Superscoring Your SAT/ACT Scores: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to college admissions, one of the most common dilemmas students face is whether to superscore their SAT/ACT scores. Superscoring refers to the practice of combining the highest section scores from multiple test attempts to create a new composite score.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of superscoring, address concerns about discrepancies between section scores, and provide actionable insights to help you make an informed decision.

The Advantages of Superscoring

If your target college or university accepts superscores (note that not all schools which accept SAT superscores also accept ACT superscores), and superscoring would result in an improved overall score, it is highly recommended to superscore.

Even if you perceive a significant difference in performance across different sections, superscoring can have a substantial impact on your application.

Addressing Discrepancies in Section Scores

Many students worry about the consequences of submitting a superscore that includes a weak section score. It’s important to remember that colleges are familiar with the concept of superscoring and are generally more interested in your overall performance than individual section scores.

Superscoring allows you to showcase your strengths by emphasizing your highest section scores, effectively mitigating the impact of any weaker sections. Admissions officers recognize that students can excel in certain areas while facing challenges in others. By leveraging superscoring, you can present a more comprehensive and accurate representation of your abilities.

Comparing Superscores vs. Single Sitting Scores

Some students mistakenly believe that a high single sitting score holds more weight than a superscore. However, colleges view superscores as a more thorough evaluation of your academic potential.

For instance, let’s consider a scenario where a student earns a 1600 in one sitting and two lower scores that combine to a 1600 when superscored. In this case, the superscore would be the preferred choice, as it demonstrates consistency and the ability to perform well across multiple attempts.

Making the Decision

When deciding whether to superscore your SAT/ACT scores, consider the following steps:

  1. Research College Policies: Familiarize yourself with the specific superscoring policies of the colleges you are applying to. This information can usually be found on their admissions websites.
  2. Evaluate Score Improvements: Determine whether superscoring would lead to an enhanced composite score. If there is a substantial improvement, it is generally advisable to opt for superscoring.
  3. Address Weaknesses: If you are concerned about a significantly lower section score, take steps to improve in that particular area. Obtain study materials, seek additional tutoring, or consider retaking the test to ensure you have a stronger performance.


In the competitive landscape of college admissions, maximizing your SAT/ACT score is crucial. By understanding the benefits of superscoring and addressing concerns about section score discrepancies, you can strategically present your best self to colleges and universities.

Always remember that superscoring allows you to highlight your strengths while minimizing the impact of weaker sections. Ultimately, the decision to superscore should be based on thorough research, self-assessment, and a commitment to achieving your academic go

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