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Superscoring and Score Choice Policies

By May 11, 2022August 1st, 2023ACT, College Admission Requirements, For Students, SAT


Many in college admission talk about reading applications holistically and supportively; one way they can do this is by “superscoring” standardized tests. This means that if you take the SAT more than once, the admission office will take the highest section score across test administrations and assign you a new, higher total score. For instance, if you scored a 650 EBRW and 670 Math (Total 1320) in March and a 700 EBRW and 650 Math (Total 1350) in May, your superscore would be 700 + 670 = 1370. For the ACT, this process generally takes the form of taking your highest test scores across test administrations, but may not result in a new Composite score because colleges use test scores individually.

ACT has introduced its Superscoring report as of April 2021 as a convenient way for students to send their best scores. See our complete guide to the new report.

Beginning with the March 2024 test, the SAT is going completely digital. As a result, the next few cohorts may have scores from both a paper-and-pencil and a digital exam. Compass suspects the majority of colleges will accept superscores from both types of tests during this transition period, though some may not. The list below is a sampling of schools that have already determined policies for paper-and-pencil and digital superscoring. We will add to this list as we hear from more schools.

  • Brown: Yes
  • Cornell: Yes
  • Harvard: Yes
  • Princeton: No; “Applicants are welcome to submit scores from multiple SAT test dates, and across multiple testing formats, if they would like them considered within our holistic review of their application. However, given their distinct differences in format, we will not SuperScore sections of the digital SAT with sections of the (paper/traditional) SAT.”
  • Yale: Does not superscore to create total score, but will consider highest section scores regardless of how attained; “All SAT scores are treated equally in our evaluation process.”

Score Choice

The College Board and ACT have adopted policies, generally referred to as “Score Choice,” designed to give students some control over how SAT, Subject Test, and ACT scores are reported. Colleges, however, have the final say over what scores applicants should submit and how those scores will be used. Students should carefully review the score-reporting policy of each college to which they plan to apply.

  • Require all scores: These colleges explicitly require applicants to submit all test scores.
  • Recommend all scores: These colleges recommend but do not require that applicants send all test scores. These schools’ admission offices will create superscores for applicants, and counselors do not want students to inadvertently neglect to send a high section score.
  • Accept score choice: These colleges will accept whichever scores an applicant elects to submit.

In the table below, you will find the superscore and score choice policies of many popular colleges. We are working to build out this database to include the 400+ popular colleges whose estimated ACT and SAT score ranges we also track (excluding those with Test Free policies). We also track score ranges and policies for merit scholarships here.

SchoolSuperscore SATSuperscore ACTScore Choice
Abilene Christian UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Adelphi UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Agnes Scott CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Albion CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Allegheny CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
American UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Amherst CollegeYesYesScore Choice OK
Appalachian State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Arizona State University—TempeYesYesScore choice OK
Auburn UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Augustana CollegeNoNoScore choice OK
Austin CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Babson CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Baldwin Wallace UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Bard CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Cornell UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Bates CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Baylor UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Beloit CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Bennington CollegeYesYes*Score choice OK
Bentley UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Berea CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Berry CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Binghamton University—SUNYYesYesScore choice OK
Biola UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Birmingham-Southern College YesYesScore choice OK
Boston CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Boston UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Bowdoin CollegeYes*YesScore choice OK
Bradley UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Brandeis UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Brigham Young University—ProvoNoNoScore choice OK
Brown UniversityYesYes*Score choice OK
Bryn Mawr CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Bucknell UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Butler UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
California Institute of TechnologyYesYes*Score choice OK
California Lutheran UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
California Polytechnic State University—San Luis ObispoYesYesScore choice OK
California State Polytechnic University—PomonaYesYesScore choice OK
California State University—FresnoYesYesScore choice OK
California State University—FullertonYesYesScore choice OK
California State University—Long BeachYesYesScore choice OK
California State University—Los AngelesYesYesScore Choice OK
California State University—Monterey BayYesYesScore choice OK
Carleton CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Carnegie Mellon UniversityYesNoRequires all SAT or ACT
Carroll CollegeNoNoScore choice OK
Case Western Reserve UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Centre CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Chapman UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Christopher Newport UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Claremont McKenna CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Clark UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Clarkson UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Clemson UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Coe CollegeNoNoScore choice OK
Colby CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Colgate UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
College of CharlestonYesYesScore choice OK
College of New JerseyYesYesScore choice OK
College of St. BenedictYesYesScore choice OK
College of the Holy CrossYesYesScore choice OK
College of William and MaryYesYesScore choice OK
College of WoosterYesYesScore choice OK
Colorado CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Colorado School of MinesYesYesScore choice OK
Colorado State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Columbia UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Concordia College—MoorheadYesYesScore choice OK
Connecticut CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Cooper UnionYesYesScore choice OK
Cornell CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Soka University of AmericaYesYesRequires all SAT or ACT
Creighton UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
CUNY—Baruch CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Dartmouth CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Davidson CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Denison UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
DePaul UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
DePauw UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Dickinson CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Drake UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Drew UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Drexel UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Drury UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Duke UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Duquesne UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Earlham CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Elmhurst CollegeNoNoScore choice OK
Elon UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Emerson CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Emory UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Fairfield UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Florida Institute of TechnologyYesYesScore choice OK
Florida State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Fordham UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Franklin and Marshall CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Furman UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Gallaudet UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
George Mason UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
George Washington UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
The CitadelYesNoRequires all SAT or ACT
Georgia Institute of TechnologyYesYesScore choice OK
Gettysburg CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Gonzaga UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Goshen CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Goucher CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Grinnell CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Gustavus Adolphus CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Hamilton CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Hampden-Sydney CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Hampton UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Hanover CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Harvard University* YesNoScore choice OK
Harvey Mudd CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Haverford CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Hendrix CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
High Point UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Hillsdale CollegeNoNoScore choice OK
Hobart and William Smith CollegesYesYesScore choice OK
Hofstra UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Hollins UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Hope CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Howard UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Humboldt State University YesYesScore choice OK
Illinois Institute of TechnologyYesYesScore choice OK
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Indiana University—BloomingtonYesYesScore choice OK
Iowa State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Ithaca CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
James Madison UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
John Brown UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Johns Hopkins UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Kalamazoo CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Kenyon CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Knox CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Lafayette CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Lake Forest CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Lawrence UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Lehigh UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Lewis & Clark CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Lipscomb UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Louisiana State University—Baton RougeYesYesScore choice OK
Loyola Marymount UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Loyola University ChicagoYesYesScore choice OK
Loyola University MarylandYesYesScore choice OK
Loyola University New OrleansYesYesScore choice OK
Luther CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Macalester CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Marist CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Marquette UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyYesYesScore choice OK
Mercer UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Miami University—OxfordYesYesScore choice OK
Michigan State UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Michigan Technological UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Middlebury CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Mills CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Millsaps CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Milwaukee School of EngineeringNoNoScore choice OK
Mississippi State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Missouri University of Science & TechnologyYesYesScore choice OK
Morehouse CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Mount Holyoke CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Muhlenberg CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
New College of FloridaYesYesScore choice OK
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyYesYesScore choice OK
New SchoolNoNoScore choice OK
New York UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
North Carolina State University—RaleighYesYesScore choice OK
Northeastern UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Northwestern UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Oberlin CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Occidental CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Ohio State University—ColumbusNoNoScore choice OK
Ohio UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Ohio Wesleyan UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Oklahoma State UniversityNoYesScore choice OK
Oregon State UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Pacific Lutheran UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Pennsylvania State University—University ParkNoNoScore choice OK
Pepperdine UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Pitzer CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Pomona CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Pratt InstituteYesYesScore choice OK
Presbyterian College (SC)YesYesScore choice OK
Princeton University YesNoScore choice OK
Providence CollegeYesYes*Score choice OK
Purdue University—West LafayetteYes*Yes*Score choice OK
Queens University of CharlotteYesYesScore choice OK
Quinnipiac UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Randolph-Macon CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Reed CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteYesNoScore choice OK
Rhode Island School of DesignYesYesScore choice OK
Rhodes CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Rice UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Ripon CollegeNoNoScore choice OK
Rochester Institute of TechnologyYesYesScore choice OK
Rollins CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—New BrunswickYesNoScore choice OK
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—NewarkYesNoScore choice OK
Saint Louis UniversityNoNoScore choice OK
Samford UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
San Diego State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
San Jose State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Santa Clara UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Sarah Lawrence CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Scripps CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Seattle UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Seton Hall UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Sewanee—University of the SouthYesYesScore choice OK
Siena CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Simmons CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Skidmore CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Smith CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Yale UniversityYes*Yes*Score choice OK
Southern Methodist UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Southwestern UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Spelman CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
St. John Fisher CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
St. John's College AnnapolisYesYesScore choice OK
St. John's University (NY)YesYesScore choice OK
St. Lawrence UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
St. Mary's College (IN)YesYesScore choice OK
St. Mary's College of CaliforniaYesYesScore choice OK
St. Mary's College of MarylandYesNoScore choice OK
St. Michael's CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
St. Olaf CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Stanford UniversityYesYes*Score choice OK
Stetson UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Stevens Institute of TechnologyYesYesScore choice OK
Stonehill CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Stony Brook University—SUNYYesNoScore choice OK
SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestryYesYesScore choice OK
SUNY—GeneseoYesYesScore choice OK
Susquehanna UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Swarthmore CollegeYesYes*Score choice OK
Georgetown UniversityYesNoRequires all SAT and ACT
Taylor UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Temple UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Texas A&M University—College StationNoNoScore choice OK
Texas Christian UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Texas Lutheran UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Syracuse UniversityYesYesRequires all SAT and ACT
Thomas Aquinas CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Transylvania UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Trinity College (Hartford)YesYesScore choice OK
Trinity UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Truman State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Tufts UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Tulane UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Union College (Schenectady, NY)YesYesScore choice OK
United States Air Force AcademyYesYesScore choice OK
United States Coast Guard AcademyYesYesScore choice OK
United States Military AcademyYesYesScore choice OK
United States Naval AcademyYesYesScore choice OK
University at Albany—SUNYYesYesScore choice OK
University at Buffalo—SUNYYesNoScore choice OK
University of AlabamaYesYesScore choice OK
University of ArizonaNoNoScore choice OK
University of Arkansas—FayettevilleYesYesScore choice OK
University of ChicagoYesYesScore choice OK
University of CincinnatiNoNoScore choice OK
University of Colorado—BoulderYesYesScore choice OK
University of ConnecticutYesYesScore choice OK
University of DallasYesNoScore choice OK
University of DaytonYesYesScore choice OK
University of DelawareYesYesScore choice OK
University of DenverYesYesScore choice OK
University of FloridaYesYesScore choice OK
University of GeorgiaYesYesScore choice OK
University of Hawaii at ManoaYesYesScore choice OK
University of Illinois—ChicagoNoNoScore choice OK
University of Illinois—Urbana-ChampaignYes*Yes*Score choice OK
University of IowaNoNoScore choice OK
University of KansasNoNoScore choice OK
University of KentuckyYesYesScore choice OK
University of La VerneYesYesScore choice OK
University of Mary WashingtonYesYesScore choice OK
University of Maryland—College ParkYesYesScore choice OK
University of Massachusetts—AmherstYesYesScore choice OK
University of MiamiYesYesScore choice OK
University of Michigan—Ann ArborYesYesScore choice OK
University of Minnesota—Twin CitiesNoNoScore choice OK
University of MississippiYesYesScore choice OK
University of MissouriYesYesScore choice OK
University of Nebraska—LincolnNoNoScore choice OK
University of New HampshireYesNoScore choice OK
University of North Carolina—Chapel HillYesYesScore choice OK
University of North Carolina—WilmingtonYesYesScore choice OK
University of Notre DameYesYesScore choice OK
University of OklahomaYesYesScore choice OK
University of OregonYesYesScore choice OK
University of PennsylvaniaYesYesScore Choice OK
University of PittsburghYesNoScore choice OK
University of PortlandYesYesScore choice OK
University of Puget SoundYesYesScore choice OK
University of RedlandsYesYesScore choice OK
University of RichmondYesYesScore choice OK
University of RochesterYesYesScore choice OK
University of San DiegoYesNoScore choice OK
University of San FranciscoYesYesScore choice OK
University of South CarolinaYesYesScore choice OK
University of South FloridaYesYesScore choice OK
University of Southern CaliforniaYesYesScore choice OK
University of St. Thomas (MN)YesYesScore choice OK
University of TennesseeYesYesScore choice OK
University of Texas—AustinNoNoScore choice OK
University of Texas—DallasYesNoScore choice OK
University of the PacificYesYesScore choice OK
University of TulsaYesYesScore choice OK
University of UtahNoNoScore choice OK
University of VermontYesYesScore choice OK
University of VirginiaYesYes*Score choice OK
University of WashingtonYesYesScore choice OK
University of Wisconsin—MadisonNoNoScore choice OK
Ursinus CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Valparaiso UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Vanderbilt UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Vassar CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Villanova UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityYesNoScore choice OK
Virginia Military InstituteYesYesScore choice OK
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Wabash CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Wake Forest UniversityYesYes*Score choice OK
Washington and Jefferson CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Washington and Lee UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Washington CollegeYesNoScore choice OK
Washington State UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Washington University in St. LouisYesYesScore choice OK
Wellesley CollegeNoNoScore choice OK
Wesleyan UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Western Michigan UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Westmont CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Wheaton College (IL)YesYesScore choice OK
Whitman CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Whittier CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Willamette UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Williams CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Wofford CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Xavier UniversityYesYesScore choice OK
Barnard CollegeYesYesScore choice OK
Yeshiva UniversityYes*Yes*Score choice OK


* Weak Superscoring: These school fall somewhere between “highest composite” and true superscoring. For instance, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign’s policy states, “If you took either test more than once, we’ll use your highest sub-scores in our evaluation. However, we don’t use your highest sub-scores from different test sittings to create a super-score.” We find this to be almost a distinction without a difference, especially since some colleges do the same thing behind the scenes but label it “superscoring.”

Post a comment or send an email to guide@compassprep.com with questions or recommended changes.

Ash Kramer

With a career in test prep and higher education that began in the late 90s, Ash has held a variety of educational roles from tutor to administrator. She is currently a PhD candidate at USC and the Director of Curriculum at Compass, where she is lucky to lead a brilliant team creating the very best learning materials for students and their tutors.


  • Karren says:


    My daughter’s first ACT is 34,28,26,31(total 30), and second one is 28,31,18,19(total 24). Her superscore is 31, but she is afraid that by sending the superscore, the school will see her low scores. Do you suggest her report the first ACT or her superscore?

    Thank you.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      While there is no way to guarantee that a college will not see all of your daughter’s scores, I tend to take them at their word when they say that they superscore. In some cases, the computer systems strip out the lower scores before an admission officer even sees them. I would recommend looking closely at each college’s policy. Some say that they superscore — create a new composite score — but that they will also look at the all of the scores. In those cases, I would only submit your daughter’s first test.

  • Steve says:

    Hello, my daughter has taken the ACT twice. First time scores were Composite=29, Math=27, Science=27, English=35, Reading=25, and Writing=8. The second time she took it her scores improved in almost all categories to Composite=31, Math=29, Science=31, English=35, Reading = 30, but she elected to not re-take the Writing (she was just aiming for a higher composite score to meet the minimum required for a higher level of in-state tuition grant/scholarship at Arizona State University). Test scores are not required at the schools she is applying to (Arizona State, University of Arizona, and Milwaukee School of Engineering). However she is also applying to the honors college for both ASU and U. of Arizona, and will be applying for many of the university offered scholarships at each of the 3 schools so we imagine that sending in her ACT results would only help her in those areas and not hurt. If she sends only her 2nd test date scores because they were almost all higher, they will not see her Writing score, but if she sends her superscore, they will see the Writing score but my understanding is that they will also see that it was taken on a different date and see all the lower scores from the first test. Which score (superscore or just the 2nd test date) results should she send to each school (ASU, UA and MSOE)? Thanks for your advice!!

    • Margaux Erilane says:

      Hi Steve,

      Congratulations to your daughter – those are some significant improvements between sittings! Students should always double check the specific requirements for any scholarships they’re applying for, but since none of the schools you mentioned use the ACT Writing score, I imagine your daughter can feel confident sending only the second sitting. Good luck!

  • TP says:

    Can you pls clarify how the act is superscore. Is it the average or the highest of each section from multiple tests. Thank you.

    • Margaux Erilane says:

      Hi TP,

      To calculate your ACT superscore, take the highest individual subsection scores across all dates and then average them.

  • AJ says:

    Can I use my PSAT reading score when superscoring or do I only use my real SAT scores?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      No, superscoring for college applications is only done using the SAT or ACT. There have been a few colleges that have accepted PSAT scores in lieu of SAT scores because of the pandemic, but even they don’t allow for superscoring PSAT and SAT scores.

  • Bea says:

    My child has never taken a full-length practice test (no PSAT either), but has worked through a lot of problems. Is it a bad idea if she want to try the SAT without taking a full-length practice test? She is willing to retake it in January if she doesn’t get the score she wants. Thanks!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      I am assuming that your student is currently a junior. We usually recommend against this strategy. Taking an SAT early and without preparation rarely results in a student’s best performance. While it’s true that most schools allow Score Choice or superscore, be aware that some colleges require a student to submit all scores. Further, a poor result can undermine a student’s confidence. A practice exam can be a safe learning environment.

  • Heidi says:

    I just noticed that Clemson has changed its policy regarding superscoring on the ACT, effective September 2020. Please see

  • Sam says:

    If you choose to self-report the lower score of two exam scores due to certain unique circumstances, do you have to explain to colleges why you are choosing to do self-report the lower one? Or do we have to self report all our scores?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      There is no requirement for students to offer an explanation. Policies have changed rapidly because of testing availability during the pandemic, so most of the “all scores” requirements have dropped away. Some colleges have not yet finalized policies for Fall 2022.

  • Sara says:

    For UC colleges that have a score choice policy of all scores, does that mean students need to also self report all their scores as well as send official score reports later on? And this only applies for SAT not ACT right? How are score choice policies changing for UC colleges for Fall 2020 admission?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      The UC system is not using SAT/ACT scores for applicants for Fall 2021 admission. Neither self-reported nor officially reported scores will be used by any of the campuses. For the fall of 2022, things have not been finalized yet. Most — and possibly all — of the campuses will remain test free. Any remaining campuses will be test optional. In either case, there is no longer a requirement to report all scores. It’s best to consult with individual campuses on their latest policies.

  • Daniel says:

    I have a very urgent question!

    If I got 400 for Reading, 300 for Writing, and 700 for math on one day,
    and I get 300 for Reading, 400 for Writing, and 800 for math on another day,

    can this be superscored to 400 Reading 400 Writing and 800 Math?
    (They are not my scores – just theoretically)
    Thank you!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      In all of the cases I can think of, colleges superscore ERW rather than separately superscoring Reading and Writing. If you got a 30 on Reading and a 40 on Writing, that would be a 700. If you reversed the scores, you would still have a 700 ERW. The superscore would be 700 ERW and 800 Math.

  • Al says:

    My son took the ACT three times. His highest composite score was 33 (English 34, Math 36, Reading 29, Science 32). But in another sitting he increased his science score to 33, though his other section scores were lower (composite was 31). Should he just submit the scores from the sitting where he got 33, or should he also include the other one to indicate the 1-point gain in science?

    He is applying to Cal Poly SLO as a top choice. (I’m not even sure if they consider science)

    Second question…
    On his SAT he got 800 math/700 English. Should he submit both SAT and ACT scores, or just one?


    — Al

    • Art Sawyer says:

      My understanding is that Cal Poly SLO only uses Math and English and superscores both SAT and ACT (and takes the highest when comparing SAT and ACT). Admission officers at Cal Poly only use the highest scores, so there is no negative to over-submitting. I would submit his 33 and his 1500.

  • Al says:

    Hi!, if a school superscores ACT, can you choose two dates of three to send for them to superscore, even if the third date has the highest score on one section? My child scored low on math on the third date that I’d rather the school not see, even though the science was the highest by 1 point?

  • Betty says:

    My daughter is going to apply for Princeton University. It allows score choice but “encourage” to send all scores. She got 35 on ACT so she will send this score. For SAT, she took 3 times. Scores are 1500, 1480 and 1460. Would it be ok just to send the 1500 score for SAT? Thanks.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      There is no reason to send anything other than the 1500. In fact, I’m not sure that you should even bother with that score. The 35 on the ACT is the stronger score. I doubt that the 1500 will hurt your daughter’s chances, but I want to point out that it is not necessary.

      • Betty says:

        Thank you for your prompt advice. My daughter is going to apply for 8 colleges on Common App. Some of the colleges require applicants to self-report all scores, although Common App only provides space for the highest score of each test type. I’m confused. Does she need to self-report her 1500 SAT score as well in order to meet the testing requirements of all colleges on one portal? Also, if she chooses to use score choice feature for Princeton, will it put her in a disadvantage position? Thanks

        • Art Sawyer says:

          I’m not a Common App expert, but I believe that you have two options (other than just reporting everything to everyone). First, there is no requirement to self-report on the Common App. You can choose to only send official reports to colleges. Second, you can edit the testing section of the Common App as you submit each application. Just because the Common App provides a space for the highest test scores in each area does not mean that you must fill them out. You should follow the policies set by the individual colleges. You are not at a disadvantage using Score Choice at Princeton.

  • Krasco says:

    Hi, I recently got my SAT scores, and it turned out I have 680 R&W and 310 on the math section. I felt really bad after I wrote the writing section(I guessed I ate something wrong that morning, and I didn’t answer most of the questions). Luckily I have a 640 R&W and 800 math score from last year. Do you think I should explain to them why my math score dropped so much?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you got sick. That sure is an unusual score. I don’t face that often. I’d be a little concerned about submitting the second test. It only helps by raising your superscore by 40 points. If you are a senior and have taken your last SAT, I would explain the drop. I would imagine that, with an 800, you also have strong math grades to show that the 310 was just an anomaly.

  • Niko says:

    Hi, I recently got a 36 on the ACT which is comparatively better than the 1540 I got on the SAT (770 on each section). For the colleges that use score choice, would it be better just to send my ACT score?

  • Vic says:


    My son took SAT in March 2019 and got 1480 (EBRW: 680 (Reading: 33, Writing: 35), Math: 800) and retook it in August 2019 and got a lower score 1450 (EBRW: 680 (Reading: 34, Writing: 34), Math: 770). He’s applying to a college that has score choice policy but ENCOURAGES students to send all scores. I have a couple of questions:

    1- Since his second score is lower than the first one, I really don’t want him to send all scores; I honestly don’t see the benefit of doing so. I feel that the term ‘ENCOURAGE’ is not as strong as ‘RECOMMEND’ which I know equates to ‘REQUIRE’. What would you recommend?

    2- In the common application, there’s a section where you list out all the SAT tests that you’ve taken. If he lists both dates but submits only one score, would that be a problem with the admission?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Your son does not need to send his lower score to the college or list the score on the Common App. The Common App is only for all of the scores you would like to self-report. There is no requirement.

  • Kim says:

    Hello Mr. Sawyer!! Quick question. My senior is hoping to send out scores in next week to her colleges which all allow super scores. Her first SAT she scored 720 EBWR and 700 Math. (essay 6,5,6) Second test was 710 and 740 for score choice of 1460. So some schools say send all (University of South Carolina) so we will send all and some say only send higher scores. BUT – some schools say they RECOMMEND sending all scores “so you can be considered for all available enrollment related opportunities.” Her scores are so similar that I don’t think it really matters – but her essay scores are “ehh” and I would rather not send them. (she got a 5 on her AP English Language and I would rather the schools see that. Would it be wise to score choice for schools like Clemson, Chapel Hill that allow score choosing but recommend sending them all??? Thank you!!!!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      First, you are right to think that it doesn’t really matter in your daughter’s case. I don’t know of a school that would choose not to admit your daughter based on her essay scores (which are better than “ehh”). On the other hand, raising her superscore by 10 points won’t be the tip factor, either.

      Schools are not always great about communicating their policies. Colleges that recommend all scores typically do so because “we superscore, why would you not want to send us everything?” They’ve also seen students who forget to send scores or don’t even choose the ones that benefit them most. There is no penalty for not submitting all scores and, in fact, colleges are not made aware of Score Choice decisions.

      I would submit all scores. It’s easy, and you don’t have to think about it. There are enough other things to worry about during this process.

  • Anton says:

    Hi, so how this superscore being fair to student who took SAT once and got perfect score?

  • Kaylee N says:

    Hi. I just want to ask questions about sending SAT scores. If I take the SAT four times and the university that I plan to apply allows superscore, is it okay if I only send two of them or do I need to send all four SAT scores?

  • SD says:

    My daughter (10th grade) took math subject on Aug. 24 and get 780 on math level 2.
    Since she got solid 800 from the practicing tests published my College board and another popular preparation book (harder one) and she finished all questions strong, she is considering to submit score verification and even re-take the test. Our questions are:
    1. Does it make sense to go for score verification?
    2. Is 780 good enough for UC? Should she re-take the test?
    3. If she re-take the subject tests, will she need to submit all subject scores for UC? or she can pick the best one.
    4. Another hypothetical question: if my daughter takes math level 1 in the future but the college (for example UC, Cal tech, etc.) does not require level 1 score, does she sill need to submit math level 1 score? Or she is allowed not to submit level 1.
    Thank you.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      I’m sure your daughter is frustrated at having just missed out on an 800, but her 780 is a great score.
      1) It’s extremely unlikely that this would result in a change.
      2) Yes, it would be at the high end of UC scores (keep in mind that UC does not require Subject Tests, although some programs recommend them).
      3) She can pick her best scores.
      4) I’d strongly advise against taking Math Level 1. For most programs, a 780 Math 2 is going to be better than even an 800 Math 1. As to your hypothetical, Georgetown is about the only remaining college that expects students to submit all Subject Test scores.

  • Isabella says:

    I have taken the ACT twice. 1st time: 30: E30 M34 R27 S30. 2nd time: 31: E27 M33 R31 S32. So superscore is 31.75. Should I send both or just the 31 because the two tests are so inconsistent? Everyone seems to have a different opinion. Thanks in advance.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      I’m not surprised that people have different opinions on this one, and I’m not going to insist that mine is right. If a college superscores, then I would send both scores. Superscoring wouldn’t matter if we were always consistent! Having a superscored 32 seems better than having a 31. Your Math and Science scores are similar. You had a good day on English on a day that you struggled with the Reading and vice versa. That’s nothing an admission officer hasn’t seen before. If a college doesn’t explicitly superscore the ACT, I’m not as certain. In some cases they will only look at the higher Composite. In other cases, they’ll evaluate all of your subscores. I think I’d still send both scores. You proved that you can do 30+ in all areas.

  • Sandy says:

    Thanks so much!

  • Sandy says:

    Hi Art,

    My daughter has taken the SAT 2x – 800m/690r on first, and 700m/770r on second. I’m thrilled that she has a 1570 superscore, but a little concerned that her math dropped so much. (Also, she’s taking math 2 subject test this summer and I’m pretty confident she can score over 750, in case that matters.)Any reason to be concerned about the drop in math? She’ll obviously be sending both of these scores.


    • Art Sawyer says:

      Colleges that superscore really do superscore, so I wouldn’t be concerned by the Math drop. One of the reasons schools choose to superscore is for exactly this case — they want to judge a student based on her best performance.

      I am obligated to point out that not all colleges superscore. Since you are on our superscoring page, my guess is that you already knew that!

  • Anna says:

    If I wish to superscore my SAT am I required to send all scores from each SAT I took? Or just the two I wish to superscore from?
    Also, I have taken the SAT three times without studying and my superscore is a 1430 (730 R/W, 700 M). Do you think it is possible, after studying throughout the summer, to get this up to a 1500 in August?
    Can you explain the essay score to me as well? I got an 8/6/8. Thank you

    • Ash Kramer says:

      Hi Anna,

      If the school allows Score Choice you can decide to send only the two test dates that you want. Superscoring is something the admission office does with your scores.
      We have seen students raise their score by 70 points over a summer. Best of luck if you decide to go that route!
      To learn more about the essay score – check out our Guide to College Admission Testing, a free PDF, downloadable at compassprep.com/guide

  • Amak says:

    Hi there.
    My son scored
    1410= 680R + 730M (Aug 2018)
    1500= 730R + 770M (Mar 2019)
    If he take 3rd time, does SAT or ACT works better? If he goes for ACT, how does super score work?
    His essay is 7/6/7. What does mean?
    He is aiming UCLA or CMU, UW for Computer Science

    Thank you!!!!

    • Art Sawyer says:

      I would recommend sticking with the SAT, since he has seen nice improvement. He could always take a practice ACT to see how he is performing. His 7/6/7 is quite strong. Each area is scored out of 8 points, but it’s very difficult to get an 8. I estimate that his Essay scores put him in the 99th percentile.

      Superscoring does not apply across the SAT and ACT, so he wouldn’t get any benefit. Right now the only scores that matter are from his March 2019 SAT.

  • Stanley says:


    I scored a 28 the first time I took the ACT- 36 math, 21 science, 24 reading and 31 english… but did it a month later and got 32 composite- 33 math, 34 english, 31 reading, 28 science… should i submit both or just the 32- I am concerned about the 36 in math.

    • Art Sawyer says:

      Congratulations on the improvement! I would recommend against sending your 28, as the difference — especially in reading and science — is quite large. Even superscored, you would remain at a 32. It’s a shame that schools won’t see your 36, but I think you’re better off with that sacrifice.

  • Lisa says:

    Will a subject area test be included in superscoring? For example if my child takes the math subject area and scores higher than she did on the math subtest of the SAT, will the subject area test be used for super scoring?
    Thank you!

    • Ash Kramer says:

      Hi Lisa,

      SAT Subject Tests are not factored into superscores. Schools will either superscore sections of the SAT OR sections of the ACT. Each Subject Test score is considered separately.

  • Karen says:

    UC Berkeley is really confusing….. The generic UC page states

    Report ACT and/or SAT scores on your admissions application, then request that an official copy of the scores be sent to us from the testing agency. You can have your official score report sent to one UC campus, and all campuses you apply to will receive it.
    In the College Board’s Score Choice module, we ENCOURAGE (emphasis mine) you to send all official scores to UC. We will use the highest scores from a single administration. There is no disadvantage to submitting all scores. A higher sub-score from another test date may be used to meet university or campus graduation requirements after admission (dependent on the campus).
    For the ACT with Writing test, we will focus on the highest combined score from the same test administration.

    elsewhere this…. https://admissions.berkeley.edu/documentation
    Report ACT and/or SAT scores on your admissions application, then request that an official copy of the scores be sent to us from the testing agency. You can have your official score report sent to one UC campus, and all campuses you apply to will receive it.
    In the College Board’s Score Choice module, ensure that all scores are sent to UC. We REQUIRE (emphasis mine) all scores and will use the highest scores from a single administration.

    1) The College Board is just the SAT, right?
    2) Either way the information is contradictory

    …. thoughts (specifically concerned about the ACT and what they’re actually asking for)

    • Art Sawyer says:

      You would think that the largest university system in the country would know how to set consistent policies. As you found out, the UC’s don’t always meet that expectation. Keep in mind that Score Choice is a student’t choice; it is never the university’s choice. College Board will warn you when a policy is that a school does not “recognize” Score Choice, but the decision is ultimately yours. Things are simpler for the ACT because there is no such thing as Score Choice — you send scores for each test. Berkeley does not require all ACT scores. Any submitted ACT must be ACT w/Writing. The UC’s do not superscore, but will take your best combined score from a test administration.

  • Max Malhame says:

    Stanford does not offer score choice, please update

    • Ash Kramer says:

      Hi Max,

      Stanford has updated its policies. From their website:
      “How to report your test scores:
      We recommend that you simply self-report your highest scores in the testing section of the application. You can also have official scores sent to Stanford, but this is not required for us to review your application.
      If your most recent test results arrive after you submit your application, you can self-report these scores by sending your student score report(s) as an email attachment to credentials@stanford.edu.
      If you are offered admission and choose to enroll, official scores will be required. In order for test scores to be considered official, they must be sent directly from the College Board or the ACT.*
      *Please note: Stanford reserves the right to revoke an offer of admission if an applicant’s self-reported test scores do not align with those in the official score report.”

      • Annie says:

        So does this mean that Stanford’s policies for the SAT and ACT are the same? In the table it is listed that they do not superscore the ACT, but are you allowed to select which test date scores are sent? Thank you.

        • Art Sawyer says:

          While Stanford does not superscore the ACT (i.e. does not combine section scores into a new Composite score), it does allow you to decide which scores to send: “If you would like to have official scores sent, it is fine to use the College Board’s Score Choice option or the equivalent offered by the ACT.” Stanford does superscore the SAT.

  • dwight says:

    Does the university of maryland require all ACT scores be sent?

  • Aurelius says:

    I would like to ask if I could use superscore on the printed score report, because the college I want to apply to require the printed ones instead of the online score report. I took physics, math2 and bio on my first SAT subject test and did math2 and physics once more, and increase my physics score but my math2 score decreases. I would like to swap just my physics score but keep the math and bio score from my first attempt. Is this possible to do for the printed score report?

    • Ash Kramer says:

      Hi there,

      Superscoring is done by college admission folks for either the SAT or ACT. For subject tests, you can simply elect to only send your highest scores—each test is considered individually. Best of luck with your applications!

  • John says:

    Hi there,
    My son took SAT in October and got 1480 (EBRW: 700 (Reading: 33, Writing: 37), Math: 780) and retook it in December and got 1510 (EBRW: 710 (Reading: 31, Writing: 40), Math: 800). I am a little confused about superscoring. I understand that superscoring schools use the highest EBRW score. But do they superscore reading and writing sections also? If so, should we send both October and December scores because Reading score was higher in October and Writing score was higher in December? Or if they superscore only EBRW, should we send only December score?
    Thank you very much for your help!

  • Erik H says:

    How can I tell how competitive I am if I studied for the SAT and took it for the first time *without* doing a superscore-focused approach? I am a junior and just got my December scores for my first-ever SAT (740/750) but even though i thought it was pretty good and even though puts me in the top 2% of all sat takers it hardly even squeaks into the top 25% of many schools and that seems odd.

    Is there any normal “fidge factor” where I can find out how competitive I am without having done superscoring?

    • Ash Kramer says:

      Hi Erik,

      Congrats on the 1490 on your first attempt! The question of how competitive you are is a complicated one. When admission officers look at your application, they’ll most likely be looking at a range of factors, test scores being only one of them. High school GPA, letters of recommendation, extra-curricular activities will all play a part. You’re right to point out, however, that those scores are often in the mid-range of Freshman classes at the most selective universities. Check out https://www.compassprep.com/great-to-good-the-diluted-value-of-high-test-scores/ on the increase of high-scoring students.

      My advice would be that if you think you could improve your scores, it’s worth taking the exam again. Even if only one score goes up, many schools superscore.

  • Jo says:

    I am still unclear about Georgetown testing requirements. If the student took both SAT & ACT, do they have to submit all scores, from all sittings , from both? In other words, does Georgetown require entire student testing history (both SAT & ACT if student took both)?

  • M says:

    Cornell doesn’t require all scores anymore. They allow score choice for SAT+Subject Tests. All ACT Scores do have to be submitted though.

  • Erin says:

    A&M requires all scores, please do not mislead others

  • Aurora says:

    Hello, if a college like CMU requires all SAT and ACT scores does that mean they also require all subject scores?

    • Art Sawyer says:

      This is a point of confusion because College Board’s score reporting tool only tells students whether or not a school participates in Score Choice. We have found that almost all colleges make an exception for Subject Tests. In other words, just because you need to submit all SAT scores does not automatically mean that you must submit all Subject Test scores. It is best to check with individual colleges. My understanding is that CMU no longer requires to submit all Subject Test scores and that you can choose which ones to send. Again, I would check with the university.

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