%) ACT (middle 50%)
Yale 2140-2390 31-35
Harvard 2120-2400 32-35
Princeton 2120-2390 33-35
Stanford 2070-2350 32-35
MIT 2140-2380 33-35
Columbia 2150-2320 32-35
Caltech 2230-2340 33-35
Dartmouth 2040-2340 30-34
UChicago 1450-1550 (no Writing section) 32-35
Duke 2090-2360 31-34

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