What is the Average ACT Score at Yale?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Two pathways going to Yale university buildings.

What is the Average ACT Score at Yale?

For high school students that are determined to get into one of the best schools in the United States, there is little doubt that they are targeting one or more of the schools in the Ivy League. Moreover, chances are good that Yale University is at or near the top of that list.

After all, Yale is one of the most historic, prestigious and competitive schools in not only the United States, but the entire world!

But what is the average ACT score at Yale?

Of course, the ACT is one of the two standardized tests that high school students in the United States have been taking for years to improve their chances of getting into top schools like Yale. Just as Yale has incredibly high expectations for students when it comes to their grade point averages, their extracurriculars and other Yale requirements, the school holds a very high expectation when it comes to the kinds of ACT scores it is looking for students to earn.

View of Yale University central campus from Harkness Tower.

At AdmissionSight, we know that the high expectations that high school students that are looking to get into top schools face. Afterall, with schools like Yale, Harvard, Stanford and more boasting acceptance rates in the low single digits, the process of applying to top schools is only getting more stressful and demanding. That is where we come in. Every application cycle, we make it our number one priority to help intelligent and determined high schoolers get into the schools that they dream of getting accepted to.

That is why we are so proud of the fact that since we began offering our services at admissions consultants, 75 percent of the students that we have worked with have gotten into Ivy League programs – like Yale – or other top 10 programs elsewhere in the United States – like Stanford, M.I.T, or the University of Chicago.

There is no doubt that the role that standardized tests play in a student’s attempt to get into schools like Yale have changed in recent years (we’ll get to that in a little bit), but there is also no doubt that a great number of students are taking the ACT with the goal of improving their cases to get into a school as selective as Yale.

So, if you are curious about the Yale average ACT, Yale requirements or the Yale University acceptance rate, then you have come to the right place!

Let’s get started.

What is the average ACT score at Yale?

While there is a lot of information that we will break down together in this piece, we think the most important place to start with is to quickly dive into the primary reason why you are here, and that is to get the answer to the question, “What is the average ACT score at Yale?”

Beautiful fall colors outside Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University with students walking  in all directions.

Based on the data that Yale University itself offers up, the average ACT score for high school students who end up getting into the school is believed to be a 34 out of the perfect score of 36. The 25th percentile score at Yale is a 33, while the 75th percentile ACT score for students who get into Yale is a 35.

From that alone, it should be abundantly clear just how competitive this school is. Because the average is a 34, we can safely assume that there are quite a lot of students who do end up getting into Yale and earn a perfect score of 36. So, there you have it! The Yale University typical ACT scores are going to be some of the highest scores that students can get! In fact, a lot of them each year get a perfect score on the ACT.

Getting that Yale average ACT score should be considered the low end of your target score if Yale is indeed your top choice. Ideally, you can even beat that average by a point or two.

Without a doubt that is a very high standard to try to meet. For the vast majority of students, it is highly recommended that a fair amount of studying and preparation is done in the months leading up to your test date to ensure that you perform as well as you possibly can. While students can take the ACT multiple times – and many students do take it multiple times – it is always recommended that you study for your first test as if it is your last. After all, if you are able to earn a score that puts you in a great position to get into your top target schools, you can then put the standardized test process behind you and move on to other focuses and interests.

With all that in mind, it is very important that we also break down the current situation regarding standardized testing in the United States. Due to the ongoing restrictions and circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of schools across the country have enacted a standardized test optional policy for the time being. That applies to the eight schools in the Ivy League, which of course includes Yale.

Here is what Yale has to say about the current approach to their standardized test policy currently:

“In response to the extraordinary circumstances associated with the pandemic, Yale is temporarily suspending its requirement that first-year and transfer applicants submit results from the ACT or SAT,” the school wrote. “The change will be in effect during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles for applicants who intend to matriculate in fall 2021 or fall 2022. Applicants who are unable to complete an exam or who choose not to report exam scores will not be disadvantaged.

“When reviewing applications in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles, the Admissions Committee will expect that some applicants will have completed one or more exams and received scores they feel reflect their academic strengths and college preparedness. Others may be disappointed in their performance but face barriers to registering or preparing for an additional exam date. And some students will simply be unable to complete any exam prior to the application deadline. Yale’s policy is designed to accommodate all students with a straightforward option: report ACT or SAT scores if you wish.”

Even with all this being common knowledge, at AdmissionSight we are still encouraging the high school students who can take either the ACT or SAT safely and without risking the health of themselves or anyone in their lives to do so. After all, just because it is optional does not mean that the ACT can no longer play a very important role in someone’s ability to get into a top school like Yale.

The main reason for this is because of the competitive nature of the admissions process at Yale. For many students, the primary objective of the admissions process is to convince admissions officers at the school that they have exactly what it takes to not just survive at a top school, but actually thrive. That is why a student’s grade point average is considered to be so important during the application process.

Essentially, it is that GPA (and the number of advanced courses that a student takes) that helps an admissions officer determine whether or not an applying student is a great potential fit. Taking the ACT and earning a fabulous score that is at – or ideally above – the aforementioned average at the school can go a long way in doing just that.

Yale University acceptance rate

When it comes to getting great grades and great standardized test scores to get into a great school, the name of the game is figuring out how to beat the odds connected to the acceptance rate of the particular schools that you are applying to.

While many great schools have acceptance rates in the double digits, accepting more than a quarter of the students that apply each year, the Ivy League schools are in a very different situation. In fact, the acceptance rates at the eight Ivy League schools are some of the lowest in the entire United States.

As for Yale, it is known as – historically – one of the more competitive schools in the entire world. It’s prestige and selective nature is part of the reason why Yale is part of the “Big Three” in the Ivy League. The other two schools are Harvard University and Princeton University. But what actually is Yale’s acceptance rate? Well, it depends what year you are talking about, of course. If you are talking about the most recent application cycle, which took place in 2021, then it may sting to find out that Yale experienced the hardest year from an admissions standpoint in the entire history of the school. That is saying quite a lot considering the fact that Yale has been a school since the year 1701!

Last year, there were 46,905 students that applied to be a part of Yale’s undergraduate graduating class of 2021. Not only was that number of applicants a record high for Yale, but it also represented an astounding 33 percent increase in student applicants from the previous year.

On top of that, the acceptance rate for students in 2021 was a very low 4.62 percent, marking a massive drop from the year before, which had an acceptance rate of 6.54 percent. In fact, the previous six years boasted acceptance rates beyond 6.0 percent, before that, it was more than 7.0 percent! And back in the year 2000? The acceptance rate at Yale was 16.2 percent.

From that information alone, it is abundantly clear that the acceptance rate at Yale is only going down.

Yale application requirements

Now that you have a good understanding of Yale average ACT and the Yale University acceptance rate, you may be curious to learn about the Yale requirements in order to actually apply. Take a look at the application requirements below so you can prepare for the long, difficult, but potentially incredibly rewarding journey ahead.

All students must submit one of the following:

  • The Coalition Application with Yale-specific questions
  • The Common Application with Yale-specific questions
  • The QuestBridge Application with Yale-specific questions

Yale makes it clear on their official site that they do not prefer one of these applications over any of the other two. It is purely up to the student’s preference.

Additional requirements include:

  • $80 application fee or fee waiver
  • Recommendations from two teachers and one school counselor
  • School report with transcript
  • Standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) – Yale is test-optional through at least 2022
  • Mid-year report

Yale application deadlines

Finally, students should know the two application deadlines for Yale.

  • Single-choice Early Action deadline is November 1st
  • Regular Decision deadline is January 2nd

How to improve your chances of getting into Yale

Now that you are an expert on the kinds of ACT scores needed to get into Yale, as well as the current acceptance rate at the school, you are probably interested in learning about what you can do to actually improve your chances of getting into this wonderful learning institution. Of course, there are a lot of different tips and strategies that you can utilize to improve your chances.

Take a look at the options below!

Earn a fantastic high school GPA

This may be somewhat obvious, but it is so important that we felt it was a good place to start. If you want to get into Yale University, you are going to have to earn fantastic grades throughout your high school years.

In fact, a student’s GPA is the single most important factor when students are applying to schools. It is how admissions officers make major decisions and deem whether or not an applying student is a good fit for the school from an academic standpoint.

A female student reading book and taking down notes at the library.

When it comes to Yale specifically, the average GPA for students that get into the school is an incredibly high 4.19. This means that students who get in are earning straight A’s throughout high school. Because the average GPA is actually higher than the unweighted and perfect 4.0 GPA, it is clear that the vast majority of students that do get into Yale are taking weighted courses that come with a 5.0 mark. Such courses include AP and IB classes.

For students that are committed to getting into schools like Yale, taking as many advanced courses as possible is advised. Of course, you should only be taking courses that you think you have a good chance at earning a high grade in, so prioritizing courses in subjects that you are either naturally adept at, or have a deep interest and passion for, is recommended!

Start taking advanced courses as early as your high school allows. This way, you do not have to load up on AP courses late in your high school years.

Apply via early admission

For students who are determined to get into Yale, one crucial tool that they must be aware of is the early admissions option at Yale known as Early Action. Early Action is an application process offered to any student at Yale.

Essentially, Early Action serves as a way for students to send their material in early and get an answer back early. On top of that, students who apply to Yale – and basically all schools that offer early admissions options for that matter – enjoy much more favorable odds in terms of the acceptance rate for Early Action applications.

You currently know the overall acceptance rate at Yale. Compare that to the Early Action acceptance rate from 2021 of 10.54 percent! Take a look at the table below to see what the acceptance rate was for Early Action applications over the last several years.

Table with information of different universities.

Craft stellar personal essays

The final tip that we want to go over has to do with the personal essay section of the application process. In fact, the personal essays can be a major factor in whether or not you end up getting into the school. At Yale, students are expected to submit two supplemental questions and two additional short essays specific to Yale.

A male student reading books in the library.

While this is a required aspect of your application, you should really treat it as a highly valuable opportunity. Take these essays as your chance to show the admission officers who you are as a person and as a student!

Make sure to take the time necessary to craft these essays to their full potential. They truly can make a major difference between whether or not you get into your dream school.

We can help you best the Yale University average ACT score

At AdmissionSight, we know that a great ACT score is just one part of getting into a school like Yale. That’s why we offer tutoring and guidance on that and so much more related to the application process. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to improve your chances of getting into Yale, contact us today for a free consultation.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.