If you take the SAT or ACT more than once, you might be worried about your score in a particular section decreasing even if your composite or final score increases. In order to show yourself in the best light, some colleges will allow you to superscore the SAT or ACT.
What is SuperScoring?
Superscoring entails taking your highest score for each section of the test across all your test sittings and using the highest section scores to calculate your final score (SAT) or composite score (ACT).
Table: SAT superscoring example.
| Math | Reading/Writing | Total |
Attempt 1 | 650 | 700 | 1350 |
Attempt 2 | 710 | 650 | 1360 |
Superscore | 710 | 700 | 1410 |
For example, let’s say you take the SAT once. You get a 650 in Math, and a 700 in Reading and Writing, giving you a final score of 1350. You want to get that math score up, so you take it again. This time you get a 710 in Math, and a 650 in Reading and Writing, giving you a final score of 1360. Superscoring allows you to take your highest section scores between both sittings to calculate your final score. So you would take your 710 in Math from the second test, and your 700 in Reading and Writing, giving you a final score of 1410.
Table: ACT superscoring example.
| Reading | English | Math | Science | Total |
Attempt 1 | 22 | 25 | 30 | 27 | 26 |
Attempt 2 | 27 | 26 | 23 | 23 | 25 |
Superscore | 27 | 26 | 30 | 27 | 28 |
Now let’s say you take the ACT once. You get a 22 in Reading, a 25 in English, a 30 in Math, and a 27 in Science. Your composite score is 26. The second time you take it, you get a 27 in Reading, a 26 in English, a 23 in Math, and a 23 in Science. This gives you a composite score of 25.
Superscoring your ACT allows you to take your 27 in Reading from the first test, your 26 in English from the second, your 30 in Math from the first, and your 27 in Science from the first, making your composite score 28.
Do I superscore myself? Or does the college do it?
It depends on the college. Some colleges require you to submit all of your scores from each sitting. If they superscore, they will do the calculations. Some colleges recommend but do not require you to submit all your scores. Finally, some colleges allow you to choose which scores from which sittings you want to submit, allowing you to superscore on your own. We'll be posting a list of Universities that superscore next week! For now, here's a TestRocker video that sums up superscoring.