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Feb 28, 2013

SAT and ACT Test Score Options

Diane Kummer

Both the College Board and ACT give students several options relating to reporting their college entrance test scores to colleges. You will want to decide which options meet your needs.

When your teens register online for either of the tests, the College Board and ACT permits them to identify  4 colleges to which their test scores can be sent for free.  Because there is a fee charged for each subsequent school you later wish to send scores to, most students will take advantage of these free score reports.  It doesn’t matter if your teen ends up not applying to one of the colleges to which the score was sent.

Both the College Board and ACT allow students to withhold test scores and only send test scores specified by the student for certain dates. The test scores that are sent will include scores from all sections of the test. 

The College Board and ACT websites are a wealth of information. For example, if your teen knows the schools to which he will apply, you can check here to find out how a particular college utilizes SAT scores when making admission decisions.

Some colleges use “super scoring” in which it will take your teen’s highest critical reading, math, and writing scores on the SAT – even using different test dates.  Other schools consider only the SAT score from your single highest test date (the sum of mathematics, critical reading, and writing).

On the ACT website, information is given regarding the correlation between SAT and ACT test scores. Some students naturally do better on one test or the other, so it may be beneficial to have your teen take both tests.  Keep in mind that the SAT is a reasoning test that requires teens to apply knowledge while the ACT measures subject knowledge in four areas (English, reading, math, and science.)

More information on both the SAT and ACT may be found at these links: The Scoop on Tests for Teens, High school testing, Test prep resources, and SAT or ACT Power Prep CD offer for HSLDA members.

I'm happy to answer questions that HSLDA members may have regarding the SAT and ACT.

-Diane

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