Standardized Testing

I am applying for fall 2024 admission as a first-year or transfer applicant – are test scores required?

No. Yale’s test-flexible policy (announced in winter 2024) will go into effect for prospective students applying for fall 2025 admission. For the current admissions cycle, Yale continues to operate with a test-optional policy. Active applicants do not need to update their application files with additional test scores.

What are the average test scores of admitted students?

Rather than calculate average scores, Yale reports the middle 80% of test scores (the 10th to the 90th percentiles) on our standardized testing page. These ranges provide a snapshot of the class, not a floor for competitiveness in Yale’s selection process. It is not the case that scores below a certain threshold “hurt” an application while those above “help” it. Scores below the published ranges can still be helpful to establish an applicant’s academic preparation for Yale coursework.

Which scores should I include with my Yale application?

All first-year and transfer applicants for fall 2025 admission and later are required to submit scores from one or more of the following test types: ACT, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or SAT. Yale does not prefer one type of test over the others, and there is no minimum required number of scores. Prospective applicants and their college counselors or advisors are in the best position to consider their available scores and to decide which to include with an application. We advise selecting scores that you are proud of, that reflect one of more areas of your academic strength, that supplement the courses and grades on your transcript, and that reflect your sense of your own preparation for college. If you completed an AP-designated course in high school and completed the exam, we recommend including your score, even if you fulfill Yale’s testing requirement with the ACT or SAT.

How does Yale weigh different types of exam scores when reviewing files?

Yale’s admissions process does not assign a specific weight to any component of the application, and test scores are not reweighted or translated to fit into a rubric or to establish equivalencies. Yale considers standardized test scores and transcripts together. Scores are evaluated within each student’s unique context and are used to augment other academic indicators in an application.

I have multiple scores from exams in related subjects (e.g., ACT Math and AP Statistics). How should I compare them and decide which to submit?

Avoid the urge to seek equivalencies among exams. Each strong test result can help strengthen a student’s application in a unique way, and the most helpful test for an individual applicant will depend on that student’s specific context and performance. 

Will applicants who submit more exam scores have an advantage over students with fewer?

No. Simply including more scores from more types of tests will not give an applicant an advantage in Yale’s selection process. Yale’s test-flexible policy should not be misunderstood as encouraging students to complete more standardized tests, or to opt for AP or IB classes instead of other rigorous college preparatory coursework. Admissions officers understand that access to test preparation and test administration is highly variable, both among and within high schools. Students opting to apply with AP or IB scores should submit scores from all exams completed. 

Will a single AP or IB exam score fulfill Yale’s requirement?

Yes. For students who have completed only one AP or IB exam, submitting that one score will fulfill Yale’s testing requirement. There is no minimum number of subject-based exam scores required. But our advice is to use your test scores to provide as much evidence of your academic strength in your application as possible. Independently completing one or more subject-based exams outside of your high school curriculum solely for the purpose of meeting Yale’s testing requirement is not advisable.

Is there a recommended number of AP or IB exams a student should have completed to fulfill Yale’s testing requirement with either of these exams?

No. Applicants should submit scores from all subject exams completed prior to submitting their application. Recognizing that access to AP and IB courses varies widely among and within high schools, Yale does not set a minimum. Applicants who feel that the AP or IB scores they have earned prior to applying best represent their strengths and college preparedness may use those scores to fulfill the requirement, regardless of the number of exams they have completed. Test scores are not fed into an algorithm; they convey information to the admissions committee, and all scores are considered in the context of a student’s high school.

If my school does not offer AP or IB exams, am I at a disadvantage?

Absolutely not. Yale’s review process is holistic and contextual. We do not expect students to complete coursework or exams that are not offered at their high school. We encourage students without access to these courses to submit results from the SAT or ACT. Please keep in mind that scores from these exams that fall below Yale’s median ranges can still help an applicant’s candidacy, especially if a student is graduating from a high school with limited access to advanced college-preparatory coursework.

How can I share details of extenuating circumstances that affected my experience preparing for or completing standardized test?

Test scores are considered by real people and are not fed into a weighting rubric or algorithm. If you feel there are important details that the admissions committee should know when reviewing your test scores, the Yale-specific questions include an optional space to provide these details. Examples might include a family emergency immediately before the test date or being part of the first class at your high school to complete an AP or IB course.

I did not complete an AP or IB exam, even though I took a class with the AP or IB designation. Should I share this information in my application? If so, where?

Yes. Please use the optional free-response question about testing details in the Yale-specific questions to share that you did not take the exam. You can also use this space to share any relevant circumstances surrounding your decision not to complete the exam.

How will Yale know which scores I want you to consider when you are reviewing my application?

When completing the Yale-specific questions with your application, you will be asked to select which type of scores you would like considered. If those scores are already listed elsewhere in your application, no additional information is required. If those scores are not included elsewhere in your application, you will be asked to self-report them in a follow-up question.

Does Yale award credit for AP or IB Exams?

Yes and no. Some Yale departments award acceleration credit for high scores on some AP exams. Acceleration credit may offer some students the option to graduate in fewer than eight terms, but only after completing specific courses in specific departments. Acceleration credits may not be used to fulfill Yale’s distributional requirements. Although most Yale students have completed multiple AP exams prior to matriculating, most do not use acceleration credit to graduate early. For further details see Yale College acceleration policies and the current table of acceleration credit.

Does Yale "superscore" the ACT or the SAT?

Yes. Applicants may report “super-scored” results from the SAT or ACT, i.e. their highest section scores or a recalculated ACT composite score from across multiple test administrations. Applicants reporting results from the SAT should include scores from the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math sections. Applicants reporting results from the ACT should include scores from the English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science sections as well as a Composite Score. The writing section is optional.

How can I share new test scores received after submitting my application?

Use “Update Admissions Application” form on the Yale Admissions Status portal to self-report new scores. Alternatively, list Yale as an official score recipient via the testing agency. Yale’s CEEB code for the SAT and AP is 3987; the ACT code is 0618.

May I use self-reported scores when applying?

Yes. Applicants may self-report results from all eligible tests when completing the application. Applicants who are admitted and choose to matriculate at Yale will be required to provide official results of all self-reported scores prior to enrolling. Discrepancies between an applicant’s self-reported scores and official scores may result in the withdrawal of an offer of admission.

Is there a minimum score needed to be admitted?

No. Standardized tests are just one component of a student’s application and are viewed within the context of the student’s entire file. On their own, a single set of scores do very little to sway an applicant’s overall candidacy. Scores are often revealing but never determinative.