I am applying to three schools that require the sat with essay: Duke, Rice, and Dartmouth. I did very well when I took the test in october. I got a 1420, but it was without the essay. When I took it again in november WITH the essay, I only got a 1270. Is there any way that these schools could consider my 1420?
The answers are different for the different schools. For Duke, the answer is definitely yes, you can submit both SAT scores and Duke will consider your 1420 - as they state on their website,
As long as students report a new SAT with essay and/or an ACT with writing, we will also consider a higher SAT score or ACT composite score from a test administration without writing.
It's a little more unclear for Dartmouth and for Rice. Dartmouth states that "We consider the highest component scores from the SAT, even if these results are from different dates," but it's not clear whether this applies to SAT with and without the essay. Similarly, Rice states "Rice uses the highest scores from any sitting on the same version of the SAT in order to consider each applicant's most positive test results." To find out if it's worth submitting your 1420 SAT (no essay) along with your 1270 SAT (with essay) to Rice and Dartmouth, I'd recommend emailing their admissions offices and asking if the school will consider higher composite SAT scores from test dates without the essay.
Rice undergraduate admissions email: email@example.com
Dartmouth undergraduate admissions: use this form; you will receive a response via email.