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Understanding ACT and SAT Superscoring: A Game-Changer in College Admissions

Since 1999, LEAP has had the privilege of guiding families through the maze of college admissions, deciphering test scores, and debunking myths around the ACT and SAT. Today, we're revisiting a topic that continues to generate buzz among students and parents alike: **Superscoring**.

What's the Buzz About ACT and SAT Superscoring?

Simply put, superscoring is like compiling a "greatest hits" album of your teen's test scores. Colleges that allow superscoring will mix and match a student's best section scores from multiple test dates, crafting a new, often higher, composite score. This practice can be a game-changer, especially for students who shine brighter in one test sitting than another.

The Evolution of Superscoring

In recent years, both the ACT and SAT have seen changes in how scores are reported and utilized. Notably, the ACT began providing an automatically calculated superscore for all students with multiple test attempts in September 2016. This move underscores a broader acceptance of superscoring in the college admissions process, yet the practice varies by institution.

The Superscoring Process: A Closer Look

  • **For the SAT**: Colleges will select your highest Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math scores across all sittings.
  • **For the ACT**: The process involves a bit more math, requiring the best scores from each section (English, Math, Reading, and Science) to be averaged.

It's crucial to understand that not all colleges superscore, and policies can differ between the ACT and SAT. Always check with prospective colleges to understand their specific stance.

Is Superscoring Right for Your Student?

Before you leap into superscoring strategy, consider if it benefits your situation. Not every student will have a superscore, and sometimes, the effort to achieve a marginally higher composite might be better spent elsewhere, such as on essays or application refinement.

A Tale of Improvement: The Power of Retesting

The decision to retest should be informed, not just hopeful. With 57% of students nationally improving on a second attempt (and an impressive 96% of our LEAP students), a second shot can indeed open new doors. Perseverance not only improves scores but significantly boosts scholarship opportunities.

Superscoring's Impact: Realizing the Potential

As we peel back the layers of college admissions, superscoring stands out as a beacon of opportunity. It's a testament to the fact that colleges are looking for the best representation of your abilities. Whether you're student is aiming for a top-tier university or a parent navigating this journey for the first time, understanding and leveraging superscoring can make all the difference.

Moving Forward

As the landscape of standardized testing and college admissions continues to evolve, staying informed is key. Superscoring, with its nuances and benefits, is just one piece of the puzzle. Whether you're considering a retest, calculating a potential superscore, or strategizing your college application process, remember: with the right guidance and effort, everything can be figured out.

For those looking to dive deeper into their test prep or seeking personalized advice on navigating the college admissions process, feel free to reach out. Together, we can chart a course toward success, making sense of the scores and beyond.

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