What Is a Superscore?

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Understanding the nature of a superscore is important when preparing for your SAT® or ACT® exam. Undoubtedly, you have a target score in mind in order to get into your target college or university. The superscore could go a long way in helping you reach your target SAT or ACT score.

Superscoring is the process of combining your highest section scores across different test dates. Before superscoring, your test scores from one particular date were used by colleges when they considered your application. Now, you can pick your highest section scores from different test dates and combine those for your overall composite score.

Here is how superscores are calculated: Let’s say you took the SAT exam on August 24, 2019 and scored a 650 on the Math section and a 675 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section (EBRW) for a 1325 combined score. With superscore, this does not have to be your final score.

Suppose you took the SAT exam again on November 2, 2019. This time you score a 640 on the Match section (a slight drop) but a 720 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section (a significant improvement) for a composite score of 1360. Again, with superscore, these don’t have to be the final scores for college admissions consideration.

Finally, you take the SAT exam again on March 14, 2020, spending the intervening months preparing for the exam with a high-quality online learning tool in order to prepare you for success on exam day. This time, you score a 710 on the Math section and a 700 on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing section for a composite score of 1410.

Superscoring allows schools to select your highest Math section score (710 from March 14, 2020) and your highest Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing section score (720 from November 2, 2019) and combine them for a new composite score of 1430. This is the score you colleges will consider through superscoring.

Though we used the SAT exam as an example, superscoring is common practice for both the SAT and ACT exams. Deciding which test to take, or taking both tests, is a decision that is up to you.

Superscoring is a win-win for students and colleges. For the student, it boosts your overall score and allows you to present your best score for individual test sections. For colleges and universities, superscoring allows them to claim higher scores among their applicants, which gives them higher rankings.

Superscoring makes taking the SAT or ACT multiple times a wise practice, especially if you do the necessary prep to improve your scores with each new test date.

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