Known for its top-notch academics, research, as well as passionate and expert teachers, Duke is a powerhouse university that offers each and every one of its students a challenge and reward.
As one of the top private, co-ed colleges in the US, Duke is as selective as it is prestigious. With an acceptance rate of 10% and well over 33,000 senior high school students applying each year, competition is high, to say the least–especially when most of the applicants are at the top of their class and have GPAs above 4.0.
So, what about the entrance exams? What kind of scores would you need to make it into MIT? A good trick to use is to look at the average scores between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile to see how the middle 50% of admitted students score, finding averages makes comparisons easier.
Keeping in mind that 36 is the highest achievable score for the ACT, the average scores of students accepted at Duke are between 31-35. The national average is 21, so Duke students are expected to excel at this entrance exam.
Taking a closer look at the sections of the test, the national averages for the Math and English portions are 20.8 and 20.4 respectively. For Duke acceptees, the averages for the Math portion range between 31-35. For English, they average 31-35.
SAT scores are a little bit trickier to average out now that it’s made the transition from the old 2400 scoring scale to the new 1600 one. On the new scale, Duke students earned, on average, between 1370 and 1550. Nationally, that average looks to be about 1000.
For the Reading section (sometimes called the Verbal), Duke-admitted students averaged 720-780 on the new scale. For Math, they scored on average between 710-790. The national average for Reading is about 495. For Math, it’s 511.
How Duke Students Compare
The average ACT and SAT composite scores for Duke are 34 and 2250 (on the old scale, which translates to about a 1500 on the new one). This means that, on average, students admitted into Duke score in the 99th percentile for both tests!
Of course Duke, like at any school, your ACT or SAT score alone won’t be the single determining factor on whether or not you get accepted. Schools also look for how you push yourself, how you’re involved with your community, what extracurricular activities you’re into, as well as many other things. Test scores and GPAs are important–really important!–but they aren’t the only thing to pay attention to. After all, you’re a student, not just a number on a page.
Requirements for Duke include: either the ACT or SAT, completion of a college-prep program, letters of recommendation, and a school record.