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Hi everyone!

I’m in a little bit of trouble and need some advice.

Before I submitted my applications, I requested that my SAT score and one of my AP scores which was a 2, be removed from my transcript. While the SAT score is not a horrible score, it is below the averages for 4-5 of the schools I applied to, and as the schools are test optional, I didn’t want this to be the one thing that weighed my application down. I was told by the transcript office at my school that this would be handled, so I didn’t think anything of it.

Flash forward to today, and I found out that my counselor submitted the mid-year report through CommonApp, and as a courtesy, they sent me a copy… it has that SAT score and AP score on it that were supposed to be removed.

Due to COVID, I haven’t had a chance to retake the SAT (I’m virtual schooled for the time being, and due to the fact that I volunteer in a hospital 4 days a week around patients, I decided not to take the exam).

I guess my question is… what can I do? Should I reach out to the schools I am still waiting to hear back from? Or is it too late now? I already reached out to my counselor as well.

Thanks for any input you can provide, it is greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

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I understand the difficulty of the situation you’re in.

For the APs: In all honesty, it depends on the schools you applied to and what you majored in. If you applied to engineering and got a 2 in AP French, i’m not sure that will matter at all (especially if you did well in the class). However, if you got a 2 on AP Comp Sci and are applying to a prestigious comp sci school, it will be very harmful. Then again, AP Comp Sci only had a project because of COVID, so the tests might not have a lot of weight.

For the SAT: Depends on how far below average it is. If you’re applying to a private school that recieves relatively fewer applications, having a lower SAT score might not matter if you had great essays, extracurriculars, awards, etc. However, if it’s a large state school who weigh merit heavily and recieve insane amounts of applications (like Berkely or UMich), it’s possible the SAT score could be detrimental. But, if you have a high GPA, it’s much more important. I imagine that this year, an SAT score can only help, not as much harm. General advice this year is to submit an SAT score that is at or above the 25th percentile.

My Advice: Don’t kill yourself over this. It’s not as bad as having a bad essay or reccomendation. Two small parts of an entire application. If it’s a large state school, don’t contact them, it’s most likely a waste of your time. If it’s a private school, don’t contact them unless they’re more prestigious. If they are, I’d send a short and concise apology and explanation of your circumstance (but don’t ask for them not to consider your scores, let them make that decision)

If you need more clear advice / analysis, definitely tell me your major, sat score, ap subject that you got a 2 in, and the 4-5 schools you’re worried about.

I, too, am a senior applying to colleges. I feel your pain. Don’t hesitate to ask me a question either.

I wish you the best of luck.

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Did you apply test optional to the schools where your score was below average? If so, the colleges will ignore the SAT on your transcript and I would not contact them. I wouldn’t worry about the AP score either, many schools don’t evaluate AP scores during the admissions process.


Thank you so much, this definitely helps, I truly appreciate your reply!

The 2 was in Macroeconomics - I am planning on Pre Med so it is not major specific, and I think the fact that I have a couple of AP/Dual Enrollment A’s in science and math heavy courses should help to make up for this. I also got an A in the class (straight A’s all throughout High School, so my record, other than a couple test scores, is basically perfect - I also have a 4.0 and 4.3 GPA, and my class rank is somewhere around the top 5-10%).

The SAT score is about 100-200 points below the averages for the schools - it is a 1250, however I also took it last December as more or less of a practice test/baseline, studied about 2-4hrs/day for the April test date, expecting around a 1400 based on practice tests, and then everything happened so I haven’t had the opportunity to raise my score.

I’m mainly concerned about Vanderbilt. I applied ED2 to Vanderbilt, but their average score is roughly a 1450. Fortunately I’m already sitting on a few acceptance letters from safety schools, so if I don’t get in anywhere else, it won’t be detrimental, but fingers crossed.

My EC’s, letters of recommendation, and essays are all definitely above average as well. - about 20 hours per week of leadership volunteer roles (lead surgical volunteer, lead COVID support volunteer, and one other regular volunteer role), I run my own 6-figure business, work experience for a small medical consulting firm, and about a dozen small clubs/awards/recognitions.

Again, thanks so much for your reply, and I wish you luck as well!

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Thank you so much for your reply!

I did apply as test optional for those schools, however I wasn’t sure if since it was listed on my transcript if they would/could consider that as part of the admissions.

Thanks again, it is truly appreciated!

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I’m mainly concerned about Vanderbilt. I applied ED2 to Vanderbilt, but their average score is roughly a 1450. Fortunately I’m already sitting on a few acceptance letters from safety schools, so if I don’t get in anywhere else, it won’t be detrimental, but fingers crossed.

Good luck on Vandy. I was denied ED1, and I was absolutely crushed. This year is crazy for everyone. Looking back on it now, it was probably for the better that I was humbled by Vanderbilt because I had such an inflated ego about that school. I’m sorry to hear about your testing luck, but if you checked “Test Optional”, you should be fine, but I know they are “Test-Optional” for this admissions season, not blind. To ensure that nothing goes wrong, make sure you also write to your admissions counselor explaining that slight error that you applied test optional and that this is not a test score. It is possible that it may be interpreted that way. You want to be very precise and detailed when it comes to these sort of things. I really do hope you get in.

Think about it this way

Imagine me, 1460 SAT and 3.96 GPA, president of an honors society applied Vanderbilt ED 2
Then you, 1250 SAT, 4.0 GPA, covers all the student organizations stuff and runs a darn 6-figure buisness, applys ED2

You have 1 thing worse than me and 2 things better than me (one way better). If your essays and all of that stuff is as good as you say it is, who are they going to take?


You shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

With TO, I agree it matters less. It’s common not to even download the SAT/ACT to the reading copy.

Yes, they could spot it on the transcript. But when they start your review, see your intention is TO, that can shape their mindset.

However, re: using the word “average” for scores:

The wisdom isn’t about the midpoint. It’s the range that they call the Middle 50%. I.e., the 2nd and 3rd quartiles.

At Vandy, last report showed Mid 50% to be CR 740-780. Math 770-800.

Usual wisdom is to be up as close as you can to the top of the 3rd quartile. I.e., nearing 1580. But they don’t review simply as a sum total. It’s the individual tests. You’d need to be closer to 780 CR and 800 M. Sorry.

So you’re right to go with TO. And that’s all we know.