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Sending SAT Scores to Colleges

The Past:

Up until 2009 you were obligated to show colleges all of your SAT scores, period. That means that when you selected to send your SAT scores to a college, they would see the results of every SAT test you had taken. Most colleges would judge you on your best performance in each individual section (Math, Reading and Writing) across all tests combined.

The Present:

SAT Score Choice. Using the College Board's Score Choice program (introduced in 2009), you can decide for yourself which SAT test results that you want to send to colleges. You do NOT have to submit all of your test scores when using Score Choice; however, you DO have to send complete tests. You CANNOT send individual scores (Math, Reading, Writing) from individual sections across different tests (no mixing and matching between tests). Score Choice can be very helpful in most scenarios.

Example Scenario 1:

Score Report for Adam Roman

March 2016:  530 Math / 550 Reading-Writing - Total: 1080
May 2016:  570 Math / 620 Reading-Writing - Total:  1190
June 2016: 610 Math / 630 Reading-Writing - Total:  1240

In this case, score choice is a huge benefit. My best single test, June 2016 was my best test (across all individual sections as well). Using Score Choice, I could submit only my June 2016 test scores and colleges would never even see my lower scores from March and May. Awesome!

Final SAT Score: 610 Math / 630 Reading-Writing - Total:  1240

Example Scenario 2:

Score Report for Adam Roman

March 2016:  520 Math / 670 Reading-Writing - Total: 1190
May 2016:  570 Math / 600 Reading-Writing - Total:  1170
June 2016: 610 Math / 630 Reading-Writing - Total:  1240

Using Score Choice in this scenario would not be as helpful, but still worthwhile. In this case, I would select to send colleges the test results from the March 2016 and the June 2016 tests so that they could see my peak performance across separate sections.

*If you submit multiple test scores, most colleges will judge you on your best performance in each section anyway. This is sometimes referred to as a "Super-Score".

Final Combined SAT "Super-Score": 610 Math / 670 Reading-Writing - Total 1280

The Honor System:

Not all colleges allow you to use the new Score Choice system. In fact, about half of them are on board and the other half still want to see all of your SAT scores. The truth is that the College Board will not release any set of SAT scores without your permission. Colleges that insist on seeing every SAT test result have no way of knowing how many times you actually took the test. The College Board says that you should see which colleges accept Score Choice by individually checking their applications each year and abiding by their wishes. So, ultimately it's up to you. You are on the Honor System when deciding if you should send one, two, or all three of your complete SAT test scores to colleges.

What Score Choice means for you:

Not much really. Most students will take the SAT 2-3 times. If you happen to score better on one complete testing, and the colleges you are applying to accept Score Choice, then you will submit the scores from only that one test. If not, then so be it. You can show all of your scores. Like we said before, it is generally understood that most colleges will "Super-Score" your results anyway.

The Bottom Line:

You can only control so many things in life. If you are tutored by Adam and Jen, we will make sure that you do your best and we'll take it from there.

If you would like to check the facts out for yourself please visit www.collegeboard.org.

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