ACT ‘super scoring’ a puzzling practice

Community Columnist

The issue of “super scoring” seems to create a great deal of confusion among college applicants. Super scoring is the practice of combining students’ best SAT or ACT scores and reporting the highest combined scores on college applications.

For example, a student takes the SATs twice, the first time scoring a 600 on critical reading, 650 on math and 550 on writing, for a composite SAT test score of 1800.

The second time the student takes the test, he scores a 650 on critical reading, 600 math, and 600 on writing, for a composite score of 1850.

By super scoring, the student can take the highest score from each test date ( 650 Critical Reading, 650 Math and 600 Writing) for a combined composite super score of 1900. The College Board and most college admissions officers have accepted this practice for the SATs.

In fact, there is even a section on the Common Application where applicants can super score their tests.

Where the confusion arises, I believe, is with the ACTs. Like the SATs, when super scoring, a college takes the highest score from various test dates and gets a new higher score.

While most colleges accept the practice of super scoring the SATs, this is not the case with the ACTs. A relatively short list of colleges super score the ACTs.

An applicant submitting ACTs should not assume the school super scores the ACTs and should contact the college admissions office directly and inquire about each school’s practices.

Maria Badami is a college consultant with College Directions CNY, located at 7030 East Genesee St., in Fayetteville. She can be reached at collegedirectionscny@gmail.com or through collegedirectionscny.com.

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