SAT Score Choice: Understanding How Score Choice Affects Your Child’s College Applications

Score Choice, a program created by The College Board, gives students the opportunity to make their application to college stand out. Parents and students should research the policy thoroughly before they decide to opt in.

What is the secret to it?

Previously, students had to send all their SAT scores to colleges they applied to. The college could see the scores of any student who failed on their first attempt. Score Choice allows students to choose to withhold lower scores. This eliminates the pressure of getting high scores the first or second time.
Score Choice allows students to send multiple scores. Students can send scores to multiple schools. Students will be reminded that they can send scores by e-mail.

What are some of the benefits?

Many students find testing day nerve-wracking. Even students who have done practice tests and tutoring may still struggle to pass the actual test. Score Choice allows students to take the test for free and get a full experience.

Score Choice allows students to choose according to college score use policies which set of scores they wish to submit to colleges. This option gives students more control and less stress during college applications.

My child should participate

Score choice is completely optional. Students still have the right to send all scores to any school. Students may choose four colleges to submit SAT scores to during registration. The basic registration fee includes four score reports. Students using this option won't be able see their scores until the report is sent to them. The four score reports are free and have several advantages. They are also free. The additional fee for score reports ($11.25) is charged to students who wait until they see their scores. Also, early scores can signal interest in a college. This could increase the likelihood of a student being invited to campus tours, information sessions and other events.

Score Choice gives students the ability to select which set of SAT scores they wish to send to colleges. StudyPoint recommends that students delay sending scores until they've reviewed all of their SAT scores. Although it's convenient for students to select up four colleges when they register to take the SAT, they won't have access to those scores until they get to college. Students cannot block scores from being sent to colleges that they have not performed well on the test. The extra fee for sending scores after the exam is over is a small price to pay considering that the SAT can be taken seven times per year. Many students find that scores improve with each test. Students can submit scores more easily if they wait for all test scores to be received and reviewed.

The College Board offers a free downloadable presentation on Score Choice. This gives step-by–step instructions for how Score Choice works and how to navigate the score-sending process.

Colleges can also opt for it.

Colleges have the option of choosing Score Choice, but many colleges require that all applicants submit scores. Colleges will only accept the scores submitted by students. This is why it is so important to understand the policies of each college your child applies to. For information on how scores are used at colleges and universities for your child.

There are several possible policies:

  • Test Dates: This option allows colleges to consider the highest section scores across all dates. Many colleges encourage students send multiple scores, as each score report updates the applicant's record. Schools that have this policy will encourage students to submit all scores. The school will receive the best sections scores on all dates and it will be easier to select them.

One student may receive a low grade in math, but high reading and writing scores at the same time. However, another student may get a higher score and lower reading and writing scores at the same time. The student cannot submit both sets if he or she does not want to submit them.

  • Only One Highest Date: This option allows colleges to consider the highest score for a single test date. Although colleges encourage students sending as many scores possible, some only take into account the score on the test date. Students can decide whether they want to submit their highest scores or all scores.

  • All Scores Required for SAT: All scores count in the decision making process. Therefore, all scores must be submitted by prospective students starting from the testing date.

The bottom line

The Score Choice option shouldn't affect how many times students take the test. The results of studies show that students who take a test twice experience modest increases in their scores. However, it is not recommended to take the test twice. Additionally, this can lead to expensive and tedious testing. The pressure to get high scores the first time around isn't as strong. However, a student shouldn't view the first day of testing like a failure.
StudyPoint's one-on-1 SAT tutoring can help your child do well on test day. Individualized attention will help your child succeed and boost confidence.

Keep These Things in Mind

  • Students have the option to choose Score Choice. Students may not use Score Choice. They can still send all scores. Score Choice should not be used by students. They can still use the free scores reports that are available during registration.

  • Students can send scores from one test day but not scores from separate testing days. You can ask StudyPoint's enrollment team at 1-87STUDYPOINT (1-887-883-9764) for help if you are unsure which scores your child should send.

  • Score Choice will not affect the scores of students and high schools.

  • Pay attention to the deadlines for applications and other requirements. It could take up to several weeks for colleges to process student's SAT scores depending on how they receive them. To ensure the proper scores are delivered to the schools, students need to be attentive to each school's score use policy. To begin the score sending process, students should log into their College Board student profiles.

  • The SAT and ACT are administered by separate entities. Score Choice is a program similar to the ACT. Students can choose to take one or the other, but it will not affect how the scores are distributed.

  • StudyPoint recommends that students avoid getting too excited about Score Choice. College admission officers take into account many factors, not just test scores.


  • kaydenmarsh

    I am Kayden Marsh, 34yo educational blogger and school teacher. I am a mother of two young children, and I love spending time with them and learning new things. I also enjoy writing about education and children's issues, and I hope to continue doing so for the rest of my life.

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