If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.
The acceptance rate at UVA is 30%. For every 100 applicants, 30 are admitted.
This means the school is very selective. If you meet UVA's requirements for GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and other components of the application, you have a great shot at getting in. But if you fall short on GPA or your SAT/ACT scores, you'll have a very low chance of being admitted, even if you meet the other admissions requirements.
Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.
The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.
The average GPA at UVA is 4.23.
(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
With a GPA of 4.23, UVA requires you to be at the top of your class. You'll need nearly straight A's in all your classes to compete with other applicants. Furthermore, you should be taking hard classes - AP or IB courses - to show that college-level academics is a breeze.
If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 4.23, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.
Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.
You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to UVA. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.
UVA SAT Requirements
Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.
Average SAT: 1410 (Old: 2009)
The average SAT score composite at UVA is a 1410 on the 1600 SAT scale.
On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 2009.
This score makes UVA Strongly Competitive for SAT test scores.
UVA SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)
The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1330, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1510. In other words, a 1330 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1510 will move you up to above average.
Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
UVA SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)
The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1870, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 2180. In other words, a 1870 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 2180 puts you well above average.
Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
SAT Score Choice Policy
The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.
UVA has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Section."
This is also known as "superscoring." This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.
Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.
For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:
Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1000, UVA will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1000 to 1400 in this example.
This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and UVA forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.
Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 1510, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.
Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
UVA ACT Requirements
Just like for the SAT, UVA likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.
Average ACT: 30
The average ACT score at UVA is 30. This score makes UVA Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.
The 25th percentile ACT score is 29, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 33.
Even though UVA likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 29 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 30 and above that a 29 will look academically weak.
ACT Score Sending Policy
If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.
Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.
This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 33 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.
ACT Superscore Policy
By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.
We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to UVA, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 33.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements
Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.
UVA requires you to take the SAT/ACT Writing section. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.
SAT Subject Test Requirements
Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.
UVA has indicated that SAT subject tests are recommended. Typically this means that SAT subject tests are not required, but submitting them can showcase particular strengths. For example, if you're applying to an engineering school, submitting science and math SAT subject tests will boost your application.
Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.
Our Expert's Notes
We did more detailed research into this school and found the following information.
In addition to the SAT or ACT Plus Writing, two SAT subject tests are strongly recommended.
University of Virginia Admissions Essays
UVA has released their supplemental college admissions essays for 2013-2014.
The University of Virginia admissions essays have been released for the 2013-2014 admissions cycle and we’ve got the supplemental questions for our readers! So what are their college admissions essay questions? According to the UVA Admissions website, the first question reads as follows:
“We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists. Answer the question that corresponds to the school you selected. Limit your answer to a half page or roughly 250 words.” The essay prompt goes on to include:
- College of Arts & Sciences: What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
- Engineering: If you were given funding for a small engineering project, what would you do?
- Architecture: Students in the school of architecture study the physical design of the environment in which we live, including cities, landscapes, and buildings. That environment has a profound effect on the way that people and societies interact and develop. Describe how a particular physical place has influenced your growth as a person.
- Nursing: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.
- Kinesiology: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.
That one shouldn’t be too tough for UVA applicants in our opinion. What do you think? And for the second question, the prompt reads, “Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.” The prompt goes on to include:
- What is your favorite word and why?
- The Honor Code at U.Va. states that students will not lie, cheat, or steal. This strengthens our Community of Trust. What would you add to the Honor Code and why?
- In 2006, graduate student Robert Stilling discovered an unpublished poem by Robert Frost while doing research in U.Va.’s Small Collections Library. Where will your Stilling moment be in college?
- We are a community with quirks, both in language (we’ll welcome you to Grounds, not campus) and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
- To tweet or not to tweet?
We like the question about the favorite word and “to tweet or not to tweet?” There’s a whole lot of room for creativity with these kinds of questions. The Robert Frost question is also pretty cool as is the question about your quirks. How are you quirky? Everyone is but are you able to articulate this well in a college admissions essay? That’s what matters.
And while you’re here, check out this post on the UVA president.