Stanford University and SAT Scores

A young lady sent me a message on facebook asking about test scores and admittance. Below you’ll find part of her message and my response… good luck applicants..

I applied to Stanford right now, and I believe I did some very good essays. I was myself. I did not hire anyone to help me, like many people do, I just wrote what I really believe in. I wrote about the poverty in my country, violence, and many other aspects I find engaging.

Anyway, the bad part of all this is that I took my SAT in December, and I got a 1800. At first I thought it was a great grade, because I know of many kids in the American schools here that get like a 1600 during their first attempt. The thing is, I’ve been google-ing and I found that even 2000 is a low SAT score. Since you are a student at Stanford, my question is this. Do you think there is a slight bit of chance that they will not only focus on my 1800 and maybe take a deeper look at all the other things I have to offer? Do you know of any other undergrad or graduate student in Stanford who got accepted with this kind of score? Or do you truly think they will automatically dispose of my application because of the score?

Hello *****,

You have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes down to your SAT scores. Stanford is committed to looking at their applicants holistically. Test scores do not mean as much as your essays, grades, initiative, spirit! Heck, if test scores meant anything, I wouldn’t have been admitted!

I got a 1410 on my first SAT, and then a 15 something, and then I 17 something. I never reached 1800 in a single testing setting (and even if you piecemeal my highest scores together, I only got at 1760. I kept praying to at least get a 1800 (lol, and you got that your first try) and never got it. Granted, those scores were good for where I came from (I had friends with 900s), they weren’t good for the elite colleges. I was sure that I wasn’t going to get in to Stanford or any decent school with such test scores but I applied anyways. And now look at me! I’m graduating from Stanford in four years with honor’s, every year made Dean’s list, and with a Master’s. If the admissions people focused too heavily on my SAT scores, none of this would have been possible.

I’m not going to lie to you though; I am a rare case. I literally had one of the lowest SAT scores of my admitted class. There’s like 3% of students who didn’t have at least a 1800 (that’s like 21 students lol). And most of my friends had 2000s. I remember having a conversation freshman year and me and my friends were all talking about our fears about getting into Stanford and my one of my best friends was like she was scared because she only had a 2200. I felt dumb as hell and wondered why did the admissions officers admit me. But then I had to think about the letter that the lady who admitted me sent me; she said, “your peers will learn from you.” And at admit weekend this woman was damn near in tears when she met me and told me how hard she had to fight for me. My life story, my courage, my strength, my resiliency, my spirit meant more than some SAT scores.

I say all of that to say don’t stress over your SAT scores. If possible, take them again (ppl usually do better on multiple attempts), but don’t stress about it. If you’re supposed to be here, you will be here. Period. I wish you well with your college acceptances! Let me know how things turn out! If you have any other questions or comments, please feel free to hit me up whenever!




  1. I’m a high school junior taking my first SAT exam on June 4. On my last Princeton Review diagnostic, I scored a 1940, and I was surprised at how good it was (I need to get 2000+ to beat my older sister’s score – sister complex thing, lol) but I felt as if I could never do any better on the real exam. I’ve always wanted to get into Stanford, but then, I had to admit defeat.

    However, I had this dream several nights ago that I got accepted into Stanford and it was totally, totally ace. Now, I have this very belated inspiration to do as much as I can until 2012 to work on my test scores and GPA and math skills so I can become a most triumphant student and get into this most excellent college. I’m only half MIddle Eastern, so I can’t pull that URM thing, but I am an international student. I’m not sure if citizenship cancels that out or not, though. I digress.

    Point is, your post motivates me even further to quit being such a bum and to go out and be spectacular. If by some terrible cause I am rejected (or worse: deferred) from this institution… then I shall totally have to re-apply for transfer after my freshman year.

    2200 or bust! >D

  2. Now there are a lot of sources online. ISEE Test, SSAT Test Score Test Prep. Anxiety, Test Taking, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, BAR, MCLEX, ASVAB, ASWB, NCE, Praxis, Counselor Exam, Engineering Exam, Engineer Exam, Social Work Exam, and more… The students are very lucky. Because of many sources can be easily.

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