Does going test optional hurt those with lower gpa to t20's

my friend has a fairly low gpa (3.5) and she applied to a lot of top20’s and ivies. she went test optional. i believe she has very strong extracurriculars and a background that is extremely unique. would this hurt her chances a lot?

just to clarify i meant a fairly low gpa for those accepted into ivy leagues, not in general.

Different colleges have different admission systems and emphasize different criteria. That said, in general a 3.5 GPA is going to severely hinder chance of admission at a T20 (I’m guessing this means top 20 USNWR ranked?), regardless of whether the student applies test optional or not.


A lot of students apply to “top 20” universities with very strong extracurriculars and a background that is unique. The large majority of them do it with a GPA that is significantly higher than 3.5.

I am not sure that the schools going test optional is going to make all that much difference.

I hope that she has also applied to safeties and taken time to think about which safeties make sense for her.

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Just a guess, but I think that a GPA of 3.5 with perfect test scores, as an example, would seem to indicate a problem with work ethic, in the eyes of admissions. So the lack of a test score may even be a good thing. And a lowish one certainly wouldn’t help. Your friend should apply anyway.

And your friend needs to post on CC, themselves.

Closing thread for this reason. Asking for a friend posts are not allowed. And the question has been asked numerous times by others.