Caltech GPA, SAT and ACT Data

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Caltech GPA, SAT and ACT Graph

Caltech GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
Caltech GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. Data courtesy of Cappex.

How Do You Measure Up at Caltech?

Calculate Your Chances of Getting In with this free tool from Cappex.

Discussion of Caltech's Admissions Standards:

With an acceptance rate of 9% in 2015, the California Institute of Technology is one of the country's most selective colleges. To get accepted, you're going to need grades and test scores that are well above average. In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. You can see that most successful applicants had "A" averages, SAT scores (RW+M) of about 1400 or higher, and an ACT composite score of 32 or higher. The higher those numbers, the better your chance of an acceptance letter.

Note that there are a lot of red and yellow dots (rejected and waitlisted students) hidden behind the green and blue. Many students with high test scores and 4.0 GPAs don't get into Caltech (see the graph below). Caltech uses the Common Application and has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers will be looking for more than good grades and high standardized test scores. They will also want to see challenging courses, glowing letters of recommendation, a winning essay, and strong extracurricular involvement. Success in AP, Honors or IB classes will be essential, but the admissions folks will also be reading every word in your application essay and short answer responses. Always keep in mind that Caltech is looking for more than stellar scientists and engineers. The school wants to enroll students who will enrich the campus community in meaningful ways.

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Rejection and Waitlist Data for Caltech

Rejection and Waitlist Data for Caltech
Rejection and Waitlist Data for Caltech. Data courtesy of Cappex.

When we strip away the accepted student data in the graph, you can see that the rejection data points extend all the way to the upper right corner. This tells us that students with perfect SAT / ACT scores and 4.0 GPAs might be rejected by Caltech.  The admissions process is holistic, so those non-numerical measures are going to need to be impressive. The institute is so highly selective that I always recommend applicants always consider it a reach school, never a match or safety.