Despite the rise in test-optional and test-blind policies during Covid admissions times, many admissions experts encouraged students to take the SAT and report scores. This week US News revealed the 31 universities with the highest combined average SAT reading and math scores for fall 2021 entrants. While the average SAT score for the class of 2021 was 1060, per the College Board, applicants admitted to schools on this list earned much higher marks. The average score for these 31 universities was 1494.
University of Chicago - ranked sixth on the National Universities list released earlier this year - topped the list with an average combined SAT score of 1545. The rest of the top five were made up of MIT with a score of 1538, Stanford with a score of 1528, Washington University in St. Louis with a score of 1522 and Harvey Mudd College with a score of 1520.
Test optional colleges accept but do not require SAT or ACT test scores. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to submit your test scores or not. If you’ve done well on your SATs, feel free to show off that score. On the other hand, if your score is below average, you may choose not to disclose your score and work on improving your application in other areas. On the other hand, when a school claims to be “test-blind,” they’re saying that test scores will not be considered at all in the admissions process. This means that even if you take the SAT or ACT and have your score reports sent to a test-blind school, the admissions office will neither see nor consider your score as a factor in your admission decision.
Of the 31 universities on the list, only two - MIT and Georgetown - required students to submit their SAT scores for admissions. More colleges are placing less emphasis on SAT scores, instead focusing on other factors in the admissions process such as GPA, course rigor, extracurricular activities, essay prompts and letters of recommendation. Many of the same names come up on a variety of top universities lists that have been released recently.