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Catrina Coffey

University of Pennsylvania ACT Scores

Yo, Magooshers! Today let’s talk about the University of Pennsylvania. Specifically, how to get in. If you want to study in Pennsylvania, here’s what you need to know!


As you might expect by now, there are no ACT score cutoffs… but the middle 50% of this year’s incoming class scored between a 31 and a 34 on the ACT, so that’s the score range you should probably work for.

As far as high school achievement and grades go, the UPenn website has this to say:

Performance in high school is the single most important factor in the student selection process at Penn. However, because grading and ranking policies are different around the country and globe, it is difficult to pinpoint one metric for a student’s success in the classroom. The most competitive applicants have pursued a rigorous program of study and achieved top grades in the context of their school.

So, like the other Ivy League schools we’ve discussed so far (and yes, UPenn is an Ivy League school), they can afford to be selective. UPenn accepted around 10% of the applicants for this year’s incoming class (but 25% of the Early Decision applicants, for those thinking of going that route in the fall).


So, Magooshers, are you pondering what I’m pondering?


If you’ve read the articles I’ve written on the other schools so far, you’re probably wondering what UPenn is really looking for. I mean, Harvard wants creativity, Yale wants strength of character, etc., so what sort of culture is UPenn trying to create?

Let’s ask them.

While we could easily fill the class with valedictorians and students with perfect test scores, our goal is to build the ideal incubator for tomorrow’s leaders. As such, we look beyond mere numbers to intangible qualities. It is therefore essential that you help us discover what separates you from those with the same, or similar, GPA and test scores.

Let us hear your authentic voice. Tell us your story. As you prepare your application, take some time to reflect on these questions:

  • What matters most to you?
  • Why do you want to attend Penn?
  • Down what path will Locust Walk lead you—academically, socially, and personally?
  • How do you plan to use your Penn education as a foundation for making your mark on the Penn community and the larger world?

They make it even clearer with a quote from Benjamin Franklin that says, “What you seem to be, be really.” UPenn is looking for authentic people. They want leaders, but they want you to be yourself — comfortable in your own skin, as it were. So, if you can offer them the rigorous academics they’re looking for, good test scores, and authenticity of character, you’re the sort of person who just might make that 10% acceptance rate.

But remember, somewhere out there is the school for you, whether it’s Ivy League or otherwise. Best of luck to all Magooshers thinking of applying to UPenn!



About Catrina Coffey

Catrina graduated from Rider University with a B.A. in English. She’s been helping students prepare for standardized tests since 2011. In her spare time, you can find her reading anything within arms’ reach, playing video games, correcting grammar, or studying word derivations. (Did you know that procrastinate comes from the Latin word cras, which means “tomorrow”?)

2 Responses to “University of Pennsylvania ACT Scores”

  1. Jaclyn says:

    Appreciating the time and effort you put into your site and detailed information you offer.

    It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Wonderful read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google

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