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How Do Colleges Accept Scores If I Retake the SAT?

Students often wonder if retaking the SAT will benefit them, and important question to ask is how college accept scores if they do. Our experts have the answer.

Lauren GaggioliLauren Gaggioli
Founder
Higher Scores Test Prep
The way in which your SAT score is calculated depends upon the college you're applying to; however, averaging scores is not a common practice for undergraduate admission exams. Most colleges assess your SAT scores in one of two ways: generally, colleges either consider the highest score from a single test date or they "superscore" your SAT by taking your highest section scores (Reading, Math, and Writing) from various test dates and adding them together to create your best possible SAT score. Which practice a school engages in is entirely dependent upon the admission office's preference and can change from year to year. Be sure to check with the colleges on your list to determine their preferred method of assessing the SAT.

Charlotte M. Klaar, PhDCharlotte M. Klaar, PhD
Director
Klaar College Consulting LLC
Most colleges will Superscore the SAT, which means they will take the highest of all the scores you submit. For example: You take the SAT in March and get a Critical Reading (CR) score of 550, Math (M) score of 650, and Writing (WR) score of 540. You then take it in May and get CR600, M620, and WR550. You take it again in October and get CR620, M590, and WR510. The Superscore would be CR620, M650, WR550; it is this set of scores colleges should use for placement.

Nathan MannetterNathan Mannetter
Admission Counselor
Gonzaga University
Universities will handle your test scores differently, each depending upon its own policies. Some schools will average scores while others will only look at your highest overall score. Many schools will take your highest score on each of the three sections and combine the three scores to make one “super score.” Because there are several ways that schools look at SAT scores, be sure to contact the admission office at each of the schools to which you are applying.

If you’re planning on taking the SAT again, check out the tag “study tips” to help you get ready for the big day!

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