With the first administration of the New SAT approaching, you may be wondering whether or not you should take the Optional Essay. Though you might be inclined to skip it since it is “optional” after all, be aware that some schools do require you to take this portion of the SAT. We’ve compiled some information from US News and World Report’s Top 25 Universities, listing whether or not they require the Optional Essay, per the information provided by College Board.
|School||Stance on Essay|
|Columbia||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|University of Chicago||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|MIT||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|Duke||Not Reported *|
|Upenn||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|Johns Hopkins||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|Northwestern||Not Reported *|
|Brown||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|Cornell||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|Vanderbilt||Not Reported *|
|Wash U||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|Notre Dame||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|Georgetown||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|Carnegie Mellon||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
|USC||Neither Require Nor Recommend|
* Not Reported indicates schools who did not report their preference to College Board at the time of writing.
As you can see, here, the general consensus on the essay is pretty split. About half of the schools listed require the essay while the other half does not. If you’re interested in applying to Ivy League or top-tier schools, we highly recommend you take the SAT with Essay so you don’t close any doors.
If you’re interested in SAT with Essay, take a look at Testmasters’ preparation options which have been proven to help students excel in all sections, including the essay!