Many college applicants sit for the ACT and/or the SAT more than once, which means they'll have more than one score report. Should you send all your test scores with your college applications, or only the report on which you scored the highest?
Standardized test policies vary from college to college. Some schools are test-optional and don't require scores at all! Some will consider all your test scores, others will only consider your highest overall score from a single test date and some schools will accept a composite of your highest section scores across different test dates. This composite is called a superscore. Following is a breakdown of how superscores work on both tests:
- SAT Superscore: The sum of your highest Math score and your highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score.
- ACT Superscore: The average of your highest Math, Science, Reading and English section scores.
Self-reported test scores are a current trend in admissions offices. This means that students can simply enter their scores on their college applications without paying the College Board or the ACT for extra score reports -- although accepted students will need to submit official scores in order to matriculate. You should never, ever fib on your college application!
The College Board, the maker of the SAT, offers a Score Choice reporting tool that allows you to choose which scores will be visible to colleges.
ACT, Inc., creates a score record each time you take the test, and you can choose which records are released to schools. If a college requests all of your ACT scores, it's up to you to ensure that all of your records are delivered to that school.
The Princeton Review surveys colleges about their admissions policies each year and we publish a complete list of colleges that superscore the ACT. You can find tons more admission information, including college acceptance rates and average financial aid packages, in our School Search.
The College Board maintains alist of school score policies for the SAT. You should always directly confirm the latest admission policies of your target schools.
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