Ivy league schools ranked by how smart their students are

Yale selfieTony Fiorini/Yale University/FacebookHarvard and Yale tie for No. 1.

How do America’s oldest and most elite universities compare in terms of sheer student brainpower?

We recently ranked the smartest colleges in America
, and Ivy League schools were featured prominently at the top of the list, with four breaking into the overall top 10.

We decided to see how these storied institutions stack up against each other. It turns out Harvard and Yale tie for No. 1.

In order to determine a school’s overall smarts, Jonathan Wai, a Duke University Talent Identification Program research scientist, analysed the average standardised test scores that the schools report to US News.

These tests are often criticised, but research shows that both the SAT and ACT are good measures of general cognitive ability, since just about any mental test measures one’s ability to reason.

ACT scores were converted to SAT scores (maths + verbal) using this concordance table so all schools could be compared on one metric. Then, an average of the 25th and 75th percentile was computed (see more detail on methods and limitations here).

Here are America’s Ivy League schools ranked by student brainpower:

Smarts Rank Overall Smarts Rank School Average SAT
1 3 Harvard University 1505
1 3 Yale University 1505
3 5 Princeton University 1500
4 8 Columbia University 1480
5 17 Dartmouth College 1455
5 17 University of Pennsylvania 1455
7 24 Brown University 1440
8 28 Cornell University 1420

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