What all colleges (prestigious tier1 for CS major) still looking for SAT score?

My S23 scored 1520 in Oct SAT (720 english, 800 math) and now targeting for Dec SAT, but chances still look very slim to improve. He is nervous that plenty of kids from his school (high competitive public school) already have 1550+ score and anything below 1550 is disadvantage.

This would be his 3rd attempt, he scored 1500 (700 eng, 800 math) in August’21. Should we wait for March SAT?

Considering many colleges are test blind or optional, What school still require SAT score and how critical is good score?

Any pointers will be helpful.

A 1520 is a great score. Have a balanced list of colleges with safeties and matches and there won’t be a problem. Reaches are reaches for everyone, regardless of a 1520 or a 1550.


His SAT is fine as is - especially with a 800 math score which is really excellent. Instead of worrying about getting another 20-30 points on the SAT and spending time on that, your son should work on keeping up his grades and make sure he has ECs that he is interested in. He has already passed the threshold for testing, but that isn’t enough for admission to a top school, particularly in CS. Kids with grades/scores like your son are rejected in droves every year. I don’t say this to discourage you, but it is really, really important to have good safeties and matches instead of focusing exclusively on reach schools.


I am a test prep tutor. Many students benefit from the extra months of learning that come from testing in the spring of their junior year, as opposed to testing in the fall.

He doesn’t really need to test again, but if he insists, I suggest he give himself a break and test in March. I say this because I suspect he will not improve, or maybe even do worse in December. Then he’s going to feel enormous pressure to test again in March, and might get a similar result due to that added pressure.


Thanks for all the guidance, My son agreed to prep for March.

In that case, should we just cancel December or let him take and cancel the score in first 3 days after the exam? Not sure, what’s the difference between both.

Just call College Board and ask them to apply the fee to the March exam. Unless it’s too late to do that.

I see zero point in him waking up early on a Saturday and wasting a day taking a test with the intention of asking for the scores to be cancelled.

To be clear, he is under no obligation to take the test in December, even if he doesn’t show up on test day. It won’t count for anything if he doesn’t take the test.

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To the original question, while few schools require scores this year, I wouldn’t count on that being the case next year.

Georgia Tech is is the only top CS school that comes to mind that requires scores this year. 1520 is fine there.

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Thanks everyone for providing all the details.
DS wants to get 1550+
Currently, he is missing an average of 5-5 or more questions on each reading and writing section in practice tests).

He has Khan academy, Barron’s book and SAT prep book (blue book). What other resources should he be using to improve his scores?

My DS 22 was in a similar situation. He really improved his verbal score in Fall 21, with focused one-on-one tutoring in the summer. When the scores are high to begin with, they need to learn a few focused strategies to get a bump. I think it also helped to have that entire junior year finished. BTW, he did do other things in the summer of 21 - I am not suggesting that test prep be the sole focus of the summer before senior year!

Unfortunately, we are stuck in a demographic that has sky high scores and are willing to go to the extra mile (or many miles…) on test prep. That’s why our private college counselor suggested the Fall 21 retake and tutoring.

I have no idea if it will make any difference. GA Tech requires test scores, but say they do not emphasize it. But if a student is in a competitive demographic, would that still be the case? I have no idea.

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How important is this? Because at this point, he’s probably going to benefit most from some private tutoring.

Is he looking for a high score in order to get scholarship money? Or are you full pay? He already has a very high score. A private tutor is his best shot at figuring out where he is messing up, because he is literally just looking for a point or two in each section to bump him to the next level.

It’s very difficult for kids with already high scores to do even better. I’m linking the pinned post on this forum. It’s very possible that at this point, he is making some fixable mistakes that might just get him the points he needs. Common sense tips to help raise your SAT/ACT score

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