If you’ve done any research into test scores and college admissions, you know that every admissions office can evaluate SAT and ACT scores in its own way. Some schools will consider your best single administration of the SAT or ACT. Other schools, however, recognize the value in accepting scores from more than one test date. These schools superscore, which is to say they allow you to send scores from multiple test administrations, from which they piece together your optimal score from your best scores in each section.
Until recently, then, we’ve had colleges that superscore either the SAT or ACT, superscore both, or superscore neither. However, a new option has entered into the equation: Georgia Tech superscoring.
Georgia Tech has a novel approach to the SAT vs. ACT dichotomy. Instead of looking at the tests as separate instruments, the admissions officers see them as interchangeable:
Evaluating your Test Scores
We use all three portions of the SAT and/or the three equivalent parts of the ACT, as outlined below. We do not use the ACT Composite score or the Science or Reading score.
SAT Critical Reading = ACT English
SAT Math = ACT Math
SAT Writing = ACT Combined English/Writing
What this means is that students really can pick and choose from different dates and tests to put together their dream scores. The example Georgia Tech provides can only be described as a Frankenscore:
For example, your high test scores may include SAT Critical Reading from March, ACT Math from October and ACT Combined English/Writing from December. Each time you submit new scores to us, we will update your record with your highest scores.
But the implications of this paradigm benefit applicants even if they eschew the SAT entirely. Tossing out ACT Reading and Science scores helps students who struggle with timed passage-based reading. Since the English and Math sections focus more on content than process, students typically prep their way to higher scores more quickly on those sections.
I’m not a big fan of this method of superscoring, primarily because the SAT Critical Reading and ACT English sections test entirely different skills and concepts. A school that allows applicants to neatly sidestep the question of reading comprehension might cultivate a student body with insufficient critical reading skills.
But Georgia Tech may not be the only school that adopts this paradigm. We have generally advised families to contact schools directly to determine their specific superscore policies. This strategy matters more than ever during these turbulent times in testing. Find out exactly how your target schools analyze SAT and ACT scores and plan accordingly!