Test Optional or submit scores-- Tufts ED2

My D has decided to apply to Tufts ED2. Q: Should she submit her SAT or go test optional? 1450 (670 Math / 780 ERW). So her math is below the usual 25% and ERW above usual 75%. She only took once and then had 4 SAT sittings cancelled on her due to COVID. Very frustrating. (She is making A’s in IB HL Math Analysis.)

Other stats: UW GPA 3.94 W: ~4.5 IB Diploma Candidate. ECs are average but demonstrate long term commitment to a couple of activities. Essays (IMO) are quite good and unique. Recs should be good (haven’t read them.). No hooks. Not applying for financial aid.

This is a tough call, especially for people who don’t know her whole application. What does her HS GC say?

Did she apply somewhere EDI and was not selected, or deferred? If so, did she send scores?

What major(s) is she interested in?

I lean toward sending it, but really is a close call. Others may think differently.

She seems like a great applicant, good luck.

Her GC is pretty useless except for UC applications. That’s all they focus on. Yes she did ED1 and was rejected and did submit her SAT-- and that school has lower math scores on average than Tufts. She’s interested in polysci or similar-- some social science.

Thank you!

I still lean towards submitting as your D isn’t going into math/engineering, and looks like she will be reporting an A in first semester IB HL math analysis.

Here are the admitted student mid 50% test scores for Tufts class of 2024.
Mid 50% Range ERW 700-760
Mid 50% Range for SAT - Math 720-790

Thoughts about applying with or without test scores @MYOS1634 @homerdog?

Someone on the Tufts ED1 thread asked if anyone submitted scores. No one yet has replied to the question, but you could check back occasionally.

Our GC stressed that schools saying they are TO this year really are TO. We decided to believe it! So far it has worked out well for my son and several of his friends who were all shut out of testing but got in to the schools they applied to ED. My experience is very limited, but it suggests your daughter would be fine applying EDII to Tufts without scores.

Our GC advised that in a normal year, you would need a score above 1400 to apply successfully to Tufts. However, a 1380 is very close, and AOs will see that it was the first sitting.

IMO, you could go either way. Too bad your GC is not more helpful. I don’t think this will make or break her application, but it would be nice to feel confident about your decision.

OP’s kid’s SAT score is 1450, not 1380

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Where did I get 1380??

I would definitely submit a 1450 first sitting.

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I would submit the SAT. That 780 is awesome and, honestly, will matter. Of the two kids at our high school who have gone ED to Tufts and got in, both are VERY pointy. In both of their cases, applied to college of arts and science. One for Bio and one for Chem. They both maxed out on math and science APs but did regular level English and history classes. Both had lopsided SATs. So I think you should send. The other thing they both did, which I think helped a lot, was showed interest. I know it’s different now but I would make sure she’s showing interest however she can. I know ED shows interest but doing virtual sessions, etc., also shows that she has done her homework and thinks she’s a fit.

Good luck!!

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Yes, she has had 4 Trimesters of IB HL Math-- 3 As, 1 “Credit” (last Spring).

She’s on it-- going to do all the virtual stuff available. We had a visit planned for last spring break. Cancelled obviously. Lots of FaceTime this week with current students she knows and some alumnae that are friends’ of her cousin.

I’m just glad she has moved on after the gut punch rejection on Monday (not even a deferral.)

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This is difficult. 1450 first sitting is terrific and you can make sure the fact her SAT dates were all cancelled is noted in “Additional Information/Covid”.
On the other hand, she’s getting A’s in the hardest math course currently available in US High Schools, Math Analysis and Approaches (Theoretical math) at HL, so why marr that with a 670, as unrepresentative as it is - especially since it IS unrepresentative!
I assume she’s doing well in HL English& her choice of course for Individuals&Society.
Her grades in the IB program would matter more than that SAT score because they represent more content, higher level skills, and harder material.
So in the end, I’d use the SAT score to get merit from schools that provide merit, but I wouldn’t submit at Tufts.

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Interesting take on it. We will have to think about this one for sure. And yes, she has As in all her IB courses since she began the program, other than the Credit/No credit trimester-- and she’s taking 4 HLs. Obviously as her mom I think she a fabulous candidate! But with 1 rejection already she isn’t feeling very confident right now.

Basically it comes down to will the math score weaken the app more than you want it to, more so than the ebrw strengthens it.

Fundamentally, I don’t think the decision will come down to these scores either. With that said myos1634 is the most experienced of all the posters on this thread, and among the best, most respected posters on CC. So, I defer to her opinion :grinning:

Good luck and keep us updated.


Just found this info on another thread:
Tufts ED1 applications: 57% test optional. 56% admitted without submitting test scores.

So that means that scores aside each group had an approximately equivalent chance of admission? Did I interpret that correctly?

That’s how I interpret it…applying TO did not hurt applicants (at least on average)

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Colleges know that test dates were cancelled and truly don’t want to penalize students who couldn’t take the tests.
In any case, while test scores are important, at highly selective colleges they’re far from the be-all end-all: they’re just one data point and not the most important at that - basically, a benchmark, a check for an unknown program (ie., is that A in AP English a “real” A if the student scored 480 and 510 in EBRW? How does that compare to the rest of the school?) or a way to compare applicants from the same school. A high score can be a positive but won’t tip the balance to an admission. Often, you have to meet a benchmark (ie., “most students from Famous HS who were successful had a 1480+”, “we took a chance on a 1280 from Unknown Rural HS who ranked #1 in her class and she could do the work here”…) but really the most important factor is school record, then distinguishing factors and institutional needs.

Does your daughter have 2 affordable schools that she likes where she’s already been admitted and a few match schools she’s applied to EA?
It’s normal to feel despondent after a rejection but she must remember it says nothing about her as a person or a student: the AdComs had to craft their class with various targets and she was just unlucky. Perhaps she plays the viola and they need an oboe player this year. :slight_smile: She sounds like a very strong student, so she WILL have a college to go to in the Fall. If she doesn’t have 2 affordable safeties yet, have her look at colleges that offer merit for her scores: Miami Ohio, for instance (or run the NPC on some Colleges that Change Lives). Since so few students were able to take the tests, most universities that exchange test scores for merit scholarships are being more lenient on the dates, often Dec 1 has been turned to Feb 1. Having 2 safeties should make the process less tense for her.

She was just accepted to good LAC yesterday with a sizable scholarship. And it definitely improved her mood! Thanks for all the advice everyone.


The belief with test optional is only submit if the score will help. 1450 is right on the fence, so it’s a tough call. Her math is stronger than her SAT is showing. 1450 is great for first time. Just not sure how Tufts will view it.

Congratulations! And it should really make the ED2 choice (TO or not) less momentous or potentially catastrophic but righfulky, just one choice to make, throw the dice and wait :smiley::+1: