Admission News

A New Option – SAT Score Choice


Sat Score Choice is a new option. It costs no more, but it allows students who take the SAT more than once to select which scores will be sent to a college instead of having the SAT scores reported to colleges automatically after each time the test is taken. The Score Choice applies to both the regular SAT and to SAT Subject Tests.

There are benefits to choosing this option.

• It can reduce stress. With Score Choice students know when they take the SAT early in the fall, if they do not do well and have to retake the SAT, then only the better scores will be sent to the colleges they are applying to. If you know you have the chance to retake a test without having to show you did poorly on the first taking, it eases the pressure in the first sitting. It’s a safety net and allows a student to improve without having to take the hit of the colleges seeing the bad scores.

• Score Choice also allows students who are in their freshman and sophomore years to take the SAT without a stigma. Freshmen and sophomores are not advised to take the SAT too early; they do not have enough content knowledge accumulated and will likely not do as well as taking the test in their senior year. The PSAT, available in the junior year, does serve as a practice test, but some students like to take an earlier test to see where they might study or to find holes in their knowledge. But, imagine having to send the scores for this very early practice that is likely not to be your best score. SAT Score Choice is the answer. You can opt not to allow those early scores to ever show up at colleges you will eventually apply to.

• Score Choice can also encourage lower-income students to take advantage of the two-time fee waiver for SAT testing.

But there can be problems opting for SAT Score Choice.

• First, select colleges do not always accept Score Choice. They may require that you report all scores for each of your test sittings.

• With Score Choice you may find you won’t save time or have the convenience of using the Common Application. If you happen to be applying to a college that does not accept Score Choice and one that does, you have two separate applications to fill out now.

• The SAT will send out four scores to colleges for free. But, this happens automatically within two and one half weeks of sitting for the test. When you opt for Score Choice, you will have to pay for the reporting because you will be waiting to take two or more tests before selecting the scores you want sent.

• Score Choice only allows you to send a score that you received at one sitting. You would pick the highest combined score to send. But, some schools that receive scores each time you sit for an SAT test will look at individual scores. So, if you happen to go down in Math when taking the second test, even though your combined scores increased, you will lose the better math score from the first test. It may be better, then, for a school to see individual scores if you take more than one SAT test, especially if they are willing to look at them separately.

So, you should know about the SAT Score Choice option. It can be a good choice and give you the reassurance that if you don’t do well on your first try you can try again and not have to reveal your first short coming. But, you also need to know the score reporting requirement of the schools you are applying to and think about whether or not you might do better overall but go down in one area and how that can affect your application.

Choose Score Choice when it makes the most sense for you.