Standardized tests are one of the main methods Service Academies have to measure academic excellence. What is considered normal for West Point SAT scores?
GPAs are somewhat subjective, but the SAT and ACT are the great national equalizers. Although physical aptitude and leadership potential also play a role in your admittance, your SAT or ACT scores are weighted stronger in West Point’s consideration of your application. You may perform great academically but not be the best standardized test-taker, so testing early and giving yourself time for improvement is a great strategy. You can estimate how competitive you are with your test scores and other information with our West Point Admissions Calculator.
Here are several things to consider when planning your SAT/ACT testing for West Point admission:
1. Set Your SAT and ACT Goals High
There are no absolute requirements for test scores, but the higher your test scores the better your chances of admission.
Looking at the freshman class of 2023, the National Center for Education Statistics released the average test scores for Fall 2019:
West Point SAT Score Statistics
West Point ACT Score Statistics
Understanding where you fall within these scores can help you decide if you want to retest or are happy with your score. Even a 100 point increase on your SAT composite can make a huge difference! West Point Admissions recommends retesting for SAT scores below 600 in Math and Verbal as well as scores below 29 composite for the ACT.
2. SAT and ACT Scores are the Most Important Factor for Admission
West Point emphasizes academic ability! Keep in mind standardized tests make up the single largest portion or 40% of your overall Whole Candidate Score, so they are extremely important!
If you have limited time to prepare across all the areas of your application, spending time achieving the highest possible SAT or ACT score will pay off much more than any other category!
If you’ve taken either test more than once, then the highest score will be used for your application. For the SAT the highest Math and Evidence-Based Reading scores will be used. For the ACT, the highest English, Math, Reading and Science scores will be used.
3. Math and Science Carry More Weight
West Point places a heavy focus on engineering, so it’s no wonder than Math and Science are important!
You can break down the SAT and ACT into the two categories West Point values for admissions: the Math/Science Composite and the English and Reading score. West Point puts a higher emphasis on your Math/Science Composite than English and Reading. Math and Science make up 25% of your Whole Candidate Score, versus 15% for English and Reading. So if you could potentially improve your scores in both areas but want to choose one focus, improve Math and Science first.
Of these, improving your Math score is the single most important factor under your control as a candidate!
4. SAT and ACT Scores are Part of Your Academic Ability Score
Looking at West Point’s Whole Candidate Score, SAT and ACT scores are considered in the Academy Ability Score (AAS). Overall this makes up 60% of your Whole Candidate Score. So why does this matter?
The AAS is a combination of SAT or ACT scores, high school rank, class size, as well as the competitiveness of the high school. It’s a good idea to find out early if your school provides you with class rank. If not, the SAT or ACT score is used to calculate your class rank, and then your SAT or ACT score becomes that much more important!
5. Timeline for Testing
Candidates seeking admission to West Point have until 1 March of their senior year to complete all requirements for application.
We recommend you test at the end of your junior year in order to give yourself ample time to improve your SAT or ACT scores if needed. The latest you can test for West Point admission is January of your senior year for the SAT and February for the ACT. We highly recommend testing before the winter of your senior year to give plenty of time for re-testing before the 1 March deadline.
Keep in mind registration dates. Normal registration dates for the SAT and ACT are a month in advance, but you can pay an extra fee and late registration will allow you to register anywhere from 10-15 days in advance.
You can register for SAT and ACT testing here.