What You Need to Know About Cornell ACT Scores: A Comprehensive Guide for Aspiring Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Close up of a student taking an exam.

What You Need to Know About Cornell ACT Scores: A Comprehensive Guide for Aspiring Students

What is a good ACT score for Cornell?

What is an acceptable ACT score for Cornell? Admissions at Cornell, like many elite universities, look at more than just your ACT score. However, a strong ACT score certainly improves your chances.

As of our most recent data, the middle 50% of admitted students to Cornell scored between 33 and 35 on the ACT. This means that 25% of admitted students scored below 33, and another 25% scored above 35. Aiming for a score within this Cornell ACT score range puts you in a competitive position.

However, remember that even with this range, admission to Cornell is never guaranteed – the university also looks at your coursework, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, essays, and letters of recommendation.

What is the Cornell ACT code?

What is the ACT code for Cornell?  When it comes to sending your ACT scores to colleges, including Cornell University, it’s essential to know the specific ACT code assigned to each institution. The ACT code for Cornell is 1296.

This code acts as an identifier, allowing the ACT testing agency to send your official scores directly to Cornell’s admissions office. By using the correct code, you ensure that your scores are received and processed accurately, eliminating any potential delays or confusion in the admissions process.

Moreover, while the ACT score is just one component of your application, submitting your scores to Cornell is an important step in presenting a complete and comprehensive application package.

Does Cornell require an official ACT?

Is an official ACT required by Cornell? Cornell requires official ACT scores to be sent directly from the testing agencies. This ensures the integrity of the scores being evaluated. It’s also worth mentioning that Cornell has a “test-flexible” policy. This means that they accept scores from a variety of standardized tests, including AP, IB, and SAT Subject tests, in addition to the ACT or SAT. Keep this in mind when planning your testing strategy.

McGraw Tower on campus of Cornell University

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges, including Cornell, have adopted a test-optional policy. As of the time of this writing, Cornell’s test-optional policy is in place until the 2023-24 admissions cycle.

How important is the ACT score in Cornell’s overall admissions process?

How crucial is the ACT score in the overall admissions process at Cornell? Now that we understand the typical Cornell ACT score range and the official score reporting process, let’s talk about how ACT scores fit into Cornell’s overall admissions process.

Your ACT score is an important part of your application, but it’s not the only factor. Cornell takes a holistic approach to admissions, meaning they consider your entire application – academic performance, involvement in extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation – when making their decisions.

Still, a strong ACT score can certainly bolster your application. This score gives Cornell insight into your academic abilities, particularly your readiness for college-level coursework. A high score can also offset weaker areas in your application, like a lower GPA.

How does Cornell help prospective students boost their ACT scores?

How can Cornell assist prospective students in improving their ACT scores? As a prospective student, there are various resources that Cornell offers to help you navigate the college admissions process, including boosting your ACT scores.

Firstly, Cornell provides a range of online resources, including informational blogs and webinars that guide you through the application process. These resources often include tips and strategies for improving your standardized test scores.

View of students taking an exam.

Secondly, while Cornell doesn’t offer specific ACT prep courses, the Cornell University Summer College offers a pre-college program that prepares high school students for university-level coursework. This immersive experience can indirectly help you boost your ACT scores by developing your academic skills and studying habits.

Lastly, Cornell’s admissions officers often visit high schools and college fairs around the country to guide prospective students. These visits are a great opportunity to ask specific questions about the ACT and other elements of your application.

What should be your ACT strategy for Cornell?

So, how should you approach the ACT for Cornell? Here are a few key strategies:

Understand the ACT

Familiarize yourself with the ACT structure, types of questions, and scoring system. The more you understand the test, the better prepared you will be.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Use ACT prep books and online resources to practice. Try to simulate the actual testing conditions when you practice, including timing yourself.


After each practice test, review your answers. Understand why you got certain questions wrong and how you can improve next time.

Set a Goal

Having a goal in mind can help keep you motivated. Remember, the middle 50% of admitted students to Cornell scored between 33 and 35, so aim to score within or above this range.

Develop a Study Plan

Consistent study habits often lead to better results. Rather than cramming in the weeks before the test, study a little each day.

In your pursuit of a coveted spot at Cornell University, remember that your ACT score is just one piece of the puzzle. AdmissionSight, a trusted resource for college admissions guidance, offers expert advice and personalized support to help you navigate the complexities of the application process. From understanding the Cornell ACT score expectations to crafting a compelling application, we can be your invaluable ally. So, go forth with confidence, armed with knowledge, and reach for the stars at Cornell and beyond. Your journey starts now, and AdmissionSight is here to accompany you every step of the way. Contact us! 



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