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Is it true that there is a 40-50% acceptance rate for 2400ers?

kathie2011kathie2011 27 replies22 threads Junior Member
edited October 2013 in Harvard University
Is it true that people who score a perfect score on the SAT (2400) (I don't mean a high score - literally a 2400) have about a 40-50% chance of being accepted into Harvard? I've seen it posted numerous times here before, but I'm not sure if it's true? Anyone know where this information comes from or is it just an estimate?

If it is true, then that's a pretty good shot...considering the normal acceptance rate, which is like 7%.....
edited October 2013
108 replies
Post edited by kathie2011 on
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Replies to: Is it true that there is a 40-50% acceptance rate for 2400ers?

  • quickster94quickster94 200 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I know four perfect scorers including myself, 2 accepted, 2 rejected, so at least in this sample size of four it's 50%... haha
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  • AkimboModel1887AkimboModel1887 17 replies1 threads New Member
    Whoa are you quickster from AoPS?
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  • lcedcoffeeelcedcoffeee 113 replies0 threads Junior Member
    There were 2 2400's at our school who applied. I got in, my friend got waitlisted. But correlation doesn't imply causation. I would say the people who score above 2350 on their SAT's generally show passion in their extracurriculars and essays as well.
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  • LaggingLagging 1156 replies6 threads Senior Member
    Last year all 3 people with 2400s on their SATs from my school were rejected from Harvard (and several other Ivies). Without good ECs a 2400 will still get rejected. Getting a 2400 doesn't guarantee you a 40% acceptance rate.
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  • snipersassnipersas 668 replies11 threads Member
    Good ECs and a 2400 won't necessarily do much, either.
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  • UMTYMP studentUMTYMP student 935 replies14 threads Member
    According to Parchment.com which relies on self-reported data, a 2400 non-URM non-legacy with a 4.0 gpa has a 32% chance, a 26% chance with a 3.9 gpa and a 21% chance with a 3.8 gpa. The percentages are considerably higher for URMs or legacies. I'm not exactly sure what Parchment's methodology is but I assume it involves some smoothing of results based on SAT scores so if there is a discontinuity for acceptance rates between SAT scores of 2390 and 2400 [it wouldn't matter if the discontinuity arose from Harvard strongly preferring 2400s or 2400s being significantly more accomplished on average than 2390s] I don't think it would be reflected in Parchment's results. There is also the issue of selection bias in self-reported data but I imagine this is going to be better than the anecdotal data you're going to get and I don't think are any better data sources on this that are publicly available.
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  • glassesarechicglassesarechic 5471 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Princeton and Brown both release (or used to release) data that broke down admissions by stats. I think the 2400 advantage was something like 30-40%, yes.
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  • toughyeartoughyear 313 replies18 threads Member
    #7 above,
    According to Parchment.com which relies on self-reported data, a 2400 non-URM non-legacy with a 4.0 gpa has a 32% chance,...
    I think this should read:

    ... a 2400 non-URM non-legacy non-Asian with a 4.0 gpa has a 32% chance, and Asians have less than 16% chance
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  • UMTYMP studentUMTYMP student 935 replies14 threads Member
    Actually Parchment breaks data in two categories for these predictions: non-URM and URM. Obviously this obscures any possible difference between white and Asian applicants as well as differences between blacks, Hispanics, and native Americans.

    I'm willing to believe that Asians suffer some kind of penalty but I don't think it's nearly large enough for Asian 2400s 4.0s to have half the acceptance rates of similarly qualified whites.
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  • watermeloncholywatermeloncholy 14 replies1 threads New Member
    Whoa, that's pretty high o.o
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  • mathmommathmom 32462 replies159 threads Senior Member
    Don't forget though that the qualities that allow a student to get a 2400, are probably also ones that make sure the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed on the rest of their application - great EC's, great recommendations, great essays...
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  • JimboSteveJimboSteve 822 replies12 threads Member
    2400s correlate with curricular and extracurricular accomplishments. It isn't the score itself that would bring up the acceptance rate.
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  • aegaisaegais 39 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Exactly. A mere 2400 will not get you in. It just so happens that a 2400 usually correlates with high achievements in other parts of the application as well.

    Source: 2400.
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  • watermeloncholywatermeloncholy 14 replies1 threads New Member
    Correlation can be pretty weak though.

    @mathmom & JimboSteve: The qualities that allow a student to get a 2400 on the SAT aren't necessarily ones that will contribute that much to overall college apps - sure, it means they're "smart," but there are plenty of brilliant kids without 2400's. The difference between a 2300 and 2400 is marginal in terms of its correlation to a student's overall academic and extracurricular performance.

    @aegais: 2400's aren't "mere" - they're still fantastic accomplishments. Also, I'm interested in seeing how you used your source in your post :P If you're citing your own personal accomplishment as evidence for correlation, note that it's hard to test for correlation on a single point.
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  • EllaVirginiaEllaVirginia 70 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I had a 2400 and I was waitlisted. Not sure how that adds to the data pool, lol. But I also didn't give the supplement any effort because it wasn't my first choice. So I'm thinking it must have been my scores that kept me from being rejected... I guess who really knows, though? My interviewer from Harvard told me she heard there was like a 30% chance or something.
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  • UMTYMP studentUMTYMP student 935 replies14 threads Member
    This thread touches onto something I've been wondering. Call it the 2400 exceptional hypothesis: the average student who scores a 2400 is significantly more accomplished/intelligent than the average student who scores a 2390. As far as I know the 2400 exceptional hypothesis is an open empirical question. One way of testing it would be to look at college acceptance rates. Assuming colleges don't have a strong preference for a score of 2400 over a score of 2390 we could look at acceptance rate of 2400s - acceptance rate of 2390s. If the number was significantly greater than 0 it would support the hypothesis. I suspect colleges are unlikely to release such data however. Another way of testing this would be to retest a large number of 2400s and 2390s. If the hypothesis holds 2400s would be significantly more likely to get 2400s when retaking the SAT than 2390s. A somewhat indirect way and theoretically inferior although certainly much more practicable way of testing the hypothesis would be to survey America's more accomplished high school students possibly over several years to get a decent sample size (RSI, Intel, IMO, maybe some others) and determine the ratio of 2400s to 2390s among this group. If the ratio was significantly greater than the overall ratio (about 1.9 for the class of 2011) it would lend support to the hypothesis.
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  • watermeloncholywatermeloncholy 14 replies1 threads New Member
    I highly doubt that hypothesis is true...
    2390's could probably be 2400's if they took the test another time (or another couple of times).
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  • 47621786408946474762178640894647 2 replies2 threads New Member
    What about 2400 legacies?
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  • UMTYMP studentUMTYMP student 935 replies14 threads Member
    That wouldn't necessarily disprove the hypothesis. I agree that there is a decent chance a 2390 would get a 2400 if they retook the SAT. And certainly some 2400s would score in the (probably high) 2300s if they retook the test. But what the hypothesis is about is whether there are a non-trivial number of 2400s who are virtually certain (or even just very likely) to get another 2400 if they retook it. Here is an example that may clarify things. Say a 2390 retook the SAT five times. Because of regression to the mean we might expect to see the 2390 get scores something like 2330, 2350, 2370, 2390, and 2400 on the five retakes. A non-exceptional 2400 who retook the test five times might scores like 2350, 2360, 2370, 2390, and 2400. An exceptional 2400 if such people exist would get scores more like 2380, 2400, 2400, 2400, 2400. If such exceptional 2400s existed in non-trivial numbers they would likely be far more accomplished on average than other 2390s or 2400s and then this would imply that the average 2400 is significantly more accomplished than the average 2390.
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  • aegaisaegais 39 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @watermeloncholy: My 2400 is not the only one I know of. At my school, there is one more 2400, and I know at least 5 other ones. Almost all, if not all of them, have impressive achievements in other parts of their application. I am not saying that 2400s are necessarily more smart, but that people who get 2400s usually excel at other things as well. After all, if they were driven enough to get a 2400, they probably have the drive and motivation to pursue other subjects/areas as well.

    @UMTYMP student: Leave it to you to create a math problem out of this :P. Do math.

    As for people who can repeatedly get 2400s, I and another person did not miss a single question on the SAT, and could easily repeat the feat. I am sure that other people exist who can consistently score 2400s. In the end, SATs are merely repetitions and variations of the same set of problems.
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