Decoding Super Scoring

Test scores make an important component of your college application. Reporting scores is an essential requirement of each college which you have to complete. No matter you take the ACT, SAT, and irrespective of which SAT II you choose to take, the scores have to be reported to the college to complete the application process and help admission committee reach a decision on your application. That makes scoring well on your test important. Many times students take the tests again to improve their overall scores or sectional scores to increase their chances of securing an admit. More likely you will not take your test more than once in an effort to improve your score. It has been observed that most of the times the sections that improve during one sitting aren’t necessarily the same as the sections that improve during your next sitting. The sole purpose of your targeting score improvement, whether overall or sectional, is to report the best score to the college. How would it feel if you can take one section that you scored super well in from one score and pair it with another strong section from a different score? Feels great, this is what is called super scoring, and a lot of colleges are fine with it.

Super scoring allows you to take your highest scores from each test that you sat for and presenting them for college admission committee to review for a decision. Let’s understand super scoring with the help of an example. Let’s say you took the ACT twice and your scorecard for each sitting read as:


1st Attempt: English-33, Reading-32, Science-28, Math-30, Writing-8

2nd Attempt: English-32, Reading-30, Science-31, Math-29, Writing-10


Now using super scoring you can get your scores to be evaluated as if these were your scores:

English: 33

Reading: 32

Science: 31

Math: 30

Writing: 10


Now the highest score in each category makes up your new composite score. Interesting, right? Yes, but you can’t report the new compilation of scores as your score on your own. During the application process, colleges give an option to submit all of your official exam reports. This way they pick the best of the scores available, but you have to officially report the results for each individual time you appeared for the test. You yourself can not super score your results. You will report all of your test scores to colleges and then colleges themselves would isolate the highest scores.

Be it ACT or SAT, both the tests are super-scorable. Schools that allow super scoring for one test allow you to super score for the other as well. But, only one test score can be super scored; which means you can’t mix and match scores from different sections of SAT and ACT together to present as a new composite score. Either two or more score in different sittings of the ACT or SAT alone can be superscored.

Now, you may have a doubt on how many test scores do I have to report, can I afford not to report a score that I do not wish to? This is very much possible but it totally depends on the school’s requirements. Schools follow different standards for reporting. Some schools may ask you to submit all of your scores from every test you sat for, and few other schools may offer you a score choice, where you can choose which test scores to report from the ones you sat for. It then becomes essential to review each school’s individual policy on this matter. As a student, you should always prepare and score well in the first sitting itself. Retake the test only if the need is felt, check your target college requirements to decide whether to go for a retake or not.

Happy Scoring!!!


Chinu Vasudeva,

Head-Academics | Leverage Edu |

Making Higher Education Intelligent & Awesome!


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