A Guide to Superscoring


What’s Superscoring? Imagine this: you’ve taken the SAT twice, once in August and once in October. On your first try, you score a 600 on the verbal section. On your second try, however, you receive a 550 on the verbal section. You’re understandably bummed, but at least your math score went up on the second try.

So now you’ve got a dilemma: you have a higher verbal score on the first test and a higher math score on the second test. What’s to be done?

This is where superscoring comes in. With SAT superscoring, colleges look at your highest section scores across every test that you choose to submit. Each college has a different policy on this though, so be sure to check out the admissions requirement page–look for SAT score-use policy.

All right, so what about the ACT? Colleges do indeed accept ACT superscores, but it’s not as common as that of the SAT. With the ACT, there are four different sections scores, compared with the SAT’s two different section scores, so colleges tend to be less likely to accept ACT superscores for this reason.

Don’t fret yet though: starting in September, the ACT will allow students to send a superscored score report to colleges. More on that here.

The point is that superscoring can make all the difference when applying to colleges–combining your best section scores for the ACT or SAT can give you the edge you need in the admissions process, vaulting your scores well above the average admit’s.

Schools that superscore the SAT

Most top schools in the United States accept superscores for the SAT.

* = college also accepts superscores for the ACT

  • Boston College*
  • Brown University
  • California Institute of Technology*
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University*
  • Emory University
  • Georgetown University
  • John Hopkins University*
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology*
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Princeton University
  • Rice University
  • Stanford University
  • Tufts University*
  • University of Chicago*
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Virginia*
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Yale University