Some colleges give students the option to “superscore” their tests. With “superscoring,” a student would pick his or her highest test scores in a section from across multiple sittings. This ability to mix and match individual section scores from different test dates typically yields a “superscore” that is higher than an ACT composite or SAT score from a single sitting.
ACT SUPERSCORE EXAMPLE
SAT SUPERSCORE EXAMPLE
How can you interpret these superscore examples?
When applying to schools that do not accept a superscore, students will want to include the test date with the best overall score. In the above student scenarios, the student applying to colleges that do NOT Superscore would submit the April ACT date (with the 26 composite) and the March SAT date (with the 1230 score), since those dates have higher scores for a single sitting. Keep in mind, this student can only choose to submit one test date *if* the college or university accepts Score Choice reporting. Otherwise, the student would need to report and send score reports for both sittings of the ACT and both sittings of the SAT.
How many colleges “Superscore?”
More colleges accept “superscoring” of the SAT than they do for the ACT. Policies for vary by college and change every year. Students must be vigilant about the policies of the colleges to which they’re applying. An abbreviated list is provided below to illuminate the most up-to-date “superscore” policies for a small subset of some of the most competitive schools.
How many times should a student test?
Taking an official ACT or SAT test prior to proper preparation can affect students’ confidence and potentially affect the strength of their applications. If their dream colleges end up requiring that all scores are sent, the student may wish he or she could “hide” part of his or her testing history.
Instead, students should take timed, proctored practice tests in situations that emulate real testing conditions. Feedback from practice tests is more immediate and detailed. Students should only sit for the official tests when they know what to expect and have given themselves ample time to take multiple practice tests and learn from their mistakes.
It is most appropriate that students sit for an official test no more than two or three times. Be sure to review colleges’ score choice policies before applying as well.
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