What Is the Average ACT Score at University of Chicago?

May 29, 2022
By AdmissionSight

What Is the Average ACT Score at University of Chicago?

When it comes to high school students that are looking to get into some of the best colleges and universities in the United States, there is no doubt that the University of Chicago ranks amongst the best. If you are interested in attending the University of Chicago, you may be asking yourself, “What is the average ACT score at University of Chicago?”

Though the University of Chicago is not part of the Ivy League, it is certainly comparable to schools like Harvard University, Princeton University or Yale University in terms of competitiveness, academic prestige and more!

After all, the University of Chicago is one of the most competitive schools in the world. For that reason, there is no question that the University of Chicago average ACT score is incredibly high. Beyond that, admissions officers at UChicago expect the very most out of its applicants. For that reason, you are going to want to do quite a lot of research and information gathering to know what you can do to improve your chances of getting into UChicago and similarly competitive schools.

This is where AdmissionSight can come in! Here, we make it our top priority to help the brilliant high school students that we work with figure out what they need to do to improve their application profile, which in turn can improve their chances of getting in.

Aerial view of University of Chicago during day time.

So, if you are thinking about adding the University of Chicago to your list of schools that you plan on applying to and want to learn more about University of Chicago typical ACT scores, the University of Chicago acceptance rate, or anything related to improving your chances of getting into this fabulous school, then you have absolutely come to the right place!

Let’s break everything that you should know about what is the average ACT score at University of Chicago so that you can get started on preparing for your application and beyond.

Let’s get started.

What is the average ACT score at University of Chicago?

Let’s get straight into what it is that you have come here to figure out. As you almost certainly already know, the ACT is one of the two standardized tests that high school students in the United States have taken for years (the other being the SAT) with the hopes that a high score will help them improve their chances of getting into the schools of their dreams.

While the SAT is graded out of a total score of 1600 points, the ACT is graded out of just 36 points. And while the tests are quite different in terms of how they are styled, they are both meant to eliminate bias and prevent unfair advantages that some students may have by testing the same or similar information under the same testing conditions.

They are meant to identify students who are capable of dealing with complex information and help admission officers identify students who could be a good fit at their college or university.

For the ACT, the format of the test is as follows:

ACT Test Section Questions Content Timing
ENGLISH 75 questions Punctuation
Grammar and usage
Sentence structure
Rhetorical skills
45 minutes
MATHEMATICS 60 questions Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra
Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry
Plane Geometry/Trigonometry
60 minutes
READING 40 questions Social Studies
Natural Sciences
Prose Fiction
Humanities
35 minutes
SCIENCE 40 questions Data Representation
Research Summaries
Conflicting Viewpoints
35 minutes
OPTIONAL WRITING TEST 1 prompt Ideas & Analysis
Development & Support
Organization
Language Use & Conventions
40 minutes

As you can see, the ACT is an incredibly involved and demanding test. Moreover, the pressure of such an undertaking can be quite overwhelming for some students, which is why ample preparation and studying is important. That pressure tends to be most palpable for students who have the goal of attending a top school like the University of Chicago. The reason for that is because the University of Chicago average ACT is incredibly high.

When it comes to the average ACT score that students who get into the University of Chicago earn, the average score is an incredibly high 34 points out of the perfect score of 36. The 25th percentile score is a 33 and the 75th percentile score is a 35. To be clear, this is one of the highest average scores that AdmissionSight has come across when it comes to students that apply to the top schools.

This alone should give you an incredibly good idea of just how competitive UChicago is and just how hard it is to get into this school. With that in mind, it is important to make clear that the role that both the ACT and SAT play in the current application process is quite different  from the role they played in the years prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You see, as a result of the pandemic, many schools decided to adopt a standardized test optional policy. The primary reason for this was because it was seen as unsafe and irresponsible to expect students to take part in mandatory exams that forced them to take the test in person and in groups. However, UChicago actually did not adopt the test optional policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, instead, the school first adopted the policy back in 2018.

Here is what the school has to say about its reasoning for adopting a test optional policy:

“Your transcript shows your academic record in the context of your school, but, since one school can be very different from another, it is useful to see evidence of academic achievement that exists outside of the context of your school,” the school says.  “This is why some colleges ask applicants to submit an SAT or ACT score. For many applicants, an SAT or ACT score can reflect their academic preparedness in this broader context.

“Some applicants may feel that an SAT or ACT score does not fully reflect their academic preparedness or potential. If this is the case for you, you may select UChicago’s test-optional method of application and not supply SAT or ACT scores with your application. We welcome any student regardless of testing plan to submit additional materials (detailed in the Supplements section) that they feel best highlights their skills, talents, and potential contributions to UChicago.

“The SAT, ACT, and other standard measures can continue to be an important part of the University of Chicago’s holistic admission process for students electing to send scores and are a required part of the application process at many other highly selective schools. These tests can provide valuable information about a student which we and other colleges will consider alongside the other elements in a student’s application.

We encourage students to take standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, and to share your scores with us if you think that they are reflective of your ability and potential. Given that many of our peers do require testing, we anticipate that the vast majority of students will continue to take tests and may still submit their test scores to UChicago.”

From this statement, it is quite clear that while the school’s admissions committee does not require applying students to send in SAT or ACT scores, a great score can still be a fantastic tool for students who are looking to improve their chances of getting into the school.

In fact, if you are interested in improving your chances of getting into UChicago with a strong ACT score, the fact that many schools have adopted a test optional policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic may actually help you. The reason for this is because this move at so many schools has only increased the chances that students you are competing against will not take either the ACT or SAT.

If you feel comfortable taking either exam, and feel confident in your ability to earn a great score, you absolutely should. And remember just because you take the exam does not mean that you necessarily have to send in your results if you feel that the score you’ve received will not help improve your chances of getting into UChicago.

The final fact we want to leave you with when it comes to the state of standardized testing in the United States and its role in helping students get into the colleges and universities of their dreams, consider the fact that despite the mass-adoption of test optional policies, approximately two million students took either the SAT or ACT in 2021. Clearly, many students still believe that these tests serve a crucial purpose in the college application process despite the test optional policy.

What is the University of Chicago acceptance rate?

Now that you have a solid understanding of the University of Chicago typical SAT scores, there’s little doubt that you can already ascertain that the University of Chicago acceptance rate is quite low.

This is not meant to discourage you from applying to UChicago or make you think that you don’t have a shot at getting in. Instead, we tell you this simply because here at AdmissionSight, we know how important it is for students to approach the college application process with realistic goals and expectations.

School building covered in vines.

The truth is that the vast majority of students who apply to schools like UChicago do not end up getting in. That is not a reflection on the students who do not get in at all. In fact, at schools like the University of Chicago, the admissions committees readily acknowledge that several deserving graduating classes could be made out of the pool of students that apply every year!

It is simply the nature of applying to highly competitive schools that many do not end up getting in.

So what is the UChicago acceptance rate? The simple answer is 6.5 percent. The total number of students that applied to the school in 2021 was 37,977. That means that approximately 2,468 students were offered a spot at UChicago.

At this point, you may be very curious to learn about what a student can do to improve their chances of getting into a school like the University of Chicago. While there is no tried and true way for anyone to fully guarantee admission into a school like UChicago, there are some definite ways to increase your chances by taking advantage of some of the tips and tools available to you.

Let’s break down the most impactful ones together.

Tips to improve your chances of getting into the University of Chicago

While earning a great grade on the SAT or ACT can certainly help you improve your chances of getting into a school like UChicago, it is not going to be nearly enough on its own. Without a doubt, students in high school who have the goal of attending a top college or university spend a lot of their time and energy figuring out ways that they can separate themselves from the pack and improve their chances of getting into the schools of their dreams.

Old university building in the middle of the campus.

So, whether you are just starting out high school, are already in the middle of you high school education, or are gearing up to start sending in your applications to schools like UChicago, continue reading to find out if any of these top tips to improve your chances of getting into great schools apply to you!

Earn a great GPA and take difficult courses in high school

This may not be seen as much of a “tip,” as it should be quite obvious how important a great grade point average is to getting into top schools in the United States, but we thought that it is useful to mention anyways.

Overall, a student’s GPA is the single most important factor when it comes to any student’s ability to get into a top school. When it comes to UChicago specifically, the average weighted grade point average for high school students that end up getting accepted is a remarkably high 4.48. This tells us two very important things about students that get into this school

The first thing is that students who get accepted to UChicago earn incredibly high grades throughout high school. The second thing we learn from this is that students who get into UChicago are taking advanced courses that are graded on a weighted GPA scale of 5.0. That’s how the average GPA is so much higher than the unweighted 4.0, which is a straight-A GPA.

Young male studying in a library.

Students don’t only take advanced courses to improve their high school GPA, however. The main reason why this is such a great idea is because these advanced courses – such as AP and IB courses – help offer admissions officers important insight into how students perform in more difficult academic settings.

A student who can excel in AP or IB courses are far more likely to succeed at a top college. This can help make the decision-making process for admissions officers much easier.

Get involved in impressive academic competitions

UChicago is absolutely an academically driven school, and admissions officers love to see applicants who are able to pursue their academic passions beyond the high school classroom. One great way to prove that you are exactly that kind of student is to get involved in academic competition.

Group of students talking around a table.

Whether you are interested in history, language, writing, math, science, business and more, you will be able to find a national academic competition that offers students the chance to meet incredible fellow students, potential mentors, and gain access to really exciting competitions and experiences along the way!

Here are some of the top academic competitions that admissions officers love to see on a student’s application:

  • Academic Decathlon
  • Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge
  • Davidson Fellows
  • Destination ImagiNation
  • Math Olympiad
  • National Academic Championship – Questions Unlimited
  • National Academic League
  • Odyssey of the Mind
  • Quiz Bowl Tournament of Champions
  • Science Olympiad
  • Stemanities Research Competition
  • University Interscholastic League

This list is a great jumping off point for students who are interested in getting involved in academic competition, but there are many more out there to learn about the research! Just make sure that before you get involved, you consult with your parents or high school counselor to make sure that you can get involved in a safe and easy way!

Write impressive personal essays

Every student that applies to UChicago has to answer a number of personal essay questions that are used to help the school get to know the student better at a deeper and more personal level. These essays offer students an incredible opportunity to show the admissions committee who they are as people beyond the grades, test scores and extracurriculars. These essays should be honest, personal and unique!

So, if you are really committed to getting into the University of Chicago, make sure that you are giving yourself the time you need to give everything you can to these essays. Do not simply write the first thing that comes to mind, instead you should take time to make sure that you are coming up with a response that not only answers the question posed to you, but also that it reveals something crucial about your hopes, passions and goals. Beyond that, make sure that you have the time you need to edit, review and improve your answers before you send them in as part of your final application.

We can help you beat the Cornell University ACT score

If you are planning on taking the ACT and would like some help to improve your score to get into the University of Chicago, AdmissionSight can help. Contact us today to learn about our tutoring program and to get a free consultation on how we approach the important job of getting you into the school of your dreams!

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