By Jessica Brondo
Now that the spring testing season is finally over, we’re moving into summer application season. Deciding on a finalized list of schools and filling out applications are complicated enough, so adding new terminology to that already blazing fire of confusion is probably the last thing you want. I’m going to discuss 2 of the hot button words from last year’s (and most likely this year’s) application season: Score Choice and Superscoring!
Last year, the College Board introduced the option for Score Choice for all students taking the SAT and SAT II exams. Score choice gives students the opportunity to pick and choose the specific test dates for which they want to submit their SAT scores. For example, if a student took an SAT in January, March, and May, but only wants to submit her scores from January and May, she CAN! Similarly with SAT II exams, students can pick scores from individual exams to submit. (*Students can sit for a maximum of 3 SAT II exams on any given test date.) For example, if a student took the US History, Math Level 1, and Physics in June and then took the Math Level 1 again in addition to the Literature in October, she can pick US History, Physics, and Math Level 1 (October) to submit to her colleges and they’ll never know her scores from the other exams OR that she even took them.
HOWEVER (and this is a big however), individual colleges have their own policies about Score Choice and how they will use the scores that you submit. For instance, some schools require that you send ALL scores from ALL test dates while other schools have embraced the score choice policy. Before banking on using Score Choice, you’re going to want to check the policies of the schools you’re considering here.
The ACT has always been a Score Choice test and you can take the test as many times as you want and then can pick the specific test dates for which you want to send scores. The great news about the ACT is that schools are now allowing you to superscore it!
But what IS Superscoring?
Superscoring is when you take the highest score from each section of an exam. For example if you took the SAT twice and your scores were as follows:
January: Reading-540, Math-670, Writing-610
March: Reading-620, Math-580, Writing-620
You would then take the highest SECTION scores to make your superscore:
Reading: 620, Math-670, Writing-620
This is EXTREMELY beneficial for students because it allows them to focus on specific sections for each test date. Schools never allowed students to superscore the ACT, but just approved it last year when the policy was added to the Common App. Some schools, however, DO NOT allow you to superscore, so you’ll want to check the above link for specific school policies on the issue.
Best of luck on this Saturday’s ACT! Write in with any of your other questions about the wonderful world of standardized tests and college apps.