The College Board’s New SAT Score Reporting Policy

by Steve Elefson

This past summer, The College Board instituted a new score reporting policy that allows students in the class of 2010 and beyond to choose which SAT scores they send to colleges. While you cannot pick and choose individual math, reading and writing sections from different tests, you can choose which full score reports you’d like to send if you’ve tested on multiple occasions.  This places the SAT on more equal footing with the ACT which has maintained this policy for years.

This policy is a great new option for students as it allows more control over one’s scores. It will help remove a little of the stress from any given test day. Many students take the test at least twice. Now, students can feel even more comfortable repeating the test to score to their potential.

Since many colleges will continue to “super score” or pull together students’ highest scores on each section even if they come from different administrations of the test, it makes sense for students to send in scores from any test date on which they achieved their highest score on one of the three sections.

Consider the following set of scores:

December 2008    CR 620   M 570   W 640
March 2009            CR 580   M 630   W 610
May 2009                CR 610   M 630   W 660

In most cases it would make sense to submit the December 2008 and May 2009 scores. December contains the highest Critical Reading score and May contains the highest Math and Writing scores.

If anyone is unsure which sets of scores to send, test preparation companies are happy to provide guidance.  School counselors and educational consultants are also great resources for this. It is important to note that different colleges will have different policies. A small group of schools will likely continue to require students to send scores from all test administrations they’ve taken. Families should always consult individual colleges to determine their specific policies. At this point, many colleges are still determining what to do. During the next couple of months the policies will take shape.

A logical question that follows from the new policy is, “When should a student begin taking the SAT?” The answer depends on the student. Some students begin taking the test in fall of junior year while others wait until winter or spring. Starting early makes sense for some students but not for others. The best approach for families is to consult with an expert who can customize a recommendation based on the individual student’s situation.

Steve Elefson is the General Manager of Summit Educational Group, a locally owned test preparation company. Offering comprehensive One-on-One, In-Home Tutoring programs and highly trained tutors, Summit prepares students for the SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, SAT Subject Tests, and Academic subjects. To learn more, visit, call 1-800-MYTUTOR (888-698-8867) or email Steve at

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