Superscoring–What is it and how does it work for the ACT and SAT?

HomeBlogSuperscoring–What is it and how does it work for the ACT and SAT?

As of May 2021, both the ACT and SAT offer superscoring options for students who’ve taken the ACT and/or SAT more than once.

ACT. Each multiple-choice section (English, mathematics, reading, and science) of the ACT has a score range of 1–36. The composite score is the average of the four test scores. Colleges and universities can approach ACT in several ways: “most recent,” “single highest,” or “superscore.”

  • MOST RECENT: the student’s composite score from the last test he/she took.
  • SINGLE HIGHEST: the students highest composite score he/she earned on any one ACT administration
  • SUPERSCORE: an average of the student’s highest English, highest math, highest reading, and highest science scores from among the different tests he/she has taken.

SAT. The two SAT sections (Evidence-based Reading/Writing and Math) have a score range of 200-800. (The essay is optional.) The total SAT score is the sum of both sections (EBRW and math).

Some college/universities choose to SUPERSCORE. If you submit scores from different SAT test dates, the school then picks your highest EBRW and highest math to combine them for a superscore. Keep in mind that colleges see all the scores you submitted but focus on your highest sections. Do your research and find out if the colleges/universities you’re applying to have a superscore policy.

The College Board also offers a service called Score Choice: the student chooses which scores from multiple test dates to report to a college/university. For example, if a student takes the SAT in October and December, he/she can decide to send only the December scores to the schools he’s applying to. (But he can’t choose the send only math from the October test and only reading from the December test.) Be careful, though. Some schools (i.e. Georgetown, Yale, among several) require students to report ALL their scores. For this reason, DO NOT REGISTER FOR AND TAKE OFFICIALLY-ADMINISTERED EXAMS for practice! Students don’t want colleges looking at “practice” scores!