What is the Average SAT Score at Stanford?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Aerial view of Stanford University and its surroundings.

What is the Average SAT Score at Stanford?

For students that have their sights set on attending one of the best universities in the United States, there is very little doubt that Stanford University will either be near – or at – the very top of their list.

Stanford has always been considered as one of the most selective and prestigious schools in the United States, but recently it has really made its way to the top-tier echelon amongst all schools across the country.

But what is the average SAT score at Stanford?

This is one of the prime questions that any student that is interested in attending the school for their undergraduate education must ask.

After all, the SAT is one of the two standardized tests that students in the United States have taken for years to help earn themselves a spot at some of the most prestigious schools in the world.

Wallenberg Hall on a sunny day at Stanford University.

With all that being said, there have been some really important changes to the nature of standardized tests and their role in the college application process in the last couple years.

At AdmissionSight, we know that the students that have the most information regarding the college application are the students that are most likely to achieve their admissions goals and get into the schools of their dreams.

So, if you are curious about the Stanford average SAT score, the Stanford University acceptance rate, Stanford requirements for admission and application and much more, then you have come to the right place!

Let’s break all that down and more while we uncover the answer to the question, “What is the average SAT score at Stanford?”

Let’s get started!

Stanford average SAT score

When it comes to trying to get into some of the top schools in the United States, a really important thing to do is find out where you stand in terms of the average SAT. So what is the Stanford average SAT?

Based on the information that is available from the school and through multiple online resources, we can deduce that the Stanford average SAT score is an incredibly high 1505 out of the perfect score of 1600.

That means that the Stanford University typical SAT scores are going to be hovering around that 1500 mark, which is obviously an incredibly high score. At Stanford, the 25th percentile score for the SAT is a 1440, while the 75th percentile score is a 1550.

That means that you will absolutely want to – at the very least – earn a score above 1440 so that you can feel good about knowing that your score is more than likely not below the average.

Changes to Stanford’s test policy

As anyone reading this piece knows quite well, the entire college admissions landscape has been dramatically altered as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have the numbers of applicants and acceptance rates been impacted greatly, but so too have the standardized test policies of countless schools across the country.

That change has also occurred at Stanford, and the school is now entering another application cycle in which it will have a test-optional policy. Here is what Stanford has to say about its current policy regarding both the SAT and ACT.

“We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has created limited access to admission testing worldwide,” the school notes. “We are extending 2020–21’s test optional policy to a second year.

For 2021–22 first year and transfer applicants, Stanford will review applications with or without ACT or SAT test scores, leaving the decision in the hands of the applicant.

  • “If you are not able to take the ACT or SAT, your application will not be at a disadvantage.
  • “If you have already taken the ACT or SAT, and you feel that your scores are a positive reflection of your academic preparedness, then you are welcome to self-report them. Your application will not be at a disadvantage if you choose not to report your scores.
  • “In your application, you will have the opportunity to let us know whether you have submitted or will be submitting ACT or SAT scores.
  • “If you submitted your application and indicated you would not be submitting ACT or SAT test scores, and you would now like to change your response and submit scores, please log in to your portal for instructions on how to make this change.
  • “If you submitted your application and indicated you would be submitting ACT or SAT test scores, and it turns out you are not submitting scores, or you no longer want previously submitted scores to be considered, please log in to your portal for instructions on how to make this change.”

So, now that you know that the school has a test optional policy, you may be wondering what the value of taking the SAT even is? Why even ask, “What is the average SAT score at Stanford?” if the school doesn’t even require that the test be taken in the first place?

At AdmissionSight, we believe that there are some really crucial benefits that students should keep in mind when it comes to how they plan to approach the current test optional policy at Stanford and many of the other top schools in the country.

The primary thing to consider all starts with the Stanford University acceptance rate. Over the better part of the last decade, the acceptance rate has dwindled progressively for both students that applied to the school via early admission and regular admissions.

Last year, the early admissions acceptance rate came in at 9.2 percent. The regular admissions acceptance rate was even lower, at just 4.7 percent. If you want to get an idea of how the Stanford University acceptance rate has dropped over the last several years, take a look at the graph below:

Bar graph of information about Stanford University.So at this point, you may be wondering how this acceptance rate has any impact on your decision to take the SAT and send in your score. While there is not necessarily a direct correlation, there certainly is a correlation between you and your own ability to beat the odds and overcome the incredibly low acceptance rate at this school.


Overall, the goal of any admissions officer at Stanford is to find a way to determine whether or not a high school student who has applied to Stanford has what it takes to not only survive within the incredible challenges and rigors of attending such a demanding school, but also thrive as a result of those demands.

And because the admissions process at top schools like Stanford is absolutely a self-selecting process, meaning only the best students who really feel as though they have a chance to get in will likely apply, one of the hardest challenges any high school student has is separating themselves from the pack.

So in that way, the standardized test-optional policy that has been enacted at schools like Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, and MIT, offer students willing to take that standardized test an incredible opportunity.

If you are able to safely take the SAT and earn a score that is either at or above the Stanford average SAT score, then you could give yourself a fantastic opportunity to prove that you have what it takes to head to Palo Alto and enroll at this historic institution.

Stanford requirements

Now that you know about the test-optional policy that is currently in effect at Stanford University, we thought that it would be a good idea to quickly break down the Stanford requirements that are currently listed for high school students that plan on applying to the school for their undergraduate education.

Here’s a quick checklist of the Stanford requirements for their application:

  • Filled out Coalition Application or Common Application
  • $90 refundable application fee or a fee waiver request
  • ACT or SAT scores (optional)
  • School Report and counselor letter of recommendation
  • Official transcript or academic results from high school
  • Letters of recommendation from two teachers from a student’s high school
  • Midyear transcript (due by February 15th)

Along with filling out either the Coalition Application or Common Application, and completing the essay questions that are included in those applications, Stanford asks that students also respond to several short essay questions that are provided by the school.

Here are the three questions that Stanford asked applicants to answer for the most recent application cycle. Each answer was expected to be at least 100 words and no more than 250 words.

  1. The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning.
  2. Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—get to know you better.
  3. Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why.

Improve your chances of getting into Stanford

For many high school students, there is a lot of pressure and anxiety that comes with preparing a college application to a top school and actually sending it in.

After all, the possibility of going through all that work and imagining yourself on campus at a school like Stanford only to potentially get rejected by the school can be a major defeat to overcome.

While there is no one way to guarantee that any student will get into a school as prestigious and selective as Stanford, there are a lot of important things that students can do – both throughout their high school years and during the application process itself – to improve their chances to get into the school.

At AdmissionSight, we consider it our number one job to help the students that we work with get into the schools of their dreams.

However, in a perfect world we would hope that every student out there would be able to achieve their admissions goals. That is why we took the time to break down some of the most impactful tips that high school students can utilize to improve their chances of getting into top schools.

Get involved in academic competitions in high school

Of course, this tip necessitates that you still have several years ahead of you when it comes to your high school education. In fact, this may be most useful for students who are enrolled in their freshman year who have yet to even enroll in high school.

Getting involved in academic competitions it’s a fantastic way to prove to the admissions officers at top schools that you are not only an incredibly intelligent young person but also have the drive and passion to continue your education outside of the classroom.

Two microphones on a stage

Academic competitions such as Science Olympiad, USA Math Olympiad, Quiz Bowl, National Academic League, and more can go a long way in convincing an admissions officer that you are Stanford material.

The one tip here in regards to getting involved in academic competitions is that you should make sure that they cover subjects and topics that you are already passionate about.

After all, you would ideally be involved in these competitions for several years of your high school education to give yourself the best chance of earning accolades and recognition.

Earn impactful letters of recommendation

As you now know after going over the Stanford requirements for their undergraduate application, all high school students need to send in a total of three letters of recommendation.

One letter comes from a student’s high school counselor, while the other two come from two separate members of their high school faculty.

These letters can play a major role in a student’s chances of getting into a school like Stanford because they offer valuable insight into how the student approaches both their academics and their school community.

A woman reading a letter while she is in front of her laptop.

While students cannot control who their high school counselor is, as their counselor is typically assigned to them in their freshman year, students can absolutely control which teachers write their letters of recommendation.

As a priority, students should be sure that they are asking teachers that they have formed positive and productive relationships with during their four years at high school.

Ideally, both teachers have seen the student excel academically, overcome challenges, behave as a positive leader in the classroom, and pursue their many passions.

While students do not necessarily have to “game” the system and forge forced relationships with their teachers, it certainly would not hurt to try to pinpoint the teachers that you think could write fantastic letters early on in high school.

From there, a student can make a point to enroll in as many classes with that teacher as possible, attend after class meetings with the teacher, or even get involved in extracurriculars at the school that the teacher helps lead.

Finally, students should make sure to ask the teacher well ahead of time to make sure that they can receive a letter from that teacher. The sweet spot for asking tends to be at the end of a student’s junior year Or at the very beginning of that student’s senior year.

Craft phenomenal personal essays

The final tip that we will go over in this breakdown to answer the question “what is the average SAT score at Stanford?”

Has to do with the aspect of the application process that may very well be replacing standardized tests themselves as the second most important component of any student’s application. That is, of course, the personal essay section.

First Stanford applications, students will have to fill out the essay questions for whichever application they choose as well as the Stanford specific questions.

When crafting these essays, students need to make sure that they are doing everything that they can to stand out and impress. Students should not simply go with the very first topic that they come up with when filling out these essays.

A male hand writing in a notebook using pen.

Instead, they should think long and hard and really look inward to find an answer that they truly identify with. Instead of depending on fancy words or an impressive experience, students should put a priority on really giving the admissions officers that read their essay a better understanding of who they are as people.

After all, no admissions officer is looking to accept the grades and test scores attached to a student’s application.

Instead, the admissions officers are looking to accept the right people that will make a positive and lasting difference on Stanford’s campus and in the world after they graduate.

Finally, students should make sure that they give themselves the time that they need to craft the best essays possible as well as the time that they need to look over, edit and improve those essays before finally sending them in as part of their completed application.

We can help you beat the Stanford University average SAT

While the rules surrounding the SAT have changed recently, there is no doubt that standardized tests still play a very important role in the application process to schools like Stanford. If you are interested in how AdmissionSIght can help you prepare for your SAT and boost your chances of getting into Stanford, contact us today for a free consultation.




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