While tests like the SAT and ACT cannot help but inspire a certain amount of anxiety, the terror of test day subsides quite a bit once you realize that you have the power to hide disappointing scores. Suddenly, the big tests become a lot less scary, now that we live in the era of Score Choice.
SAT SCORE CHOICE
Score Choice™ is the mechanism by which test takers choose which SAT scores or individual SAT Subject Test scores to send to colleges. The default SAT score report includes all scores from every test a student has taken. Score Choice allows applicants to selectively suppress scores before issuing reports. Thus, if the Score Choice option is not used, all scores are sent to selected colleges.
Be advised that Score Choice applies only to score reports sent to colleges; the score reports students and their high schools receive include scores from all test dates. Also note that complete scores for each administration are sent, meaning you cannot only send the Math score from a given date.
ACT SCORE CHOICE
ACT has always allowed students to determine which set of scores is sent to colleges or scholarship programs. The default ACT score report mechanism only releases scores to colleges from selected test dates and test locations. The reports students and their high schools receive still include all scores. Like the College Board, ACT does not allow students to suppress certain test sections from reports.
COLLEGE SCORE POLICIES
While Score Choice may be the new law of the land, not all colleges appreciate the option. Those schools require applicants to send all scores. It has never been clear how colleges can tell whether a students sends all scores, but we’ve heard that the College Board automatically sends all scores to schools that require them. This contradicts the College Board’s own assertion that they do not release SAT test scores without student consent, so take that rumor with a grain of salt.
The more important school policy to pay attention to is that of superscoring. When applicants send scores from multiple test administrations to colleges with this policy, admissions staff will construct a superscore, which is a new composite score derived from the best scores from each section across multiple tests.
SAT Superscore = best Evidence-based Reading & Writing + best Math (+ best Essay)
ACT Superscore = best English + best Math + best Reading + best Science (+ best Writing)
Note that the choice to superscore SAT, ACT, or both tests varies from college to college.