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SAT range at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton

Much2learnMuch2learn Posts: 2,864Registered User Senior Member
edited November 2012 in What Are My Chances?
In the current US News rankings, I see that Harvard, Yale, and Princeton all show that the middle 50% of students as having SAT scores of basically 1400-1590 on CR + M. Implying to me that 25% of their enrollees have a 1590 or 1600 score.
Source: http://premium.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/data

The College Board site shows that there are only 1,789 students who achieve such a high score.
Source: http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/SAT-Percentile-Ranks-Composite-CR-M-2012.pdf

Given that 25% of the freshman class at those three schools is over 1,000 students, it would seem that these 3 schools would need to enroll more than 1/2 of all of the students who achieve a 1590 or 1600.

I think that can't be correct. They must reject some of these candidates, and there are many other top schools who will draw them away.

Am I thinking about this incorrectly, or is it possible that these schools may be overstating their students scores a bit?
Post edited by Much2learn on

Replies to: SAT range at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton

  • ArtsyGirl13ArtsyGirl13 Posts: 2,986Registered User Senior Member
    Some schools due overstate their scores, but what is probably happening is the same schools are taking the same people. The averages are based on all of the accepted students not just the ones who enrolled.
  • GourmetmomGourmetmom Posts: 2,446Registered User Senior Member
    It's a little misleading, but they are not the cumulative score for each student. So, the schools are adding up the scores for each section of the SAT for all students. Many students score in the 75th percentile on one section, and below in another. In other words, 25% of the students may have above a 790 in math, and another 25% may have above a 790 in CR, but they are not necessarily the SAME EXACT students. The colleges, though add up all of the scores and average them.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Posts: 2,864Registered User Senior Member
    Thank you both for responding. I see. It is admitted versus enrolled. That make sense.

    The explanation about the 1400 to 1590 range would explain a lot. If that is true then the actual range is probably narrower if it is for one student. Is that correct?
  • GourmetmomGourmetmom Posts: 2,446Registered User Senior Member
    It means that 25% of the students scored above 790 in math, and 25% scored above 790 in CR. We don't know how many scored above 790 in both because the schools don't release the cumulative scores for students. Undoubtedly, some who applied had 1590-1600 combined, but it was probably far fewer than 25%. If you look at your own scores, you may be at the 75th in one section and at the 50th in another - that is fine and typical of many students who are accepted.
  • 531n7z0r531n7z0r Posts: 31Registered User Junior Member
    Theres not much of an SAT range for those schools, almost all of the applicants have nearly perfect scores. At least the ones that those schools actually consider.
  • jandjdadjandjdad Posts: 532Registered User Member
    They may (probably) also superscore so that a student who got 800 Math/730 CR on their first attempt and a 750 M/790 CR on their next attempt would be a 1590 superscored (800/790)using the best score in each section when they never scored above 1540 in any one sitting.
    IIRC there are about 10,000 Math 800s in a given year and the same number of CRs. Yes there may be duplicates but superscoring would likely account for the high end of those schools.

    http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/SAT-Math-Percentile-Ranks-2009.pdf (10,052 scores of 800)

    http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/SAT-Critical-Reading-Percentile-Ranks-2009.pdf (8833)
  • BuBBLES FoR SALEBuBBLES FoR SALE Posts: 2,164Registered User Senior Member
    As some have mentioned, there are several reasons.

    a)not everyone scores highly on every section. Many people will score 800/700/700 for example. This is the main reason.

    b)may be a superscore

    c)all schools, even HYPS will have lower scores for those who matriculate than those who are accepted. This is because the highest scorers are often admitted to more than one school.

    It is highly unlikely that schools will fudge their data.
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