What is a Superscore?
A "superscore" is a combination of your best individual test scores from multiple official test dates. On the ACT, a superscore is the average of your best English, Math, Reading, and Science scores from multiple sittings. On the SAT, a superscore is the sum of your highest Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores from multiple sitttings. Both the ACT and SAT are superscored by many colleges.
Let's look at an example...
Johnny Tester's Apr ACT: English: 32; Math: 29; Reading: 32; Science: 28; Composite: 30
Johnny Tester's Sep ACT: English: 35; Math: 28; Reading: 34; Science: 24; Composite: 30
A college that superscores would then combine the best of Johnny's two official ACT exams into the following:
Johnny's Superscore: English: 35; Math: 29; Reading: 34; Science: 28; Composite: 32
Superscoring will obviously will be a huge advantage for Johnny as the college processes his application. For this reason, we nearly always encourage families to take at least two official exams of either the ACT or SAT, but no more than three (it looks suspicious to selective colleges).
*Please note that ACT scores cannot be superscored with SAT scores.
Most colleges, but not all, consider your SAT or ACT superscores. We recommend working with your college counselor to determine the policy for each school you apply to, in order to determine the optimum application strategy. Some schools highly recommend that you send all test scores (even if only your highest section scores will factor into their admissions decision), so that they can make sure you are considered for other opportunities like honors programs or merit-based scholarships.
If you take the SAT, you will have the option through College Board's Score Choice™ to decide by test date which scores will appear on the score reports that the College Board will send to colleges. You may choose, for example, to eliminate your lowest test score from the report for those colleges that don’t require you to send all test scores.
If you take the ACT, a record is created each time you take the test, and you tell ACT which test records to release to schools. ACT will send only the test dates you request. Decide which and how many dates to send based on your scores and the school's guidelines about super scoring. If a college requests all of your ACT scores, it’s up to you to ensure that all your test records are released to that school.