Your SAT scores are a very important of your application, especially as the applicant pool gets bigger and more competitive every year. So how can you make sure colleges will consider your very best scores?
This article will talk about colleges that superscore the SAT. After the list, I'll talk about how you can use this information strategically as you prepare to apply to college. To start, let's briefly review what "superscoring" means.
What Is an SAT Superscore?
Superscoring is the process by which colleges consider your highest section scores across all the dates you took the SAT. Rather than confining your scores to one particular date, these schools will take your highest section scores, forming the highest possible composite score.
On the old, pre-2016 version of the SAT, this meant taking your highest Critical Reading, Math, and Writing scores. On the current SAT, it means taking your highest Math score and your highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score across all test dates.
Maybe you scored a stellar 750 on Math on your first SAT, but your Reading and Writing fell into the low 600s. To improve your verbal score, you spent a few months prepping and managed to bring your EBRW score up a hundred points! To your dismay, you focused so much on reading comprehension and grammar that you forgot some of your math skills, and your great section score dropped the second time around.
If your colleges superscore, then you'd have nothing to worry about! They'd take your original 750 in Math and combine it with your new and improved Reading and Writing scores. Even though it took you a couple test sittings to achieve, you'd end up with a strong SAT score in all sections of the test for your college applications.
While the superscoring policy is ideal for you as an applicant, it's not entirely an act borne out of generosity. Superscoring can benefit colleges by improving their ranking. By showing that their admitted students average higher SAT scores, their ranking may get higher as well.
Before getting into the full list of colleges that superscore, there's another important consideration for current high school students. With the switch to the new SAT in 2016, how were colleges' superscoring policies affected?
For the most part, colleges agree that superscoring across the old and new versions of the SAT wouldn't make sense.
What Do Colleges Say About the New and Old SAT?
While the redesigned SAT replaced the old one in March of 2016, not all colleges have caught up to change in terms of their test requirements and superscoring policies. Some colleges will accept both, while others only want to see new SAT scores from students in the Class of 2018 and younger. Still others haven't reached a decision yet.
While their policies toward the two versions of the SAT vary, the majority of colleges agree on one policy: they won't superscore between the old SAT and the new SAT. Since the two tests use completely different scoring systems - the old one is out of 2400, and the new one will be out of 1600 - it makes sense that most colleges won't superscore across test versions.
There are a few exceptions, however, that will "cross superscore." Brigham Young University and Howard University will superscore across both old and new versions. Duke and Penn State say that they most likely will superscore results.
Plenty of other schools, though, like Northwestern, Columbia, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Yale, and Vanderbilt, will not superscore between the old and new tests. At this point, it seems that most colleges will maintain their superscoring policies - if they superscored the old SAT, then they will superscore the new SAT.
However, they probably won't superscore scores from both tests. If you're caught in the transition between tests, keep this in mind as you choose your SAT dates and, if you have the choice, which score reports to send with your applications.
Now that we've gone over superscoring and colleges' response to the redesigned SAT, let's look at the policies of some of the most popular and/or selective schools in the country.
Let's take a closer look at what colleges have to say about superscoring the SAT.
Popular Colleges that Superscore the SAT
The following colleges superscore the old SAT, and it seems that they will maintain this policy for the new SAT too. In addition to their superscoring policies, I included most of their stances on College Board's Score Choice. Even though they take your highest section scores, many don't want you to use Score Choice to pick and choose which scores they get to see.
If you're taking and sending scores from both the old and new version, make sure to call up the admissions office of your prospective college and clarify its policy toward both superscoring and Score Choice. We'll make sure to provide any updates as more information becomes available!
If you have taken the SAT more than once, Boston College will take the highest individual section scores from each date and combine those scores.
Boston University will allow students to choose College Board's Score Choice; however, we strongly recommend students submit their scores each time they take the SAT. BU has always considered a student’s highest SAT section scores in making admissions decisions and will continue to do so.
We automatically focus on your highest test scores and therefore Score Choice is a bit redundant.
Applicants may select the Score Choice option for the SAT. When evaluating applicants, we consider only the highest testing results reported from individual sections of the SAT...We are always seeking to give students the greatest opportunity to showcase their academic talents and hoping to make the testing experience as stress-free as possible. We encourage applicants to take these examinations no more than twice, but we do not penalize applicants for exceeding that recommendation.
Duke requires that students send their full testing record for the SAT. Duke will use the highest available Critical Reading, Writing and Math scores, regardless of the date those tests were taken.
Students graduating from high school in 2017 may submit either the new or old SAT. Duke does not have a preference for either test, but if you choose to submit both, Duke will consider the stronger score as determined by concordance tables. Students graduating in 2018 will be required to submit the new SAT.
Georgetown University does not participate in the Score Choice option available through the College Board. Georgetown requires that you submit scores from all test sittings of the SAT. If an applicant takes the SAT more than once, the admissions committees will consider the highest critical reading score and the highest math score from multiple test sessions when reviewing the application.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Send us your scores when you take the test – don’t wait! Your scores may fluctuate with each test instance, but we will only use the highest section in our review of your application. Delaying sending us your scores could put you at risk of missing an application date or being excluded from information sent from our office.
You are free to use the College Board Score Choice option.
Johns Hopkins University considers your highest section scores across all SATs taken—even if they were on different test dates—in our evaluation of your application. We therefore encourage you to update your application with new test scores each time you take the SATs.
If you take the same test multiple times, we will consider the highest score achieved in each section. We do this in order to consider all applicants in their best light. Students are free to use the College Board's Score Choice option to submit the scores of your choice as well.
New York University
With regard to the SAT, NYU participates in Score Choice, enabling you to elect which tests you want to send to NYU. If you take the SAT multiple times, we will only review the highest Critical Reading, Math, and Writing scores you submit, regardless of test dates, creating the highest possible composite score for you in our evaluation process.
For our evaluation we will use your highest individual SAT Critical Reading and Math subscores from multiple testing dates to compute your composite score.
Applicants are welcome to use the Score Choice option for standardized test score submission. Princeton will consider the highest individual section results across all sittings of the SAT Reasoning. We encourage applicants to submit all official test scores as soon as they are available.
|For the SAT, we will focus on the highest individual Critical Reading, Math and Writing scores from all test sittings. We will superscore the results from the current and redesigned SAT separately.|
University of Chicago
We recommend you send us all of your test scores. Only your best testing results (highest sub-scores AND/OR best result of the 2 testing options – SAT vs ACT) will be included/used in your admission review. Lower testing will not be included in your final/official application so it cannot count against you.
University of Connecticut
We will accept the highest scores from your combined test dates.
University of Miami
If you take the test more than once, you must send us all of your scores to ensure that we have your best performance on record. We will continue to superscore the SAT, but will only combine scores from like tests (in other words, we will not combine a student’s best score from the new SAT with the best score from the current SAT).
University of North Carolina
If you send us scores from multiple test dates, we’ll take your highest score for each section of the test and consider those scores as we evaluate your application. If you send us both an SAT and an ACT, we’ll look at whichever is higher.
University of Southern California
For students who take the SAT more than once, USC records the highest scores for each section – Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing -- even if achieved at different sittings.
University of Virginia
It has been the Office of Admission’s long-standing policy to consider the best test scores submitted by applicants. When reviewing SAT scores, we use the top score from each section across all administrations of the exam. We hope you will submit all of your scores knowing that we will recombine the sections to get the best possible set of scores.
Vanderbilt University has indicated that it considers your highest section scores across all SAT test dates that you submit. Only your highest section scores will be considered as part of the final admissions decision. Each time you submit scores, Vanderbilt University will update your record with any new high scores. Vanderbilt University strongly encourages you to submit your scores each time you take the SAT.
Candidates are asked to submit the scores from each sitting of the SAT. The Admission Committee will review the highest critical reading and highest math scores from the SAT from different dates for admission.
Virginia Tech wants to see all of your test scores. We will use the highest scores and even combine your highest test scores from multiple test dates when evaluating your application.
When assessing SAT results, admissions officers will focus on your highest individual old or new scores from all test dates. For example, if you took the old SAT twice, your highest Critical Reading, Math and Writing scores will be considered individually. If you took the new SAT twice, your highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math and Essay scores will be considered individually. If you took both types of SAT, the admissions office will treat them separately and review the best scores on each test.
For most schools, you can find their policies toward standardized testing on their admissions website. You can also search for "name of college + PrepScholar" to access our large database of colleges and their admission requirements. Below is the complete list of colleges that superscore the SAT.
Get ready: it's a pretty long list.
Complete List of Colleges that Superscore the SAT
Here are all the schools that have a policy of taking your "highest section" scores across test dates to form your highest possible composite score, according to the College Board. Since this list is huge, I recommend using "Ctrl + f" to find any particular schools of interest.
Let me know in the comments if I missed any, and I'll keep updating as colleges release their policies for the new SAT!
|Full List of Colleges that Superscore the SAT|
|Abilene Christian University||EDP College San Sebastian||Monmouth University||Southern California Institute of Architecture|
|Adelphi University||El Centro College||Monroe College||Southern Catholic College|
|Aib College of Business||Elizabethtown College||Montana State University||Southern Connecticut State University|
|Alamance Community College||Elmira College||Montclair State University||Southern Methodist University|
|Albany State University||Elon University||Moravian College||Southern New Hampshire University|
|Albion College||Emerson College||Morehouse College||Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College|
|Alfred University New York State College Ceramics||Emmanuel College Georgia||Mount Allison University||Southern Utah University|
|Algoma University College||Emory University||Mount Holyoke College||Southern Vermont College|
|Allen County Community College||Erie Business Center South New Castle||Mount Mary College||Southside Regional Medical Center School of Nursing|
|American College of the Building Arts||Escuela de Artes Plasticas Puerto Rico||Mount Saint Mary's College||Southwestern University|
|American International College||Essex Community College||Mount Vernon Nazarene University||Spartanburg Methodist College|
|American Musical and Dramatic Academy||European College of Liberal Arts Berlin||Muhlenberg College||Springfield College|
|American University Rome||Fairfield University||Muskingum College||St John's University Jamaica|
|American University DC||Fairhaven Baptist College||Nash Community College||St Joseph's College of Nursing|
|American University of Puerto Rico||Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver Campus||National Polytechnic College of Science||State University of New York|
|Amherst College||Faith Baptist Bible College||Nazareth College of Rochester||Stephens College|
|Anderson University SC||Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising||Nebraska Christian College||Stevenson University|
|Andrew College||Feather River Community College||Nebraska Methodist College||Stockbridge School|
|Anne Arundel Community College||Ferris State University||Neosho County Community College||Stonehill College|
|Antietam Bible College||Ferrum College||Ner ISrael Rabbinical College||Stony Brook University State University New York|
|Aquinas College||Fitchburg State University||New College of Florida||Suffolk University|
|Arkansas State University||Flagler College||New England Institute of Technology||Sul Ross State University|
|Armstrong Atlantic State University||Florida Atlantic University||New Jersey Institute of Technology||Swarthmore College|
|Art Institute of Ohio||Florida College||New River Community College||Sweet Briar College|
|Assumption College||Florida Gulf Coast University||New World School of the Arts||Tarleton University System Center Central Texas|
|Atlanta Christian College||Florida Institute Technology||New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts||Taylor University Upland Campus|
|Austin College||Florida International University||New York Institute of Technology||Texas Christian University|
|Austin Peay State University||Florida State University||Newberry College||Texas Tech University|
|Azusa Pacific University||Fordham University||Niagara County Community College||Tomball College|
|Babson College||Frankford Hospital School of Nursing||Nichols College||Towson University|
|Bainbridge College||Franklin and Marshall College||Nihon University||Trenholm State Technical College|
|Baldwin-Wallace College||Franklin College||North Carolina Agricultural State University||Trine University|
|Ball State University||Franklin Pierce University||North Carolina Central University||Trinity College|
|Baltimore International College||Free Will Baptist Bible College||North Carolina State University||Truett-McConnell College|
|Barbados Community College||Forostburg State University||North Georgia College and State University||Union Bible College|
|Barclay College||Furman University||Northeastern Technical College||Union College New York|
|Barton College||Gainesville State College||Northeastern University||US Air Force Academy|
|Bates College||Gannon University||Northern Arizona University||US Coast Guard Academy|
|Baylor University||Gardner-Webb University||Northern Maine Community College||US Military Academy|
|Beacon University||George Mason University||Northern Marianas College||US Naval Academy|
|Bellarmine University||Georgetown College||Northwest Christian University||University Central Florida|
|Belmont Abbey College||Georgia Institute of Technology||University Georgia Athens|
|Beloit College||Georgia Perimeter College||Northwest University||University of Arkansas|
|Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology||Georgia Southern University||Northwestern Technical College||University of Calgary|
|Bentley College||Georgia Southewestern State University||Northwestern University||University of Charleston|
|Berea College||Gettysbrg College||Northwood University Texas||University of Chicago|
|Berks Technical Institute||Geogebic Community College||Oak Valley College||University of Cincinnati|
|Bethel College Indiana||Goldey-Beacom College||Oakland University||University of Colorado Boulder|
|Biola University||Great Basin College||Oberlin College||University of Connecticut|
|Bloomfield College||Griffith College Dublin||Occidental College||University of Dallas|
|Blue Ridge Community College||Grinnell College||Ocean County College||University of Dayton|
|Blue River Community College||Grove City College||Ogeechee Technical College||University of Delaware|
|Bluefield College||Guilford Technical Community College||Ohio Bible College||University of Florida|
|Boston College||Gwynedd-Mercy College||Ohio University Athens||University of Hartford|
|Boston University||Hagerstown Community College||Ohio Valley University||University of Hawaii at Manoa|
|Bowdoin College||Hamilton College||Ohio Wesleyan University||University of Idaho|
|Bowie State University||Hampden-Sydney College||Okefenokee Technical College||University of Illinois Chicago|
|Brandeis University||Hanover College||Oklahoma Panhandle State University||University of Illinois Urbana|
|Brevard Community College||Harford Community College||Olin College of Engineering||University of Indianapolis|
|Brewton-Parker College||Harris-Stowe State University||Onondaga Community College||University of La Verne|
|Bridgewater State College||Hartwick College||Otero Junior College||University of Maine Orono|
|Brookdale Community College||Harvard College||Otis College of Art and Design||University of Mary Washington|
|Broward Community College Hollywood||Haverford College||Otterbein College||University of Maryland Baltimore County|
|Brown University||Hawaii Pacific University||Our Lady of Corpus Christi||University of Massachusetts Amherst|
|Bryan College||Heidelberg College||Oxford College||University of Massachusetts Boston|
|Bryant and Stratton Eastlake Campus||Helene Fuld School of Nursing Camden||Ozard Christian College||University of Massachusetts Dartmouth|
|Bryant University||Herbert W Armstrong College||Parsons Paris School of Design||University of Miami|
|Bryn Athyn College||Heriot-Watt University||Patrick Henry College||University of Michigan Ann Arbor|
|Bryn Mawr College||Hofstra University||Paul Quinn College||University of Michigan Dearborn|
|Bucknell University||Holmes Community College||Peabody Conservatory of Music||University of New Hampshire Durham|
|Butler County Community College Kansas||Holy Family University||Penn View Bible Institute||University of North Carolina Chapel Hill|
|Butler University||Horry-Georgetown Technical College||Pennsylvania College of Technology||University of North Carolina Greensboro|
|Cabarrus College of Health Sciences||Houghton College||Pepperdine University||University of North Carolina Pembroke|
|California Colleges of the Arts||Houston Community College||Peru State College||University of North Texas|
|California Maritime Academy||Hudson County Community College||Pfeiffer University||University of Notre Dame|
|California Polytechnic State University||Humboldt State University||Philadelphia Biblical University||University of Oregon|
|California State University||Husson University||Philadelphia University||University of Pittsburgh|
|Calvary Baptist College||Illinois Eastern Community College||Philips Beth Israel School of Nursing||University of Portland|
|Canadian Mennonite University||Illinois Wesleyan University||Phoenix College||University of Prince Edward Island|
|Canisius College||Indiana State Flagler College||Piedmont College||University of Puget Sound|
|Cape Breton University||Indiana Univeristy||Piedmont Community College||University of Rhode Island|
|Cape Fear Community College||Iona College||Piedmont Technical College||University of Richmond|
|Carleton College||Iowa Lakes Community College||Pitt Community College||University of Rochester|
|Carlow University||Island Drafting and Technical Institute||Pitzer College||University of Saint Thomas|
|Case Western Reserve University||Ithaca College||Plattsburgh State University||University of San Diego|
|Casper College||ITT Technical Institute Tucson||Plymouth State University||University of San Francisco|
|Catawba Valley Community College||Ivy Tech Community College||Post University||University of Scranton|
|Catholic University of America||Jacksonville College||Prince Georges Community College||University of South Carolina Aiken|
|Cayuga County Community College||James Madison University||Princeton University||University of South Carolina Upstate|
|Cedar Crest College||Jna Institute of Culinary Arts||Purdue University West Lafayette||University of South Florida|
|Cedarville University||John Carroll University||Ramapo College of New Jersey||University of Southern California|
|Center for American Education||John Paul the Great Catholic University||Randolph-Macon College||University of Southern Maine|
|Central Alabama Community College||Johns Hopkins University||Raphael Recanati International School||University of Tampa|
|Central Carolina Technical College||Johnson C Smith University||Rasmussen Business College Eagan||University of Tennessee Knoxville|
|Central Connecticut State University||Johnson College||Redlands Community College||University of Texas Arlington|
|Centre College||Jones College||Reed College||University of the Arts|
|Charleston Southern University||Kalamazoo College||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||University of the Incarnate Word|
|Chattahoochee Valley Community College||Keene State College||Rets College||University of Tulsa|
|Chippewa Valley Technical College||Keiser College Kendall||Rhode Island College||University of Vermont|
|Christendom College||Kenai Peninsula College||Rhodes College||University of Virginia|
|Christopher Newport University||Kennesaw State University||Rich Mountain Community College||University of Virginia's College at Wise|
|City Vision College||Kentucky Wesleyan College||Richard Bland College||University of Windsor|
|Claremont McKenna College||Kenyon College||Richmond Community College||University of Wisconsin Eau Claire|
|Clark University||King College||Rochester College||University of Wisconsin Fond Du Lac|
|Clarkson University||Kings College Pennsylvania||Rochester Institute of Technology||University of Wisconsin Marshfield|
|Clemson University||Kings University College||Rock Valley College||University of Wiscon Stout Menomonie|
|Coastal Carolina University||Knox College||Rockingham Community College||Ursinus College|
|Cogswell Polytechnical College||Kutztown University of Pennsylvania||Roger Williams University||Ursuline College|
|Coker College||Kuyper College||Rollins College Winter Park||Valdosta State University|
|Colby College||Kwansei Gakuin University||Role-Hulman Institute of Technology||Vance-Granville Community College|
|College of Charleston||La Salle University||Rowan University||Vanderbilt University|
|College of Coastal Georgia||Lafayette College||Rutgers University||Vassar College|
|College of Eastern Utah||LaGrange College||Sage College Albany||Vesalius College|
|College of Mount Saint Vincent||Lake Area Technical Institute||Saint Andrews Presbyterian College||Villanova University|
|College of New Rochelle||Lake Forest College||Saint Anselm College||Virginia Polytech Institute State University|
|College of Office Techology||Lancaster Bible College||Saint Bonaventure University||Walla Walla University|
|College of Saint Mary||Latter Day Saints Business College||Saint Charles Community College||Warren County Community College|
|College of Santa Fe||Lehigh University||Saint Clares||Wartburg College|
|College of Southern Maryland||Lenoir Community College||Saint Cloud State University||Washington and Jefferson College|
|College of Southern Nevada||Lenoir-Rhyne University||Saint Elizabeth School of Nursing||Washington and Lee University|
|College of the Atlantic||Lesley University||Saint John Fisher College||Washington Bible College|
|College of the Mainland||Lester L Cox College of Nursing and Health Science||Saint John Vianney College and Seminary||Washington Hospital School of Nursing|
|College of the Ozarks||Lewis-Clark State College||Saint Johns River Community College||Washington University|
|College of Westchester||Liberty University||Saint Johns University Staten Island||Watkins College of Art and Design|
|College of William and Mary||Lon Morris College||Saint Joseph's College||Waukesha County Technical College|
|College of Wooster||Lone Star College System||Saint Lawrence University||Wayne State University|
|Colorado Christian University||Longy School of Music||Sain Leo University||Waynesburg University|
|Colorado College||Louisburg College||Saint Margaret School of Nursing||Weatherford College|
|Columbia Union College||Loyola Marymount University||Saint Martin's University||Webb Institute|
|Columbia University||Lubbock Christian University||Saint Mary's College||Weber State University|
|Columbia-Greene Community College||Luther College||Saint Mary's Seminary and University||Wellesley College|
|Community and Technical College West Virginia||Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts||Saint Michael's College Vermont||Wentworth Institute of Techology|
|Concordia College New York||Lynchburg College||Saint Olaf College||Wesleyan University|
|Contra Costa College||Manatee Community College||Saint Peter's College||Westchester University of Pennsylvania|
|Corcoran College of Art||Manhattan School of Music||Saint Thomas Aquinas College||West Shore Community College|
|County College of Morris||Mansfield University of Pennsylvania||Saint Thomas University||Western Career College Stockton|
|Craven Community College||Marist College||Saint Vincent College||Western Carolina University|
|Creighton University||Marlboro College||Salem State College||Western Michigan University|
|Dartmouth College||Marshall Community Technical College||Salisbury University||Western Nevada Community College|
|Darton College||Marshall University||Salve Regina University||Western New England College|
|Davidson College||Mary Baldwin College||San Diego State University||Westfield State College|
|Davidson County Community College||Maryland Institute College of Art||San Francisco Art Institute||Westminster College Pennsylvania|
|Daytona State College||Marymount Manhattan College||San Francisco State University||Wheelock College|
|Denver Academy of Court Reporting||Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health||San Jose State University||Whitman College|
|DePauw University||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||Sandhills Community College||Widener University|
|DeSales University||Master's College and Seminary||Santa Clara University||Willamette University|
|DeVry University (except CA)||Matanuska-Susitna Community College||Santa Fe Community College||William Jessup University|
|Dickinson College||McNally Smith College of Music||Savannah College of Art and Design||William Paterson University of New Jersey|
|Digipen Institute of Technology||Mercy College Dobbs Ferry||SBS Swiss Business School||William Woods University|
|Divine Word College||Mercy School of Nursing||Schuylkill Health School of Nursing||Williams College|
|Dominican College of Blauvelt||Mercyhurst College||Seattle Pacific University||Wilson College|
|Dominican University of California||Messenger College||Seattle University||Wilson Community College|
|Dowling College||Messiah College||Sewickley Valley Hospital||Winthrop University|
|Drake University||Miami Dade College||Shawnee State University||Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College|
|Drexel University||Miami University||Simmons College||Wofford College|
|Duke University||Middle Georgia College||Skidmore College||Worcester Polytechnic Institute|
|Durham Technical Community College||Middlebury College||Smith College||Worcester State College|
|Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion||Midreshet Lindenbaum||Somerset Community College||Word of Life Bible Institute|
|East Carolina University||Mid-south Community College||Sonoma State University||Wright State University Dayton|
|East Los Angeles College||Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary||South Carolina State University||Xavier University|
|Eastern Connecticut State University||Millersville University of Pennsylvania||South Piedmont Community College||York College of Pennsylvania|
|Eastern Maine Community College||Milligan College||Southeast Technical Institute||York St John|
|Eastern University||Misericordia University||Southeastern Bible College||York Technical College|
|Edinboro University of Pennsylvania||Mississippi Delta Community College||Southeastern Technical College||Young Harris College|
|Edison State College||Missouri Western State College||Southern Arkansas University Tech Branch|
Since policies can change or be unclear, definitely write to or call up the school you’re interested in to ensure you understand how they consider SAT scores during the admission process.
Now that you know which schools superscore the SAT, what can you do with this information?
Tips for Applying to Schools that Superscore
Superscoring can benefit you after you apply to colleges, but it can also be a helpful strategy as you take the SAT. If you're applying to schools that superscore, you yourself can superscore, in a sense, when you're taking the SAT.
What I mean by that is that you can concentrate on building up your highest composite score across test dates, rather than trying to achieve it on a single test date. You could prep intensively for one section each time you take the SAT.
Of course, this method was a bit more helpful for takers of the "old" SAT, which had three separate section scores out of 800. The new SAT will combine your Reading and Writing scores, so you'll essentially only have two section scores to "superscore." However, the concept of building up your highest composite score against two or more test dates still applies.
How can you use this strategy and become an SAT super-scorer yourself? Read on to find out.
How to Be Strategic About Taking the SAT
If you use this strategy, then you should start taking the SAT early, perhaps in the spring of sophomore year or fall of junior year, so that you have enough test dates to build up your superscore.
If you're one of those students caught in the transition between the old and new SAT, then unfortunately this strategy might not be available to you. If you're retaking the SAT with the new version, then you'll probably have to treat it as its own separate set of scores. And if all the changes get just too confusing, you could always take the ACT! There are a bunch of colleges that superscore the ACT too.
Unless a college explicitly discourages it, don’t worry about taking the SAT too many times, as long as you don’t exceed five or six tests - getting a higher score helps your application a lot more than taking it one too many times hurts it. Plus, unless you're caught between SAT versions, you don’t have to feel anxious about the possibility of retaking the test and getting a lower score than you did previously (unlikely as this is).
At the same time, remember - everything in moderation. Even if schools superscore, college admissions officers are still people who may get thrown off their see huge variations in your scores, especially compared to all the other candidates. For instance, don’t just skip your math section completely!
In conclusion, you should give your best effort on any SAT you take while also being strategic about building your highest superscore section by section. If you’re researching school policies on superscoring and Score Choice, then you’re already doing the most important thing - being thoughtful and intentional about every aspect of your college application to put forward your strongest candidacy.
To learn more about the current version of the SAT, check out our complete guide to the redesigned SAT.
Once you've familiarized yourself with the test, head over to this guide to learn about how to study for the SAT.
Are you aiming for a top school and want to earn a perfect score on the SAT? Check out our detailed guide on how to achieve a perfect SAT score.
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Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.