Back in the spring of 2005, SAT joined ACT in allowing for Score Choice. This means regardless of the number of times a student takes either test, the student is able to CHOOSE which single score report (or more) they would like to send to the colleges at the time of application. This policy, in my opinion, goes along with all the other privacy laws we’ve gained in recent years. I like it!

Who’s Not Playing Fair?

Unfortunately, there’s a rather small group of selective schools that believe they are above the policy of score choice and have a school policy that all test results must be submitted at the time of application.  This year I’m currently answering questions of my clients who are confused about the policy as they apply to Georgetown, Stanford, and Yale – none of whom honor score choice along with other schools.

Case Study

I received a concerned call from a San Francisco client confused about what to do with Yale’s policy.  It reads as such:

Multiple Tests & Test Dates: First-year applicants applying for fall 2022 and later who have taken the SAT or ACT exam multiple times should report all scores from whichever test they choose to report. Applicants who choose to report scores from both the SAT and ACT should report all scores received on both tests. If space in the testing section of the application is insufficient to self-report all SAT or ACT scores, applicants should use the “Update Application” form available via the Yale Admissions Status Portal to self-report additional scores after submitting an application. Applicants may also send all official scores directly to Yale via the testing agency. Yale’s CEEB code for the SAT is 3987; the ACT code is 0618. Applicants are not required to send scores taken prior to beginning high school.

This student’s ACT score is stronger than her SAT score; she is concerned about her lower than desired SAT  scores being revealed.  She wanted to know what to do. The way I read this is you must submit all scores from EITHER the ACT OR the SAT – not both.

What Do You Need to Send?

In this student’s case and with the above wording from Yale, I advised her to send all ACT’s, but nothing from SAT – her weaker test.  The keyword here is “OR”.

While ACT and SAT advise students to follow the school policy of non-participation of Score Choice, they cannot force a student to do so.  Ultimately, the testing agency will only send the score reports the student approves.

Freshmen and Sophomores Beware!

I also recently spoke with a mom of a sophomore whose son had started taking the SAT as practice as a freshman. This academically talented student has his eye set on the Ivies.  I advised the mom to stop doing official testing now before the student is prepared as he is sure in the future to be applying to some of the schools who aren’t playing fair with privacy.