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Good SAT Scores: Ivy League Plus Edition

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Nov 10, 2016 6:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target

 

Setting a target SAT score to aim for is important, but what if you want to shoot for the moon and get an Ivy League-caliber SAT score? Read on to find out what SAT scores Ivy League Plus schools require.

feature image credit: Strauss Hall, Harvard Yard/used under CC BY 2.0/Resized from original.

 

Ivy League SAT Scores

While your SAT score isn’t the only factor that determines whether or not you get accepted to Ivy League-level schools, it does play a significant role in helping colleges compare candidates from different high schools. This is even more true for international students who don't have AP or IB courses in their schools, since US colleges and universities use those courses as ways to evaluate the academic potential of students attending a wide range of high schools, including students from countries with different grading systems altogether.

Your personal target SAT score is determined by the scores of students attending the schools you want to attend. If you’re aiming for top-tier schools like the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, or UChicago, this target score is going to necessarily be higher than it would be for less selective institutions, but just how high does this score have to be?

To answer this question, we've compiled a chart of the 25th and 75th percentile scores from all eight Ivy League schools (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, and Yale) as well as from MIT, UChicago, and Stanford. The chart includes averages of section scores from all the schools as well as the total SAT scores.

 

School Names

New SAT 25th %ile Scores

New SAT 75th %ile scores

EBRW

Math

TOTAL

EBRW

Math

TOTAL

MIT

740

780

1500

800

800

1600

Yale

740

740

1490

800

800

1600

Princeton

730

740

1470

800

800

1590

UPenn

730

740

1470

790

800

1590

Stanford

730

730

1450

790

800

1590

Columbia

730*

730*

1510

790*

800*

1580

Harvard

740*

740*

1470

800*

800*

1580

Dartmouth

710

700

1410

790

790

1580

Brown

710*

700*

1410**

780*

790*

1570**

UChicago

740*

745*

1490**

800*

800*

1560**

Cornell

700

710

1390**

760

780

1540**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

727

732

1455

791

796

1580

*Starred scores represent data collected from IPEDS; section scores may not add up to the total score
**Brown, UChicago, and Cornell provided CR+M old SAT total scores (out of 1600); new SAT total scores calculated using the College Board’s concordance tables.

 

The New SAT scores above were calculated using data from school websites and National Center for Educational Statistic’s IPEDS data center and the College Board’s converter tool and concordance tables. If you want to find old SAT scores for Ivy Leagure Plus schools, take a look at the table below:

 

School Name

Old SAT 25th %ile

Old SAT 75th %ile

Reading

Math

Writing

Total

Reading

Math

Writing

Total

MIT

710

760

700

2170

800

800

790

2390

Yale

710

710

720

2140

800

790

800

2390

Princeton

690

710

700

2100

790

800

790

2380

UPenn

690

710

700

2100

780

800

790

2370

Stanford

690

700

690

2080

780

800

780

2360

Columbia

690*

700*

700*

2180

780*

790*

780*

2340

Harvard

700

710*

710*

2100

800

800

800

2350

Dartmouth

660

670

670

2000

780

780

780

2340

Brown

660*

670*

670*

1410**

770*

780*

780*

1560**

UChicago

720*

715*

710*

1450**

800*

800*

780*

1550**

Cornell

650

680

No Data

1330**

740

770

No Data

1510**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

688

703

697

2098

784

792

787

2366

*Starred scores represent data collected from IPEDS; section scores may not add up to the total score
**Brown, UChicago, and Cornell provided CR+M total scores (out of 1600); they are not included in the total SAT averages
Data above collected and calculated from individual school websites and National Center for Educational Statistic’s IPEDS data center.

 

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What Does This Mean For You?

Going by our standard recommendations for setting target scores, you’d need to get a 1580 new SAT score to be on par with the top 75% of students admitted to Ivy League Plus schools; students with scores below 1450 on the new SAT are unlikely to be accepted.

The school with the largest spread between the 25th and 75th percentile scores is Dartmouth (170 point difference), while the schools with the smallest spread are Columbia and UChicago (70 point differences). This is important because it means there’s a lot more SAT score wiggle room for the middle 50% of students who apply to, say, Dartmouth or Cornell than there is for students applying to Columbia, UChicago, or MIT.

 

body_cornell-1.jpgUntitled/used under CC BY 2.0/Resized from orignal.

 

Realistically speaking, few students apply exclusively to Ivy League Plus schools because they are so selective. If you do, you might fail to get into any college at all (this happened to a student a year above me in high school). Plus, a high SAT score doesn’t guarantee you admission to any school; other quantitative measures like GPA also matter a great deal. For example, Harvard’s scatterplot of admitted students for Fall 2016 shows the vast majority of students with a GPA of 3.8 or better out of 4.0.

The bottom line: a score of 1580 or above on the SAT means that you are highly competitive for the top schools in the country, while a score of 1450 or below likely shuts you out of most of the Ivy League Plus schools.

 

What’s Next?

Are you all fired up about getting into the toughest schools in the country after reading this article? Then you'll love our complete guide on how to get into Harvard and the Ivy League and these two sample recommendation letters that got PrepScholar co-founder Allen Cheng into Harvard (and other Ivy League Plus schools).

Want to ensure your SAT prep isn't time wasted? Make sure you're following all the top tips from our article on how to get a perfect SAT score.

Took the SAT before March 2016 and not sure how you measure up to students taking the new SAT? Use our Old to New SAT Conversion charts to figure out where you stand.

 

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Laura Staffaroni
About the Author

Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.



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