How to Get into Stanford: Average SAT Scores and ACT Scores

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What does your child need to get into Stanford University? This article covers the objective criteria for admission to Stanford, including SAT scores, ACT scores and GPA.

How to Get Into Stanford: The Admissions Criteria

Stanford is one of the most competitive private colleges or universities in the US, with a 4.80% acceptance rate, an average of 1480 on the SAT, an average of 33 on the ACT and an rough average unweighted GPA of 4 (unofficial). In order to feel secure when applying to this school, it is incredibly useful to to score higher than 90% or more of US test-takers, above a 1480 on the SAT or a 33 on the ACT. Though of course all schools strive to look at a holistic image of each student, a high standardized test score can give you a competitive edge over other qualified applicants, making sure that admissions is able to focus on the most exciting aspects of your application.

Stanford Admissions Scorecard

  • Stanford, CA
  • Private
  • Undergraduate students: 7,034
  • Estimated average unweighted GPA of admitted students (unofficial):  4
  • Average SAT Score of admitted students: 1480
  • Average ACT Score of admitted students: 33
  • Subject tests required: No
  • SAT Scoring policy: Superscore
  • ACT Scoring policy: Superscore
  • Scholarships based on test scores: Stanford only offers need-based financial aid.

Stanford Average SAT Score: 1480

The average SAT score of admitted students to Stanford University is 1480. If you or your child is applying to Stanford, scoring above 1480 means the SAT is working in your favor. Scoring below 1480 means the SAT is working against you. Moreover, if your child scores above 1580, the 75th percentile score at Stanford, the ACT will significantly help their chances of getting in.

Where does that score leave you? 1% of SAT test-takers score 1480 or higher.

TIP: what if your child doesn’t have a 1480 or higher? Learn what parents can do to help their children reach their full potential on the SAT (or ACT).

Here’s a breakdown of the average SAT scores at Stanford by section:

Math Evidenced-based Reading and Writing Total
750 730 1480

Stanford SAT Essay Policy

Stanford requires that applicants submit an SAT Essay along with the rest of the exam. Since the essay is an optional component of the test, students considering Stanford should take note of this policy.

TIP: if the essay isn’t required, does that mean your child should still take it? And if so, how do you prepare for it?

Stanford SAT Scoring Policy

Stanford superscores the SAT, meaning they consider the highest section from each test attempt. This differs from Score Choice, a policy where colleges consider the best SAT total score.

For more about superscoring, read this article.

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Stanford Average ACT Score: 33

The average ACT score of admitted students to Stanford University is 33. That means, if you or your child is applying to Stanford, scoring above 33 means the ACT is working in your favor. Scoring below 33 means the ACT is working against you. Moreover, if your child scores above 35, the 75th percentile score at Stanford, the ACT will significantly help their chances of getting in.

Where does that score leave you? 2% of ACT test-takers score 33 or higher.

TIP: what if your child doesn’t have a 33 or higher? Learn what parents can do to help their children reach their full potential on the ACT (or SAT).

Here’s a breakdown of the average ACT scores at Stanford by the English and Math sections:

Math English Total
33 34 33

Stanford ACT Essay Policy

Stanford requires that applicants submit an ACT Essay along with the rest of the exam. Since the essay is an optional component of the test, students considering Stanford should take note of this policy.

TIP: if the essay isn’t required, does that mean your child should still take it? And if so, how do you prepare for it?

Stanford ACT Scoring

Stanford superscores the ACT, meaning they consider the highest section from each test attempt. This differs from Score Choice, a policy where colleges consider the best SAT total score.

For more about superscoring, read this article.

Whether you’re well underway in the prep process or just beginning, you likely have some questions. We try to answer them in How to Conquer ACT Prep (for Parents). Hint: it’s less complicated than you might think!

Does Stanford Require SAT Subject Tests?

SAT Subject Tests are standardized tests of individual academic subjects that some applicants submit to colleges. While some colleges require that all applicants submit a number of SAT Subject Tests, Stanford does not. However, Subject Tests can improve your candidacy and some of Stanford’s departments may require SAT Subject Test scores in their area of study.

Interested in Stanford? You might like these schools too…

If you’re underway in your college search, the schools below might be worth exploring. We’ve categorized each school based on how difficult they are to get into, relative to Stanford.

Match Schools

These are schools that are the right fit for your student’s admissions criteria.

University of Pennsylvania

  • A private university in Philadelphia, PA with 10468 undergraduate students, UPenn is very selective; the average admitted student has around a 4.0 GPA and a 1475 on the SAT or 34 on the ACT.

Duke University

  • A private university in Durham, NC with 6577 undergraduate students, Duke is very selective; the average admitted student has around a 4.0 GPA and a 1475 on the SAT or 33 on the ACT.

Brown University

  • A private university in Providence, RI with 6565 undergraduate students, Brown is very selective; the average admitted student has around a 4.0 GPA and a 1470 on the SAT or 33 on the ACT.

Safety Schools

These are schools where your student exceeds the average admissions criteria.

Brandeis University

  • A private university in Waltham, MA with 3591 undergraduate students, Brandeis is very selective; the average admitted student has around a 3.9 GPA and a 1375 on the SAT or 31 on the ACT.

New York University

  • A private university in New York, NY with 24888 undergraduate students, NYU is one of the more competitive schools in the US; the average admitted student has around a 3.9 GPA and a 1365 on the SAT or 31 on the ACT.

Emory University-Oxford College

  • A private college in Oxford, GA with Unlisted undergraduate students, Emory is one of the more competitive schools in the US; the average admitted student has around a 3.9 GPA and a 1345 on the SAT or 30 on the ACT.

Reach Schools

These are schools that are particularly selective relative to your student’s admissions criteria.

California Institute of Technology

  • A private university in Pasadena, CA with 979 undergraduate students, Caltech is very selective; the average admitted student has around a 4.0 GPA and a 1555 on the SAT or 35 on the ACT.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • A private university in Cambridge, MA with 4476 undergraduate students, MIT is very selective; the average admitted student has around a 4.0 GPA and a 1525 on the SAT or 34 on the ACT.

University of Chicago

  • A private university in Chicago, IL with 5967 undergraduate students, University of Chicago is very selective; the average admitted student has around a 4.0 GPA and a 1525 on the SAT or 34 on the ACT.
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By |2019-06-05T20:54:39+00:00July 24th, 2018|Admissions|