Is it really a good idea to use Score Choice on the ACT or SAT?

March 9, 2010 

A recent posting on the Washington Post’s blog, The Answer Sheet, suggests that it may not necessarily be in a student’s best interests to participate in to use Score Choice, the process that allows students to choose which SAT or ACT scores to send to colleges.

The reason for this is that while students can choose whether or not to send scores from a specific test date, many colleges actually use the highest score on each section of the test, rather than the best overall score the student received in any one sitting of the test. This means that if a student took the test on multiple test dates, unless he received his highest scores on ALL of the areas of the test on that one date, he would be better off submitting scores from all test dates.

In addition, some of the most competitive colleges actually require all scores to be submitted and do not want applicants to choose not to send specific scores. This means that if a student is not careful, she could be penalized by a college for applying without submitting all of her scores and actually jeopardize her acceptance to the college.

The bottom line is that both students and parents need to carefully research the admissions requirements of the colleges the student is applying to, and be aware of the specific school’s policies regarding Score Choice, and how the test scores will be used.

In a few cases, it may be beneficial to use Score Choice, but in the vast majority of cases it will not. So be careful out there!

A list of the SAT score policies of participating colleges can be found here.

To see the full Washington Post Blog Post, click here.


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