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The FAQs of SATs and ACTs

Standardized test scores are only a small part of your application for admission. Let me say that again, standardized test scores are only a small part of your application for admission. SAT or ACT scores represent one Saturday in your high school career (ok, maybe two or three or four…), however, questions about standardized tests are flooding our admission email account. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about standardized tests:

Will scores from a November test arrive in time to be considered with my early decision application? Or, will January scores arrive in time to be considered with my regular decision application?

November scores will usually be received in time, but there is no guarantee that they will arrive before your application is considered. Same goes for January scores, they will usually be received in time for regular decision, but there is no guarantee they will arrive before your application is considered. Your best bet is to take standardized tests, and submit scores, before the application deadline.

Does Cornell participate in Score Choice?

No, Cornell does not participate in Score Choice. When you send your SAT scores we ask that you send us all of your scores, including all Subject Test scores. When sending your ACT scores, send us all test dates. This allows our selection committee to review the scores that are most supportive to your application. It is to your advantage to send all scores!

Does Cornell prefer the SAT or the ACT?

Cornell does not have a preference. Either the SAT or the ACT with writing are fine.

Do I need to take SAT Subject Tests?

Maybe, it depends on which college or school you apply to. The Cornell Freshman Admission Requirements Chart lists what standardized tests are required for each college and school.

Remember, standardized test scores are only a small part of your application for admission. Instead of spending hours worrying about a test you already completed, think about all of the information that you will share with the selection committee. You may find you have a few extra minutes to work on The All Important Cornell Supplement!

160 thoughts on “The FAQs of SATs and ACTs

  1. Hi, Seoyeon – You are correct. Students applying to the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning must take the SAT or ACT with writing. Architecture students are also required to take the SAT Subject Test in mathematics (any level). International students are required to take TOEFL or IELTS. For a list of all freshman admission requirements please visit http://admissions.cornell.edu/pdf/freshman-requirements-chart.

  2. On the ‘Freshman Admission Requirements,’ it says that SAT Subject Test is required in mathematics in the ‘Architecture, Art, and Planning’ section.
    However, it only mentions ‘Architecture’ next to it, so does it mean that you don’t need any SAT Subject Test for just the Art/Planning department?

  3. Emily, please send both your SAT and ACT scores. Rest assured, the selection committee will review the scores that are most supportive of your application.

  4. If I took both ACT and SAT and I did better on the ACT, would I have to send my SAT score at all?

  5. Cornell asks for all test results so that the selection committee may review the scores that are most supportive of your application.

  6. Hi, I am a little confused about whether Cornell superscores the SAT and the ACT because I am hear different answers from all sides. If Cornell does superscore then why do they ask for all the scores?

  7. I see that Cornell wants to see ALL SAT scores. If I did poorly the first time then improved by 250-300 points the last time, how will that be viewed by the admissions committee?. Will the low score be a detriment to my chances or will the higher score be viewed as a positive?

  8. Hi, I applied to Cornell Regular Decision and have already sent two subject tests (both in science) and both reasoning tests I took. I however failed to notice Cornell doesn’t participate in score choice. Is it too late to send the other two subject test scores and will I be penalized?

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