What is an ACT / SAT “Superscore?”

A superscore can be a blessing in disguise

Flickr user Isaac Leedom

The thought of the ACT and SAT can fill many students with dread. Testing is never really fun, after all, and so much rides on the results of these two tests. But there are silver-linings and good news… If you take the test for a second (or third, or fourth) time, a superscore can be a blessing in disguise.

What is a superscore?

Essentially, when a college superscores your test, they take the best scores from each of the subcategories, regardless of when you took that test. So, say you took the ACT twice. The first time you scored decent in English, Math, and Reading, but tanked Science. After round two, you improved your Science, Reading, and English scores, but your Math went lower than your initial scores—the colleges will only look at the highest you scored. They’ll take your second-round scores for Science, Reading, and English, and take your first score for Math.

Do all colleges accept superscores?

Schools can look at an aggregate of your scores, and pick the very best. Awesome, right? Most colleges will do this, but it’s always a good idea to double-check the school’s policy on sending in ACT / SAT scores just to be safe.

Interested in seeing how your ACT / SAT score affect your admission odds to nearly every college in the US? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool!