As an Ivy League university, it makes sense that Yale is one of the most competitive colleges to gain admission to in the country. Each year, Yale receives around 31,000 applications for their freshman class of around 1,300 students. All told, Yale accepts just over 6 percent of students who apply.
One important part of a competitive application to Yale is strong standardized test scores. To apply to Yale, you’ll need to submit either an SAT or an ACT with writing. If you take more than one test, or take a test more than once, you’re required to submit your scores for each test date.
SAT subject tests, while recommended, aren’t required. If you’re particularly strong in one or a few academic areas, consider taking SAT subject tests to show off your skills.
To see how you stack up compared to students admitted to a college, it’s useful to look at test score interquartile—or the 25th-75th percentile—range for students previously admitted. Basically, this range indicates how the middle 50 percent of successful applicants tend to score on standardized tests. In general, students hoping to gain admission to a college should aim to score within or above the interquartile range.
The middle 50 percent of students admitted to Yale score between 31 and 35 on the ACT. This is the composite score, or the average of all four sections. For comparison, the highest possible score on the ACT is a 36.
The SAT was revamped on 2015, and it’s hard to say how and if scoring will change. However, it may still be useful to use historical data for the sake of comparison.
The interquartile range for the math section of the SAT for successful applicants to Yale is between 700 and 800. For the verbal section, the range is 710 to 800. The highest score possible on each section is 800.
The combined SAT score is just the sum of the verbal and math section scores. The 25th percentile for combined SAT scores of students accepted to Yale is 1410, and the 75th percentile is 1600. This means that at least 25 percent of students admitted to Yale receive perfect scores on the SAT.
How Yale stacks up
Students accepted to Yale continuously score among the top 5 percent of all test-takers nationwide. If you know you’d like to go to Yale, you can increase your chances of admission by getting your highest possible score on the ACT and/or SAT. Start exploring ACT/SAT test prep sooner rather than later.
That being said, a great test score isn’t necessarily a ticket to the school of your choice—tests are just one part of your application. Schools like Yale also look at your academic record, letters of recommendation from teachers, extracurricular activities, and application essays.
Likewise, a less-than-perfect test score doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your dream school a shot. 25 percent of students admitted to Yale, after all, score below the interquartile range. And if you don’t score how you’d like to the first time you take the test, retaking is an option.