ACT & SAT scores are private information not released to colleges without student consent much like your doctor office won’t release medical information without your consent. What happens when a college doesn’t respect this privacy?Score Choice
The “Score Choice” policy is designed to give students control over which ACT and/or SAT scores they release to colleges. This provides an opportunity to put the best foot forward during the application process. Colleges fall into three categories in regard to Score Choice.
- Accept Score Choice: Students are permitted to send only the scores they choose.
- Super Score: Super Score is a recommendation to send all scores to the colleges where the admissions office will create a new score report on the highest scores. LEAP explains Super Scoring here.
- Require ALL Scores: While the student still has to execute sending the scores and thereby granting permission, some colleges require all scores for all ACTs and SATs taken during high school must be sent.
Implications for No Score Choice
Don’t Test Early
Some families are tempted to have students start early with official tests before they are “test ready” which in LEAP terms means having at least completed 1/2 of algebra 2 and having test driven the test as well as learned & practiced testing strategies through formal prep. Start before you’re “test ready” and you may have to submit those scores to colleges at application time when you’d rather not!
Prep & Practice First
Practice comes in many forms. The advantage of test-driving the tests & learning test strategies is greatly reduced test anxiety in future official tests when students know what to expect. This will mean higher scores. LEAP believes no student should test “cold” to get a baseline score. You may not want colleges to see these scores someday.
Only 2-3 Official ACTs or SATs
While college admissions officers expect 2-3 testing attempts and sometimes 4, testing more is often frowned upon. For schools honoring score choice, they won’t know how often a student tested. When a college requires all scores, a student may be forced to reveal more testing attempts than they wish. LEAP data shows students who test cold without prep ultimately end up testing 1 to 2 more times over students who prep first.
Carnegie Mellon University has stated on their website that they frown on testing before the sophomore year is complete and in non-Covid years the require all test scores.
If you are reading this and panicking that you tested too early without prep and received a low score not reflecting your true potential, there is a way to permanently remove ACT scores from your account.
4 Great Ways to Practice for ACT-SAT Success
- PreACT or PSAT given by your school. This is typically in 10th and 11th grade, but varies greatly by school. LEAP is able to use the valuable information from these scores in helping to determine ACT and/or SAT as well as what individualized test prep plan will work best.
- Take a FREE diagnostic ACT or SAT from LEAP. This is an actual retired test. Students keep the test, their answers while also receiving scaled scores & the answer key. You can only take this once.
- The ACT-SAT Prep Essentials Course includes three completed ACTs and/or SATs. Our highly individualized 1:1 Test Prep Tutoring includes multiple completed tests. All submitted practice is analyzed in the LEAP Lens reports.
- Jump in on a practice test day with a LEAP class to get an additional, simulated practice test day.