Five Tips For Reporting SAT, ACT and AP Scores To Colleges

Fall of senior year has actually arrived and it is time to get into the nitty-gritty details of applying to colleges. If you want a college to see standardized test scores, you will need to have them sent officially by ACT or College Board  for the SAT and SAT Subject tests. Here are some tips:

1: Decide if you are submitting scores.

Check the college’s website to determine if it is test optional.” If not, you are required to send your best ACT or SAT scores. If the college offers a test optional policy, determine the college’s middle 50% range (scores reported by students accepted last year who fall in the 25% to 75% range). If your ACT score falls within that range, report it! The SAT range is trickier to determine this year. Since this is the first year for the new SAT, colleges can only report average ranges for the old SAT. Therefore, use the College Board’s concordance tables to compare your new SAT score to the old SAT scores.

If the old SAT score equivalent to your new SAT score falls in the college’s average range, then report your new SAT score.

Know which colleges require you to submit your ACT or SAT scores and which colleges are test optional.

Know which colleges require you to submit your ACT or SAT scores and which colleges are test optional.

2: How to report scores

The first place to report scores is on the testing section of the Common Application where you will report your highest scores. Virtually all colleges superscore the SAT so if you took the old SAT more than once and received higher section scores on different dates, report all relevant dates and the college will focus on the highest score for each section. The same policy applies to multiple sittings of the new SAT. However you can’t combine or superscore an old SAT score with a new SAT score.

The ACT is more complicated. James Murphy of The Princeton Review has compiled a list of colleges who do and do not superscore the ACT. To “superscore” the ACT means that a college will accept your highest section scores from different sittings of the test and will recalculate your composite score.

“A few oddballs such as The University of Michigan and The Air Force Academy look at the highest section scores without averaging the composite,” said Mr. Murphy.

If a school does not superscore, send them your highest composite score test date. Bear in mind, if you send all test dates to a college that does not superscore, they will choose the sitting that puts you in the best light.

Research how the colleges you apply to interpret test scores differently.

Research how the colleges you apply to interpret test scores differently.

3: Officially Send Scores

Once you’ve determined what scores and test dates you wish to report, log into your ACT and/or College Board account and list the colleges to which you want scores sent. Select the test date(s) to be forwarded, and have a parent available with a credit card to pay the fee. Allow 3-4 weeks for receipt. So plan ahead!

4: How To Report AP Scores

Report your AP exam scores and upcoming AP exams to be taken in senior spring in the testing section of your Common Application. You do NOT need to have the College Board send AP scores to a school until you enroll. Exceptions are universities in the United Kingdom and a few colleges that offer flexible testing plans that require you to send AP scores officially.

5: Sending SAT Subject test scores

Only about eight colleges require SAT subject test scores and an additional seven require them for students submitting the SAT. Most of these highly selective colleges recommend submitting two scores (Georgetown recommends three). Check each college’s website to know for sure. To decide whether to submit a score, determine if your score is at or above the median.

Keep in mind that college testing policies are constantly changing so it is important to check the college website during junior year and as you apply to be sure you are adhering to the requirements.

If you are a sophomore, contact us today to develop a testing strategy and timeline for junior and senior year.

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