Wustl Application Essay

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 Washington University in St. Louis is 17%. For every 100 applicants, only 17 are admitted.

This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don't meet their expectations, your chance of getting is nearly zero.

After crossing this hurdle, you'll need to impress Washington University in St. Louis application readers through their other application requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation. We'll cover more below.

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 Washington University in St. Louis is 4.11.

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA. This school did not officially report its average GPA, but we've estimated it here using data from over 1,000 schools.)

With a GPA of 4.11, Washington University in St. Louis 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 4.11, 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 Washington University in St. Louis. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

Washington University in St. Louis 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: 1510 (Old: 2205)

The average SAT score composite at Washington University in St. Louis is a 1510 on the 1600 SAT scale.

On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 2205.

This score makes Washington University in St. Louis Extremely Competitive for SAT test scores.


Washington University in St. Louis SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1460, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1570. In other words, a 1460 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1570 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math770740800
Reading383739
Writing383639
Composite151014601570

Washington University in St. Louis SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 2090, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 2320. In other words, a 2090 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 2320 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math750710790
Reading725690760
Writing730690770
Composite220520902320

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Washington University in St. Louis 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.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:

SectionR+WMathComposite
Test 17003001000
Test 23007001000
Test 3300300600
Superscore7007001400

Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1000, Washington University in St. Louis 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 Washington University in St. Louis 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 1570, 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.


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Washington University in St. Louis ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Washington University in St. Louis likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 33

The average ACT score at Washington University in St. Louis is 33. This score makes Washington University in St. Louis Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 32, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 34.

Even though Washington University in St. Louis likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 32 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 33 and above that a 32 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 34 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.

However, in our research, we found that Washington University in St. Louis does in fact offer an ACT superscore policy. To quote their Admissions Office:

Consideration will only be given to the highest individual scores, whenever they occurred. Washington University considers your highest section scores across all SAT and/or ACT test dates that you submit. Final admissions decisions will be made using only your highest scores.

Source

Superscoring is powerful to your testing strategy, and you need to make sure you plan your testing accordingly. Of all the scores that Washington University in St. Louis receives, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all ACT test dates you submit.

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 4 test scores:

EnglishMathReadingScienceComposite
Test 13216161620
Test 21632161620
Test 31616321620
Test 41616163220
Superscore3232323232

Even though the highest ACT composite you scored on any one test date was 20, Washington University in St. Louis 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 20 to 32 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Washington University in St. Louis forms your Superscore, you can take the ACT 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 ACT score is currently below a 34, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the ACT 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 ACT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.


Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points?

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.

Washington University in St. Louis considers the SAT/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.


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.

We did not find information that Washington University in St. Louis requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.



Is Washington University in St. Louis a school on your college list? 

If so, there’s good news and bad news! The good news is WashU is one of few schools that don’t require any supplemental essays. The bad news is that means you need to have a strong personal statement. Here are 5 essay intros examples that were successful:

Sachinagase

WashU ‘17

On the first day of kindergarten, I brought a bento box for lunch. My dad had taken time to prepare the colorful array: foil papers separated the rolled egg, the vegetables, the rice.  When I sat down to eat, my friend pointed at my food and said, disgusted, “What’s that?” I looked at her sandwich, and then at my chopsticks in embarrassment, ashamed of my Japanese lunch. That night, I told my dad I didn’t want bento anymore; I wanted PB & J, like my friend. Keep reading. 

   

McW_1

WashU ‘20

It’s hard to imagine life without clean water, insulated housing, and readily available health care. Ecuadorian villagers live this life every day. During this past summer, I joined a medical humanitarian effort as a health teacher to teach hygienic habits to these Ecuadorian villagers. During my time in the Ecuadorian highlands, I tried my best to offer services to the Ecuadorians who had limited access to severely strained medical facilities. View full. 

Zookeeper

WashU ‘18

I knock on the window of a parked yellow cab. The heavily-accented driver loudly utters a “no” as he shakes his head vigorously, but another yellow one pulls up to the curb. There is so much to do here in New York City. As the taxi pushes its way down Broadway, we whiz by blobs of grey and black scarves, overcoats, and ties. I’m let off at the Majestic Theatre near Times Square to meet my mother for the matinee of the “Phantom of the Opera”. More than two hours later, the crowd exits raving about the show to their neighbor or humming the tune of “Masquerade” in their head. Continue reading. 

  

Jess_williams

WashU ‘17

Imagine a life in complete silence, sentenced to ‘deaf’ – unable to hear the beautiful symphonies of Mozart, the crash of waves on a Florida beach, the incessant pounding of waterfalls, shared jokes among friends, the words “I love you” – all of the sounds that most take for granted. Now consider these: fire alarms, oven timers, last minute announcements, crucial facts in a professor’s lecture – any warning wasted on your ears. There may be some idle pleasures in silence, like studying and reading, or sleeping through a storm, but with my cochlear implants, I experience the best of both worlds. Read full essay. 

Doodie123

WashU ‘19

“Give us today our daily bread.”

Such words I would hear both at Sunday congregations and from occasional bread-lovers that show up at our family bakery. Propelled by the entrepreneurial mentality of my family, I started to develop a growing desire for success at a young age. However, this seemingly ambitious desire gradually transformed into a self-centered way of life as I began to yearn for a sumptuous lifestyle that ignored the welfare of others. Keep reading. 

———

Interested in reading these students’ full personal statements that got them into WashU? Unlock all of them in one go with our WashU Starter Package! 

Our premium plans offer different level of profile access and data insights that can help you get into your dream school. Unlock any of our packages or search our undergraduate profile database to find specific profiles that can help you make an informed choice about where to apply! 

Not sure if you want to apply to the UCs yet? Do your research and browse through profiles of students accepted to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!

About The Author

Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.




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